2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of my professional work in film and the performing arts as actor director, producer, theatre manager and film editor. Professionally I had a fantastic half century, and hope that I will be able to work in the industries I love for another 10/20 years. However, for over 25 years now my hobby has been horology.
I started to collect pocket watches, and soon realised that there were many excellent pocket watch movements which had lost their gold or silver cases, often melted down, and which then languished, forgotten, at the back of drawers.
I wanted to save those beautiful pieces of mechanical arts. In Poland I came across something which in Polish are called pasówka [pasoovka] (Marriage Watch or more precisely Fitted Watch) – a pocket watch movement restored and housed in a specially made large wristwatch case. I saw marriage/fitted wristwatches with pocket watch movements from Patek Filip, Longines, Omega and many others - they looked great.
I started to think about creating my own marriage/fitted watches. I was particularly drawn to Hebdomas movements, created with a spring that was wound for 8 days. I also wanted to use chronographs and other large antique movements with a greater number of complications. I realised however, that the cases available on the market, mainly from Ukraine, were not deep enough for my purpose. I started to think about creating my own wristwatch cases for thicker pocket watch movements.
I did some drawings and started to look for a manufacturer. No-one in Europe was able to produce quality cases with mineral or sapphire crystals and screwed bottom frames at an affordable price. I started to look in India and China. After 8 months I finally found the ideal manufacturer and a good person to work with. I went to Shenzhen in China, met a young lady with a good command of English and her team of excellent technicians. Based on my rough diagrams they created technical drawings and three months later I had my cases. A year later I decided to create a thinner (less deep) bottom frame for thinner movements and now I am thinking of improving my first design.
My encounter with marriage/fitted watches brought me into contact with fantastic community of Polish watchmakers. A year earlier they had created the first Central / Eastern European watch and clock festival in Łódź called “It’s All About Watches”. Four years ago the organisers invited me to be its ambassador. In 20I9 I invited the British Horological Institute to take part in the Polish watch festival. I also invited my fellow associate member of the BHI, Colin Graham, a Scottish watchmaker.
During the festival I noticed a number of new, good quality Polish watch microbrands and I started to shape an idea of creating a new Scottish watch microbrand. I mentioned it to Colin, and here we are, two years later at the 2021 “It’s All About Watches” Festival where we introduced Scotland Watch Company and our first line - the Saltire Watch Collection.
Continue reading Part 2 by clicking here
Continue reading Part 3 by clicking here