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Month: December 2014

Through a glass, darkly

Roger W Smith, photographed in 2013
Roger W Smith, photographed in 2013

There’s a lack of transparency in watchmaking. This isn’t news – the history of clock and watch production is littered with companies that use (or have used) partners, third parties, suppliers and agents to design, build, manufacture, power, cover or finish their pieces. Just look at the world of pocketwatches, where the point (and indeed location) of sale was often far more important than the movement within. However, even two hundred years on, in a world in which no information is secure, few of these relationships are disclosed, and many remain relatively unknown, even to the horological cognoscenti.

An English Cut

A version of this post was published on The Modern Gentleman during December 2014.

I’ve been following Thomas Mahon for nearly a decade. When I first stumbled across him in 2005, he was one of very few people in the industry to be writing about the art of bespoke tailoring. Through his ‘blog posts on The English Cut, I began to gain a slightly better understanding of how suits are made, by whom, and at what cost. Indeed, one of his earliest posts gave alternatives to bespoke, in various price ranges. Within months, I was reading about pattern making, suit fabrics, fittings. I followed his trips to the US to see clients, the training of apprentices, and was introduced to his tailors and cutters. The ‘blog was, in short, a revelation (it was also an inspiration to begin the #watchnerd, but that’s another story).

The Schofield Beater

Schofield Beaters at SalonQP
Schofield Beaters at SalonQP

Giles Ellis is surrounded by people, which is no surprise, he is, after all, here at SalonQP to launch a new watch, the Beater. What is, perhaps, more surprising, is the number of these people who seem happy to remove the Schofields from their own wrists and to pass them around the crowd. It’s as if the Red Bar Crew had landed in Sloane Sq, but with fewer drinks. It’s all very friendly, and for Ellis, very pleasing: “they were doing my job for me, they had become de-facto Schofield ambassadors.