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Tag: Meridian Watch Company

Making faces

Technical drawings (C) Michlmayr There’s a smiley that’s been bothering me (:-S). It’s meant to signify worry, or perhaps, mild concern, and it’s popping up all over the place. Increasingly, I see it typed as a codicil to Tweets, Posts or other social media comments about English watchmaking, and appears…

A Prime Candidate

The Meridian “MP-12” Prototype Back in the early summer of last year, Meridian Watches appeared on Twitter. There wasn’t a huge fanfare, just a few announcements that promised hand-built English watches, with a Swiss movement. Of course, being something of a #watchnerd, and a complete anglohorophile**, I not only began to…

SalonQP 2012 Part 2 – Prime time

The Meridian Watches MP-09

Due to a slight delay at the entrance to the the Saatchi Gallery (the security guards waited for the clock to strike six before letting any of us in to SalonQP), I missed the official launch of Meridian Watches. This was rather a shame, as I’d been hoping to witness the unveiling of the Meridian Prime, an almost entirely English-built watch, heralding from Norwich. Meridian’s founder is Simon Michlmayr, a second generation watchmaker and Fellow of the British Horological Institute, who has been running his own watch and clock repair company since 1986. I spoke briefly to Simon at SalonQP, and he was kind enough to allow me to take a look at his watches, movements and accessories and to tell me a bit more about Meridian, and their future plans.

A special non-luminous dial for SalonQP 2012

The idea behind Meridian Watches was to find a way of manufacturing high quality, hand-produced watches, that the owner could wear day-in, day-out, using all-English parts (except – currently – for the movement) at a reasonable cost. Simon brought in a business partner – Richard Baldwin (a keen watch collector and CEO of Arcadia Watches) and started sourcing appropriate partners from across the UK with whom to work. Their search has yielded a collective that includes a hand-made leather strap-maker (Steve O, who will be well-known to Panerai owners), an optics company that supplies military contracts, an additional webbing strap-maker who also produces their cotton/canvas watch-roll (Carl Evans of GasGasBones fame) and even a leather passport holder (from Bond Street brand, Smythson). On top of this, Meridian hand-make strap-changing tools which are included with each watch, and have also hand-produced their buckles. These latter items are a fantastic example of the Meridian ethos – each of the eleven elements of the buckle is hand-machined, and then assembled in Norwich. There is no doubt that a cheaper buckle could have been sourced, but Simon has focused his attention on making every part of these watches feel like they have been crafted for the owner. This also extends to the hands, which are hand cut, colleted, polished, treated and coated in SuperLuminova (TM). It’s a very artisanal approach, and one that I find increasingly attractive.