Oct 10, 2014
Garrick – Creating Something Special
Born out of a desire to create fine timepieces with a distinctly British character, Garrick has been conceived to produce watches infused with high-quality finishing and details designed to appeal to the cognoscenti.
These are watches intended to appeal to the purist, through their no-compromise construction and design integrity.
David Brailsford, a successful entrepreneur, has been an avid collector of fine wristwatches, pocket watches, antiquities and art for many years. With his keen interest in British naval history and maritime instruments, David has always dreamed of combining several of his passions. This aspiration has led to the creation of Garrick.
David has assembled a team consisting of some of the finest watchmaking talent in the UK, along with seasoned management.The company’s ambition is to craft fine timepieces that both horological aficionados and watchmakers can truly appreciate.
Significant investment has been made in an existing facility, including the purchase of new plant. The rationale for this approach is to craft many of the components in-house. Several elements, too, are externally sourced from British manufacturers, despite the availability of cheaper alternatives offered by overseas suppliers.
An essential part of the Garrick philosophy is frankness. The provenance of the watches bearing the Garrick name must never be in question, hence David has sought to bring transparency to the company which he leads. A Garrick watch is thus comprised of the following:
A Swiss movement will provide the basis for the new Garrick watches, modified and enhanced in Britain.
The cases will be machined from stainless steel 316L, arguably one of the finest materials available for this purpose. These will be crafted to a high standard by an English company.
Dials are produced in-house, employing hand-assembly method, its three-part construction conferring a delightful depth and representing the absolute antithesis of mass production.
A free sprung-balance, produced in-house, will provide a means to precisely poise the hand-wound movement and confer accurate timekeeping. The increased cost of manufacture is obvious, but the pursuit of perfection leaves no room for compromise at Garrick.
Hand-bevelled bridges, thermally-blued screws and other examples of exemplary finishing provide further testament to the excellence demanded by Garrick. Such are the exacting standards which define the company’s ethos that assembly takes place within a dust-free environment where “positive air pressure” prevents contaminated air entering the workshop.
Celebrating the best of Great Britain
Embodied in the Garrick culture is a desire to celebrate Britain’s illustrious watchmaking prowess of yesteryear. Although Great Britain made an indelible mark on civilisation during the Industrial Revolution of the Late-18th and Early-19th Centuries, the nation failed to apply this concept to the serial production of pocket watches and, subsequently, wristwatches.
Great Britain was once the home of horology, with such luminaries as Arnold, Graham, Harrison, Mudge and Tompion writing the early history of watchmaking. Regrettably, the ingenuity and skill shown by these remarkable gentlemen is now often forgotten, or claimed by others. Subsequent mass production of watches in the United States and, most notably, Switzerland, has caused many individuals to be unaware of Great Britain’s unparalleled contribution.
Producing a 100% “Manufacture” movement has become very difficult for those companies outside of the USA, Japan, Germany and Switzerland. To produce everything in-house requires vast capital and resources,. which invariably prove beyond the grasp of all but a few brands. Although the terms “manufacture” and “in-house” are often used indiscriminately, Garrick wishes to be utterly transparent about the source of its components.
In every Garrick watch, the main plate, gear train, spring barrel, balance spring and mainspring all come from a Swiss-made base movement. The talented craftsmen at the Garrick works expertly modify and finish these raw components.In some instances, new, locally-produced parts are used instead, enhancing the specification and imbuing the timepieces with inimitable British character.
The desire to create a watch which celebrates British watchmaking is something close to the heart of David Brailsford and his colleagues. It is born out of a need to champion home-grown talent and create a new chapter in British watchmaking history. Marketing hyperbole has no part in this. Instead, Garrick is the embodiment of the patriotic motivation of an individual who wishes to facilitate the manufacturing of fine timepieces in Great Britain, watches that withstand the closest scrutiny and which will provide reliable service for generations to come.