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British Watches

Sharing information on luxury watches and the watch industry . . .

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By Pat, Sep 3 2011 11:41AM

Luxury watches have an extensive and vibrant history. The famous Swiss watchmakers dated back to the 16th century when the Huguenots (who were followers of John Calvin) avoided harassment in France and sought to live on the cold highlands of Swiss Alps near Geneva. The Huguenot clock-makers combined their ability and skill with local Geneva jewellers and goldsmiths to create beautiful hand crafted watches. To continue their skill and tradition under Calvinist regime which prohibits wearing jewellery, watches were allowed to be worn because of their usefulness, even up to now with the latest time telling gadget available, the industry is still there and is known all over for its craftsmanship and quality.


Luxury watches today have become both functional and a display of beautiful artwork. They have become collectibles, status symbols and art. Some have become household's names but some of the more exclusive watches are still generally unknown to the majority. There are a few top of the line worthy of much closer inspection, still made by master craftsmen. A luxury watch is a form of art and a showcase of skill. Most are assembled by hand with more than 800 small components. A typical low end luxury watch has a price tag of more than 500 pounds, the more luxurious cost even more and the price can extend into the tens of thousands.


As a new collector, you will be amazed at the different watches for men and women that are available out there. Choices can be based upon the number of collectors collecting this type, the design, performance or value. I would imagine the most avid collectors subconciously prefer the rarest quality which only a few collectors have. Many collectors look to base their purchase decision on the number of complications the watch has - with higher price tags and lots of embellishments to the watch, they can even be covered with precious stones. Others prefer the simplicity, elegance and the richness of the history behind the brand such as Old English luxury pocket watches.


Anyone who wants to become a collector must always do their research of the history behind the brand name. Sometimes the hard to find, exclusive watches not common in the marketplace are those who have a very rich history and pedigree. Buying on impulse can be the wrong decision and have a detrimental effect if later you decided to change your mind.


When buying there are several factors you should consider before making your purchase. Are you going to buy the famous brands or rely on your own research? Create your own ideas about the different brands available, as sometimes not all is as it first seems. What is behind the watchmakers culture and history, as this may be evident in the watch itself. Are they still being made in a small workshop, or are they being mass produced? Many collectors don't want to buy factory made and mass produced items.


Most watch collectors give importance to the number of complications in a watch. The number of complications or mechanical functions other than basic time-telling likes perpetual calendars, second time zone, or lunar phases. The more gadgets the watch has sometimes gives rise to a higher consideration as a collectible watch.


At this point in time, I would say the fashion is changing as watch enthusiasts place a greater emphasis on simplicity, elegance and durability. If after being proven in extreme temperatures and conditions for accuracy, they can perform and still look very elegant, then this watch may score high in the current watch buying climate. English Luxury watches today are rising to this challenge and again, I believe, will prove to be a leader in the complex watch marketplace.


© 2007-2011, Pat Edwards Harold Pinchbeck British Watches. All rights reserved

By Pat, Aug 30 2011 05:41PM

Brough Superior has always been the epitome of exclusivity, luxury, style and extraordinary design, allied to a passion for motorcycles. All these qualities are to be found in the new Pinchbeck watch, which has been created in collaboration with Brough Superior Motorcycles Ltd.


The SS100’s hand-made case is beautifully engineered to individual order, in a way that mass production can merely imitate, demonstrating how superlative craftsmanship still flourishes in England. Combined with its superb Swiss movement, the result is an elegant, yet masculine, timepiece that reflects the magnificence of the motorcycles whose name it bears.


An unashamedly opulent watch, the SS100 blends the magic of the World’s most prestigious motor cycles with a watchmaking heritage whose origins were in 18th Century London. Truly a ‘small object of desire’, it will look superb with any attire and in any setting. Like the machines it honours, it exemplifies the best in engineering and gentlemanly good taste, and it has the good manners not to shout about itself!


