Tag Archives: england

In Profile: Winton Watches Capture The Pioneer Spirit

Two guys from the NE of England had an idea about ten years ago and this year, Winton watches has launched.

The brand name was inspired by Alexander Winton, who emigrated from Britain to the USA in the 1890s and built a car called the Bullet. He was recorded covering the mile at an average speed of 68mph – that was Bugatti Veyron stuff back then. Flat cap n goggles, no tarmac roads.

The Swan automatic (above) is a classic dress watch, with a sapphire crystal, 39mm case diameter, 100m water resistance and a steel bracelet. You also get a see-thru caseback so you can check out the ETA 2824 movement inside. That is a classy engine at this price point, which is just £495. Great value we reckon. And no, we aren’t on commission.

The Anning (pic above)  is a more sporty number, with a 42mm case that features a pair of bumper lugs near the crown, offering some chamfered steel protection when you’re out exploring with this watch.

It’s a neat little touch on this sapphire crystal, steel watch, which again is Swiss powered, this time with a Ronda R150 movement. The rotor is decorated with the Winton logo and script by the way, which is viewable via the see-thru caseback.

The Anning has a choice of straps, which cost an extra £15, very reasonable when many Indie brands are asking £30 or more for extra straps.

Two dial colors, Jet Black or Sunburst Blue on the Anning. Price is £475, which is Tissot entry level, Seiko Presage or Citizen Red Arrows territory.

Verdict; An interesting alternative to mainstream watches and if you like the idea of buying British then you are getting some genuine Swiss quality without the VAT and import duty on top – that’s handy.

More here at the Winton watch website.

Britpop Genius: Richard Loftus & Old England Watches

Strange to think that way back in the late 1960s Accurist was arguably the dominant mid-market watch brand in the UK, with Timex, Smiths-Ingersoll taking much of the bread `n’ butter customers and the Swiss brands like Omega, Rolex, Garrard, Heuer and many more competing for the posher end. The genius that help give Accurist a huge market share, and export plenty of watches around the world, was Richrd Loftus.

At just 23 he was busy selling pop art design watches that captured the Sgt Pepper Swingin’ London vibe of the era. Big, bold colours on the dials, plastic and synthetic straps not old fashioned bracelets – this guy was doing Swatch before the Swiss caught on in the 80s.

Twiggy wore an Old England wristwatch, the Beatles, Liz Taylor and royal rebel Princess Anne managed to strap one on inbetween horse riding competitions – allegedly. The times were groovy and Loftus was busy designing a beach watch in 1968, which he described as being `ultrasonically sealed in plastic, so it’s waterproof, with a synthetic strap that just hooks onto the watch case.’

Here’s an example, still with its original strap -which incidentally smells of fag smoke! How do I know? Well I bought it last year and its Ronda 17 jewel movement still keeps decent time, inside that see-thru case. Despite the tobacco smell imbued within the strap, I don’t think this watch escaped from the jewellers shop for about 10 years, as it’s in remarkably good nick for something made circa 1969-70. Similar to many `UFO’ dial designs, it is quite chunky, with a 42mm case, excluding crown.

The thing I love about this watch is that it still looks fresh, modern and different, 50 years later. The red second hand and deep dished silver-grey dial face catch the eye, and the beefy winding crown does a great job of setting the hands and adding power to the spring, via the stem that’s gripped tight in the plastic sleeve for water resistance. Like the Tissot/Lanco Project 2000 Autolub, the movement is designed as a sealed for life bit of tech – I like that thinking, it makes the watch practical.

OK, I’ll admit that the Ronda 17 jewel movement lacks the sheer elegance of a comparable ETA, Omega or Buren from the late 60s, but the rubies catch the eye nicely and it’s worth a look for a budget movement. Always fascinating to see old school technology in action.

Cheers Old England, we miss you. Yes, I know someone bought and revived the brand name, but it isn’t really a go-getting British watchmaking company is it? Times change. By the way if you fancy buying this watch the cost is £65 including Royal Mail special delivery UK mainland. Paypal accepted. Cannot accept card payments over the phone sadly.

See the Richard Loftus video interview from way back when;

Visiting this site from abroad? Good-oh! Email warringtonwatchco@outlook.com if you want a quote on overseas purchase, currency conversion and shipping – payment accepted by Paypal Invoice, then dispatch on the same day.

Covid-19 Cancellations Hit Watch Shows & Fairs – What’s On in 2020?

OK, Baselworld and Watches & Wonders have both been scratched from the calendar, with all the losses to manufacturers, stand builders, hotels, caterers, media outlets, security staff etc. Quite a lot of jobs are going to be lost this year in the luxury watch industry if the media panic over CoronaVirus continues.

Yes it’s serious, people have died. But the truth is more people die of regular flu every winter, and that doesn’t stop us going about our everyday business. This is a huge blow to the Swiss industry, albeit that Swatch Group and some other brands gave up on Baselworld a few years ago.

sicura chrono valjoux 7734

Assuming the hype subsides in a month or so, will we see any watch shows later in 2020?

Well the London Watch Show is scheduled to go ahead on Friday 3rd April – Sat April 4th at the Intercontinental Hotel, near the 02 Arena. Even if the government passes temporary laws banning large gatherings of say 5000 plus people, this is unlikely to affect a smaller, ticket only show like this one.

The Midland Watch and Clock Fair is scheduled to go ahead this Sunday 8th March, at the National Motorcycle Museum, which is located just south of Birmingham, quite well signed from the M42/M6. Having attended this fair a few times to buy vintage watches, I can say it is good for picking up project watches, straps and tools, books etc. The really nice watches tend to be priced high, but you can always make an offer – traders can always harrumph and retire behind their Sunday Express.

phantom-caleuche watch specs prices

The Watch It fair on June 27th, held at Brownsover Hall Rugby looks like something very different indeed. There are lots of small scale manufactuers popping up all over USA and Europe, all sourcing Seiko/Citizen and Swiss movements, then finding cases, hands, straps etc from the thousands of parts suppliers worldwide. Hey presto – you’re a watchmaker!

OK, some of these new brands look very well assembled, such as Farer for example, others slightly less so. But if you’re in the market for a chunky divers style, or classic aviator, dress or field watch, with £200-£2000 to spend, then you’ll find something at this fair. There are also some beautiful vintage watches from traders such as Watches of Lancashire, plus things like framed prints of famous watch dials and movements to feed your passion.

The only downside is that this event is on for just five hours, so it probably will be a bit hectic around the stands. Great to see something unique in watch shows however, with a mix of new start-ups, accessories, vintage and modern Swiss all in the mix.