The Garrick S4 is the latest creation from the British firm. It encompasses much hand-craftsmanship, manifest with its elaborate dial and yet, despite its impressive in-house content and high-quotient of hand-craftsmanship, it remains surprisingly affordable.
For most people, mass-produced products are a default choice, purchased through necessity rather than unbridled desire. The ultimate expression of luxury is a ‘hand-crafted’ object made with time-served hands, free of concessions. Since its inception, Garrick has always tried to make many of its watch components in-house and by hand. Moreover, it has shunned cheap imports, even when this would reduce costs.
In recent years, Garrick has shown its in-house watchmaking expertise again and again, releasing several refined timepieces. Some of these models are equipped with the firm’s exclusive movements, feature skeleton or guilloché dials and all are enriched with high-end finishing.
However, the British firm recognises that many individuals yearn for a watch, infused with hand-craftsmanship, but offered at an affordable price. The Garrick S4, the company’s new entry-level watch, features a sumptuous dial that employs an elaborate and highly innovative construction technique.
Whereas the mass-produced approach is to stamp a dial blank from a ribbon of brass, Garrick uses a lathe to create a brass disc. Two feet are riveted to the underside of the dial blank which ultimately unite the dial with the movement.
The dial blank is ‘flattened’ using fine abrasive paper in order to remove any burrs or imperfections, creating a smooth surface. Thereafter, the dial is bead blasted. A chapter ring, effectively a circlet of metal, is paired with a smaller ring for the small seconds. These are then drilled, creating holes to facilitate fixing.
The chapter ring is clamped between two plates and baked at 300°C. This hardens the metal and removes any springiness. After the chapter ring has cooled, it is ‘spun’ on a lathe, creating a motif termed ‘satiné circulaire’. Furthermore, the hour track and minute track are delineated from one another with an engraved pattern called ‘sauté piqué.
Laser engraving is used to impart Roman numerals to the chapter ring. The resultant recesses are then inked by hand using a special syringe pen. Once the ink has dried, the chapter ring is cleaned and spun again to remove any excess ink.
Upholding fine watchmaking practise, the Maritime hour and minute hands are heat-blued and the collet sat atop these hands is hand-polished to a brilliant conclusion. The central area of the dial is frosted, while the small seconds display is suffused with an intricate hand-guilloché motif, executed on a traditional rose-engine lathe. Alternatively, the central dial area can be specified with a contrasting guilloché pattern.
The British-made case, measuring 41mm in diameter, is made from 904L stainless. This particular grade of steel provides superior scratch resistance to the ubiquitous 316L grade as well as exhibiting a notably brilliant gleam. Alternatively, the Garrick S4 can be specified with an 18-carat gold case.
At the heart of the Garrick S4 is a modified hand-wound ETA movement. It is rhodium-plated, features an engraved barrel and crown wheel cover. Inspired by old English pocket watches, the frosted movement is equipped with a three-quarter plate and also includes a screwed balance. After the movement is tested, it is regulated, delivering a daily variance of +3 seconds.
The watch is available with a choice of straps, including handmade alligator, calf leather or ostrich.
While most hand-crafted items are prohibitively expensive, the Garrick S4 proves the exception, costing from £4995 including VAT. The British brand has endeavoured to mitigate costs without compromising on quality, employing ingenious techniques without diminishing the kudos of Garrick’s costlier timepieces.
No mass production – every Garrick timepiece is built to order in our Norfolk workshop.