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The rebirth of British watchmaking - link

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And probably the most telling part, as we all know, is ...

" This can make it hard for firms to claim that their watches are truly "made in Britain". Bremont, for instance, uses Swiss-manufactured movements.

James Buttery, editor of WatchPro magazine, says: "In the UK what you have are British brands, where the majority of the components are supplied from elsewhere and then in some cases assembled in the UK.

"So there is a grey area over what constitutes 'British made', a problem elite Swiss brands don't face."

 

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4 minutes ago, vadiro said:

The only interesting bit for me, was about the guys trying to manufacture a movement in Britain.

True, but how many have said that and we are still waiting.....

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I think the problem is lack of skilled labour more than lack of investment. British brands have poured millions of pounds into gaining the capacity to develop propitiatory movements, Bremont has partnered with Swiss movement specialists for just this purpose and Christopher Ward bought Synergies Horologeres. But these are all Swiss manufacturers. Unlike the German and French watchmaking revivals, it is not as easy for the British to import Swiss watchmakers to make up for the lack of skilled watchmakers capable of designing, manufacturing and assembling movements on the scale required. This is due to both language and proximity issues: the Swiss speak German and French as native languages and more readily move to these countries because proximity means it is less of a relocation, both geographically and culturally. 

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40 minutes ago, artistmike said:

True, but how many have said that and we are still waiting.....

Doesn't this count? Or is it eliminated on cost and production rarity?

Roger-Smith-Series-2-caseback.jpg

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Very interesting/hopeful indeed :)

but I did I like bit about : 

"It's about people moving away from Sainsbury's and Tesco and actually buying meat from their local butchers and cheese from the local deli," he says.

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Quote. "British brand attracts people because it has always been associated with quality and innovation."

Most definitely.

1411819497452_wps_23_Standard_Editorial_

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3 hours ago, WRENCH said:

Doesn't this count? Or is it eliminated on cost and production rarity?

Very droolworthy ! .... :teethsmile:  I'm not sure that one watch a year is going to bring us anywhere near the production rate of nearly a million that Rolex manage to mass-produce each year though :wacko: .... :teethsmile:

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4 hours ago, artistmike said:

True, but how many have said that and we are still waiting.....

I manufacture a movement most days, if I have to wait too long I usually find All Bran and prunes does the trick and I am UK based.

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17 hours ago, handlehall said:

I manufacture a movement most days, if I have to wait too long I usually find All Bran and prunes does the trick and I am UK based.

So it's not an automatic?

Later,
William

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42 minutes ago, William_Wilson said:

So it's not an automatic?

Later,
William

Too much all-bran and prunes, and it may be atomic.

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20 hours ago, WRENCH said:

Quote. "British brand attracts people because it has always been associated with quality and innovation."

Most definitely.

1411819497452_wps_23_Standard_Editorial_

I can just imagine the presentation to the Board of Directors of British Leyland. Gentlemen, I think we have a winner here!" :laugh:

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43 minutes ago, Nobbythesheep said:

I can just imagine the presentation to the Board of Directors of British Leyland. Gentlemen, I think we have a winner here!" :laugh:

They certainly did!

 

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On 18/08/2016 at 09:30, WRENCH said:

Doesn't this count? Or is it eliminated on cost and production rarity?

Roger-Smith-Series-2-caseback.jpg

AAAh Roger Smith true Jedi watch maker although George Daniels was the master if we talking about British watch makers 

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I think the article is slightly misleading, for a start J&T Windmills (Rotary under a different name) are able to put "Made in England" On their dials, when challenged over this the conclusion was although the movements are Swiss and the case blanks probably Chinese they are assembled in England, presumably the dials and hands too and there is enough added man hours to make them acceptable to have that on the dial. 

Equally so what is actually considered "Swiss" is misleading, there have been plenty of comments on Chinese made cases, Omega Speedmasters with Chinese bracelets, Ball with Chinese cases etc and even with the Glashutte label when I look at Union other than adding a swan neck regulator, a nice rotor and a bit of minor decoration I am not sure what the extra added value is there.  So they import their movements as base movements and re-assemble them in house, there are many companies that do similar.  Muhle have some of their own parts made in house and while some of the upper end Nomos like the Metro and Zurich have some interesting innovations much of their stuff is just a home made hand wind movement.  The mechanical movement in the Bruno Sohnle looks similar to what I see in the decorated Tourby Unitas which looks like the Steinhart one.

I think part of the problem is the stigma with British made that still remains from the decline of British industry.  Poorly made cars that became a laughing stock, compare an early Smiths to the later ones that were a bit all over the place.  I don't think it helps when British companies starting up seem obsessed with reviving names of long dead relatives or watch makers they have no connection with or creating fantastic stories to go along side their brand.  A look at the German watch industry with small staff numbers and high quality bespoke watch makers I feel the British industry is far to erratic right now to actually find its place amongst fellow watch makers.

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Couldn't agree more. For various reasons we have lost our skill base, and no-one, now wants to either be, or employ, apprentices, who is left capable of training the skills that were once common place anyway? I had an interesting conversation with one of the few proper cutlery manufacturers left in Sheffield, and asked him what went wrong? His answer was that the British thought that no one could do it better, but they could and they did. The same happened in many industries through lack of investment and forward planning. And (in my opinion) successive governments who thought it was better to be a "parasite" nation, by making money out of handling money. Sort of went tits up and there's not much left to fall back on now. Mind you look what the Allegro could have been.:teethsmile:

austin-allegro-by-andy-saunders.2000x133

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So true. We watched the pottery industry die on its feet when I was growing up because they carried on making Doulton figurines and fancy China long after people stopped wanting them.

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23 hours ago, Nobbythesheep said:

I can just imagine the presentation to the Board of Directors of British Leyland. Gentlemen, I think we have a winner here!" :laugh:

I had one of those in dark brown with cream velour trim quality man!

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10 hours ago, WRENCH said:

Couldn't agree more. For various reasons we have lost our skill base, and no-one, now wants to either be, or employ, apprentices, who is left capable of training the skills that were once common place anyway? I had an interesting conversation with one of the few proper cutlery manufacturers left in Sheffield, and asked him what went wrong? His answer was that the British thought that no one could do it better, but they could and they did. The same happened in many industries through lack of investment and forward planning. And (in my opinion) successive governments who thought it was better to be a "parasite" nation, by making money out of handling money. Sort of went tits up and there's not much left to fall back on now. Mind you look what the Allegro could have been.:teethsmile:

austin-allegro-by-andy-saunders.2000x133

Nice! :laugh:

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3 minutes ago, Nobbythesheep said:

Nice! :laugh:

But look what they could have built. Like everything else that failed, the ideas were there. They were either ignored or the money to see them through wasn't available.

sportsado68_02.jpg

It must be part of the British reserve. Better to play safe. I would really like to see one of these Tissot's, but no one seems to stock them, special order only. The AD's local to me seem to stock what is "safe", because, heaven forbid, who would ever buy anything as "odd" as this?

t078_641_16_037_00_2_.jpg

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4 hours ago, WRENCH said:

But look what they could have built. Like everything else that failed, the ideas were there. They were either ignored or the money to see them through wasn't available.

sportsado68_02.jpg

It must be part of the British reserve. Better to play safe. I would really like to see one of these Tissot's, but no one seems to stock them, special order only. The AD's local to me seem to stock what is "safe", because, heaven forbid, who would ever buy anything as "odd" as this?

t078_641_16_037_00_2_.jpg

Completely agree. In some cases - I'm thinking the TRiumph Stag, what could have been an excellent car turned out to be a bit of a lemon simply because of management disagreements. I like the Tissot.

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