The Brough Superior watches may be made unique through the inclusion of bespoke options. Examples include a choice of bezel design and hand finishes, and a leather strap of the highest quality, hand-made to your own wrist measurement (a solid-link stainless steel bracelet is also available). An 18-carat gold case is available as an alternative to stainless steel. And, naturally, each watch will be engraved with its own number


Pinchbeck watches are made in England, and to order. It is far from being the cheapest or easiest way to make a watch, but you will have the added value of knowing the provenance of every component and knowing your watch is created by hand with attention to detail that is ‘second to none’. There is another advantage, in that your watch is not created until you order it, so it can be 'bespoke' in a number of ways, and there seems to have been a definite increase in the number of enquiries and orders for customised watches.


© 2007-2011, Pat Edwards Harold Pinchbeck British Watches. All rights reserved



The Pinchbeck Brough Superior SS101 By Harold Pinchbeck
The Pinchbeck Brough Superior SS101 By Harold Pinchbeck

By Pat, Aug 30 2011 10:51AM

The first pocket watch was said to have been invented by Peter Henlein in Nuremberg Germany, though this cannot be definitively proven. This first watch was not very accurate, which is very ironic as German engineering is well known for their quality, but I guess this has evolved through the years.


Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician and philosopher, wore and created what is claimed to have been the first wristwatch by attaching a simple string to his pocket watch, we now know that leather and metal straps have become the common replacement of this first the humble string.


So the next time you look at your watch, remember that the very idea of it may have been inspired by a German inventor who created a scene every time he presented his pocket watch in gatherings.


Also remember that a philosopher and mathematician from France inspired one of the largest industries in the world of making wristwatches. Whatever might be the reason for creating these timepieces; these visionaries are pioneers of their time.


Luxury watches have evolved because of these great pioneers. They carry a distinct element some other luxury goods don't have because of the richness in history. If you want to be recognized in a gathering, the best way is to showcase the wrist watch that accompanies you wherever you go. Sometimes brands are rich in history but show a lack of character because of the demands of the fashion at the time. Some Luxury watch makers have become main stream and have used the latest technologies to improve their design and performance but let go the handcraftsmanship.


Luxury watches are often referred to as rare living antiques. Some brand history dates back from more than 100 years of rich watch making tradition. For self considered ‘successful people’ they can be symbolic objects that you have made it in life. Some are so exclusive that wearing a particular brand is considered a ‘proof of success’ – or maybe it means that you carry you own piece of Art! – I guess this is all in the eyes of the beholder. An understated and elegant way of showing the crowd that only a few can acquire this type of luxury watch.


These luxury watches may have become expensive because of the superior skill of the watchmaker, expensive materials such as gold, diamonds and rare metals adorn some watches. Some may have become part of a private collection of enthusiasts who cherish each watch with its own time and place to be worn. Private collections can be well guarded and only displayed when there is an important event or a date special enough to justify it.


But if we see luxury watches from the marketing point of view, the above characteristics may have been common for many watch makers. Top watch producers have their own special value watches which they will consider their ‘Crown Jewel’. There will be a special watch made in the past that holds the history and character of the brand. Many of the very exclusive watch makers offer handmade features that can hold a special value for their customers and eventually become a family heirloom. Often watch makers collaborate with specialized industries to produce industry stylised watches which, for their owners, can create a certain feel when wearing the watch.


© 2007-2011, Pat Edwards - Harold Pinchbeck British Watches. All rights reserved

By Pat, Aug 29 2011 06:41PM

In the world of clock and watchmaking there were, in fact, two Christopher Pinchbecks: the father and the son.


Christopher Pinchbeck I was born in 1670, and died in London in 1732. So far very little is known about his early life, although some say he was born in the Lincolnshire village of that name. It was not until he was about 46, however, that the first known evidence of his clocks appeared, in a 1716 advertisement in the 'Daily Courant', published in London. It is interesting to speculate that he may have spent time in continental Europe, where the automata he specialised in were much more prevalent at that time, before returning to London to promote these clocks. He became famous for astronomical and musical clocks of great complexity: he certainly charged astronomical prices, asking 700 guineas for such a piece in the 1716 advertisement!


