There are those times that come along where we have to make an effort for a special occasion, for most chaps this means dusting off the old suit and praying it still fits. The shoes get a polish, we may even have cuff links that are perhaps witty and we flap about what shirt/tie combo goes best. I find in these times that irrespective of the outfit I feel complete when I put my “special” watch on, it’s the one my wife bought me for our wedding, it’s a Rotary, nothing revolutionary but it looks great and I feel good when I wear it. A watch does say something about a man, the style and the look all send a message, the sad fact is though that for most of us, unless we have a cool £5000 spare to buy a Breitling we settle with an off the shelf model that looks like all the other watches out there. Things could be about to change though with the launch of a new and innovative brand W.T Author, I spoke to the designers to learn more.
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[pullquote] Today’s watch market completely lacks personality and so we decided to bring a certain romance back…”[/pullquote]
Stu: You have a rather special looking watch design but in a market with well established brands what do you think gives you the edge?
It is clear to everyone that the market is currently overcrowded by overpriced lookalikes, with very little or no ambition placed into genuinely introducing something new. Today’s watch market completely lacks personality and so we decided to bring a certain romance back to the iconic accessory. We encompass each limited edition product with the art of story-telling and a unique look that is completely individual to the brand. This vision will always be carried forward into every product as we continue on this 13 year journey into it’s history.
It is crazy how much of this goes on… from the start we wanted the watch that was honest and had personality. The 13 theme extends from this philosophy. I won’t go too deep into its origins but it soon dawned on us how special we could make this brand. We always wanted a 2013 release and we always wanted to build upon a heritage that would only become clear to the audience as we progressed. So for our first wristwatch we looked to the humble beginnings of gent’s watches that came with the turn of the 20th century, but concentrated on the pioneering ideas of that era (the transformation from pocket watch to wristwatch, the shoulders brazed onto the case and typography that represented that era).And we will continue this mentality with every year going forward as we design for the next decade, and so on. Jumping to 2025, we will have 13 watches each summarising 13 decades of wristwatch design (having originally launched the brand on 13.09.13).
I have to admit that’s a well thought out idea, I love it. It will certainly give people a feeling of belonging to something a bit special, the fact it’s not just a time piece but it has a story to tell. Was it hard for you to determine the pioneering ideas? Will you celebrate the style innovations or technological breakthroughs? I’m curious do you have all the designs already?
Thanks Stu. We have given every part of this project room to breathe and develop organically. Every part has had every opportunity to grow allowing us to really get under the skin of the watch design and pinpoint the aspects that we wanted to use to sum up the decade. We will be pushing forwards to celebrate style innovations AND technological breakthroughs. Everything will be considered along the way and no stone will be left un-turned. As far as the future designs are concerned we are happy with the framework and we certainly have the ideas in place. Next year we will be marking a certain centenary with a very special product that we can’t wait to release.
That sounds incredibly exciting. With that in mind as the designers you must have a background in this field? Can you tell be about the actual fabrication of the watches?
Between us we have 15 years experience in the design industry on watches and packaging, working for global fashion houses to deliver some really exciting
and innovative products. Our design studio is based here in UK, and it’s also here where we are hand-finishing each product. We import the finished watch case from our factory, where the Swiss movement is then placed into each watch and tested to above the usual quality standards. We make and fit each strap (leather sourced from South America) individually by hand to the watch, where it will sit in the packaging with the book and limited edition screen print, manufactured and printed in UK.
I wasn’t expecting to hear that. I wrongly assumed that a designer would make the drawings and be finished but clearly you know exactly what you want from your watches. You also mention a Swiss movement, this is something of a standard that even a layman recognises, how would you compare that to the established brands and their working parts?
We want as much control with the product as possible and this will only grow as we continue to progress. Eventually we want to control everything. Comparatively the watch stands next established designer brands like Mondaine. We want to ensure quality, but our primary objective is really just to be us. We feel we have something with that human touch that other watch brands at this level just do not have.
That makes sense, it’s completely evident that this is not just a means of income to you, it’s more than just the design, that this is a passion and something you care about but also something you want the wearer of the watch to feel part of. We all deep down like to belong, whether that’s supporting a team, following an author, maybe growing some epic facial hair or in this case being part of and owning something special. Your watch will give the person wearing it a special feeling I am sure, it’s the personal touches that count and they will be proud of their beautiful timepiece,
You have a Indiegogo page and to me everything you have said and that I have seen would make me think the watches would be out of affordable price range, but they are not. In fact I can see that these watches would be an investment. It could be that a serious watch collector might be put off by the relatively low price, how would you convince them to buy the watch?
We want to almost bring a wider audience into the world of unique timepieces. £350 gives them something extremely individual, with that human touch and can absolutely hold its own next to competing brands.
A serious watch collector may be put off by buying our watch, but initially we’re almost rebelling against the brands that they would usually buy into. It’s not to say over time that we would love to manufacture a watch that appeals to this audience. Using finer materials, custom made movements and potentially a completely British made timepiece. These are all options to consider for the future.
So sticking it to the man as it were, I’m all for that. I’ve seen on your website that you have featured in Watch Pro which is quite a good thing if you are in those circles. If you had a magic wand, or wizard’s hat what would you make happen differently or how could you push the launch of the brand into public arena going forward?
Our Indiegogo page was always designed to be a ‘special preview’ for what’s to come. The real fun begins in December when we release the physical product to the public in various arenas. Our first show will take place at the beginning of December at East London Design Show and we have secured a stockist too which we are very happy about. Just in time for Christmas!
You clearly have got things figured out, the timing for Christmas is great, and maybe you could do something for Father’s day too? I’d like to wish you all the best with your future development, you have a solid and beautiful product with an ethos that people can relate to and warm too. I’d like to thank you for this interview; it’s been fun and enlightening.
Good luck, Stu Morse.
So there you have it, if you want something incredibly special that will make you proud and the envy of all those who you impress with the story and ethos of your watch then head over to the site. I believe that big things will be happening so support the guys at W.T Author and enjoy the ride from the start.
Stu Morse A 36 yr old British man, with a beautiful moustache in the making, the journey of which he shares on his website, Hirsute For Happiness . He prefers a natural look even though he has now taken ownership of his beautiful wife’s hairdryer. Incredibly handsome and witty, he also has a love for making beer and an un-explainable hate for cupboards and all things withholding.
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