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A "Storm" in a Teacup: Time Chain Watches

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This will be a brief topic. Indeed, I myself feel I am attached to a short "time chain" myself at the moment, what with trying to sort out health problems including undergoing some intense therapy, and taking on a new role as a Patient Educator at my local medical school. I have decided, in fact, to take a break from writing longer pieces of work for the Forum in order to get a grip on all the things that are in need of organisation. However, I thought I would continue with short topics - gradually phasing myself back into the longer, more intensively researched articles, and I shall continue with normal posts and with my role as a Forum moderator. Anyway, let's now get to the subject of this topic...

The other day, I picked up a modest but well-made all-steel quartz wristwatch with the script logo, "Time Chain," on the dial. OK, the watch does not have a screw-down back and has a stated water resistance of 30 metres, but it feels nice and has a classic feel to it. I decided it was worth looking up and I was quite surprised to discover that this watch was produced by an "ancestor" concern to a firm I have a lot of time for, namely "Storm."



Time Chain Dalston gents' wristwatch with 39mm alloy case, 30 metres water resistance, black dial and black leather strap - current model (pic from nexcesscdn.net):





The first Time Chain watch collection was actually launched by Steven Sun and his wife Anna Lee in 1986, three years before they launched Storm. In fact, both Time Chain and Storm were founded very much with watches at their heart, and Storm has been an interesting company ever since with its unusual designs and well-made, mostly quartz, wristwatches.

I have written about Storm previously, so I will not try and recapitulate the full Storm story. With regard to Time Chain, the brand name refers to a vintage watch presented to Steve Sun by his father on Steve's eventual success in coming to London to spread his wings. Because the watch had been in the family for generations, Steve named it, "Time Chain." The first Time Chain collection was an attempt to create convenient and classic wristwatches for general wear, emphasising practicality and function.



Time Chain Marylebone gents' wristwatch with 42mm alloy case, 30 metres water resistance, leather strap - current model (pic from nexcesscdn.net):





Thirty years on from the original 1986 collection - a couple of years ago - the Time Chain brand was revived by Steve Sun and Anna Lee as a sister brand to Storm. It was decided that the time was right to revive the classical styles and simple timekeeping functions of the original collection, while adding a dash of modernity. It seemed that simple wristwatches were still an essential accessory for many. Steve Sun designs the Time Chain watches and he has named the models after iconic London areas close to his heart.



Time Chain ladies' purple dial Putney wristwatch with 21 carat rose gold plated 30mm alloy case, leather strap and 30 metres water resistance - current model (pic from nexcesscdn.net):





The new revived Time Chain watches are in different styles and colourways, and they almost all have leather or mesh steel straps. My own Time Chain all steel watch is clearly from the first collection back in the 1980s because the new Time Chain watches have alloy rather than stainless steel cases. The new Time Chain watches are essentially basic timekeepers, and all of the analogue models are quartz. Prices can be found heavily discounted if one looks around, and taking the whole collection into account, prices from Storm itself range from about £35 to £55.

I am not sure that reviving Time Chain was really the best move that Steve Sun could have made; or at least he could have upped the standard of materials and water resistance a bit, and added a date feature, to make these watches competitive. As it is, I personally would look elsewhere for a basic watch, which is a pity given how good, and interestingly designed, some Storm watches are.



The first Time Chain smart watch - TC Smart One - constructed from plastic and alloy with a 39mm X 56mm case, and with various features and can be used alone or with a linked smartphone. No water resistance, however, and priced at about £50 from Storm when available. Full details can be found on the Storm/Time Chain website (pics from nexcesscdn.net):







Photo acknowledgments are also due to Storm/Time Chain: all pictures in this topic are from their current website

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