For some years Christopher lived and worked in St John's Lane, Clerkenwell, and there is now a plaque to his memory at number 33. His eldest children, Christopher (II) and Edward, who succeeded him in business, were probably born here. He moved to Fleet Street in 1721, where he remained until his death, being buried in the same street at St Dunstan's in the West.


In 1717 he advertised an astronomico-musical clock, describing it as "the most Wonderful Piece of Art in Europe". Not only did it play jigs, minuets... and opera tunes on the organ, flute or flagelet, it also emulated an aviary of birds 'to such wonderful Perfection that it's not to be distinguished from Nature itself'. This clock is now in a private collection in America.


Today, Christopher Pinchbeck I is remembered chiefly for his invention of the alloy, resembling gold, that bears his name. However, it was not until after his death in 1732 that the alloy was promoted, by his sons Christopher and Edward.


When Christopher I died, his son Edward continued the business in Fleet Street. His other son Christopher opened another similar, business, a few doors away, moving to nearby Cockspur Street in 1758. An ambitious businessman, he became a friend of George III, as well as Clockmaker by Appointment to His Majesty, and the King commissioned him to make a four-sided astronomical clock. With its case designed by Sir William Chambers, this magnificent clock is now in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace.


Christopher Pinchbeck II referred to himself as a "Toyman and Mechanician". He patented several inventions, including an improved candlestick, a "Nocturnal Remembrancer" and a safety crane, for which he was awarded a gold medal. He became president of the Smeaton Society (then the Society of Engineers) in 1781, was a senior member of the Committee of Mechanics, and an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. A number of his watches and clocks survive.


© 2007-2011, Pat Edwards - Harold Pinchbeck British Watches. All rights reserved

By Pat, Aug 29 2011 06:38PM

When you think of luxury watches, you might not think about English watches. While there was a time this country was well known for their clocks, time passed and soon other countries stepped in an began to craft designer watches and England slowly focused their efforts on other trades and left the watch making business for other things.


Of course, there were some individuals that still had the passion for this highly skilled trade and in recent years there has been an increase in English watch and clockmakers producing luxury wrist watches. This group of very talented and dedicated individuals has taken their passion for making a high quality English watch to new heights as they produce some of the finest watches around.


It is this revival that is getting the attention of those looking for luxury watches. With a remarkable attention to detail and precision accuracy inside of the watch, there are an endless number of options available. Keep in mind that these watches are being crafted by individuals that have a true passion for creating luxury watches and they have taken the time to master their skills and deliver the perfect timepiece to meet your every need.


Along with using quartz and mechanical precision parts, we find that this new breed of luxury English watches are produced with high quality parts and are designed with a style and timeless design of their own. Best of all, some of these watches are crafted by hand and not mass produced, ensuring that each individual watch is given the attention to detail and quality it deserves.


In fact, many of the new luxury watches are being designed for an individual in general. The reason is that the English watchmakers are looking to bring a personal level back to the craftsmanship in addition to the level of high quality that they are providing. Many of these long standing watchmakers come from a long history of watch crafters, which is how they have been able to successfully master the art and craft timepieces that become enchanting and memorable.


When quality and design are very important to you, then you should strongly consider the English watch market. With state of the art designs and materials, you can count on these crafters to deliver you a series of watches that will meet your needs and excel beyond the basics that even Switzerland has been using in their craft for years.


The revival that is happening now is about showcasing the quality and comfort of the wrist watch. The English are ready to prove that they can not only deliver an option that provides true accuracy, but one that can hold value and it will be something that many people look at as being among one of the most remarkable items they will own.


It is because of that, you should take notice of the English watchmakers and look over the luxury watches that they offer. You are almost certain to find a style that matches your personality, with a piece that will give you new insight into all that a watch can do for you.


© 2007-2011, Pat Edwards - Harold Pinchbeck British Watches. All rights reserved