Garrick Newsletter – November 2014
Dear friends of Garrick
When we announced earlier this year our intention to make a new timepiece, the sm301, we could not have envisaged the incredible reception we subsequently received from the public and press alike.
A desire to create something special
At Garrick, we have repeatedly expressed our desire to make a timepiece with a high proportion of British content. However, commercial obstacles in making a fully in-house movement in the UK meant that the use of an existing Swiss movement was inevitable. Nevertheless, we have always been frank and honest about this aspect. Moreover, wherever possible we have tried to source British components and add as much value in our home nation as possible.
The objective of Garrick was to produce a watch with a distinctly British character which would appeal to purists with its high quality finishing and a specification which distinguishes the sm301 as something special, all delivered at a remarkably accessible price. These details were made public on the brand’s very own blog.
A free sprung balance
Early in the development stages of the sm301, a decision was taken to include a free sprung balance and create the brand’s own in-house balance wheel. By adopting this approach the movement delivers greater accuracy. Whilst a free sprung balance is more time consuming to produce, the small scale production methods of Garrick meant it was viable.
Trial results have vindicated this decision and resulted in a movement which delivers superb accuracy. Nevertheless, with a desire to continuously improve, the design of the balance wheel has now evolved further, with the latest version featuring rounded internal angles making it simpler to produce.
For further information, see: A Free Sprung Balance the Garrick Way
The production of the case necessitates the use of both CNC machines and spark erosion techniques. The most difficult aspect of case manufacture is creating the space between the lugs. In particular, the generation of seamless lines between the straight edge of the lugs and the curving section of the case proves incredibly challenging.
While Garrick team were determined to source a case made in the United Kingdom, given the challenging case design it proved incredibly difficult to find a company capable of making a case of suitable quality. Nevertheless, with persistence, Garrick ultimately found a firm up to the task located near its workshop.
The antithesis of mass production
Garrick is the antithesis of a large watch brand that batch processes components with a heavy reliance on automation. The open-worked bridges, thermally blued screws and three-part dial are the outcome of patient endeavour by skilled, time-served hands.
The production of the sm301 has required working methods to be closely appraised and streamlined wherever possible. Efficient manufacturing processes have been honed to achieve the desired price point but without losing the special hand crafted character of the watch. At all times the Garrick team have strived to create something special. The small scale manufacturing process facilitates this and, in so doing, delivers an extraordinary timepiece of impeccable breeding.
With the first watch scheduled for completion in the next two weeks and a further 10 pieces available shortly thereafter, it won’t be long before the sm301 is released and Garrick creates its own piece of horological history.
Read more about the evolution of our watch brand on our new website and continue to follow our journey on our social media channels.