Hearing stories about your cultural and ancestral connections with Scotland is one of the most rewarding parts of running the Scotland Watch Company. We've been in touch with our supporters as far away as New Zealand and Canada exchanging insights about their Scottish heritage. In today's email we would like to share stories from two of our earliest supporters of the Saltire Collection.
First, Dr. John Douglas Cameron Wight, a retired Canadian Forces medical officer with great Scottish ancestry:
" My paternal great grandmother was Anne Cameron, originally from near Aberdeen and settled Ontario. She was related to LT. Alexander Cameron, and I have copies of his letters to his father General Sir Allan Cameron of the 79th, written after the battle of Quatre Bras, dated from Paris after Waterloo. My maternal grandfather emigrated from Rutherglen, Glasgow to Ayr, Ontario and his father, Dr. John Thomson was the first to graduate from Knox Theological College, in Toronto with a PHd. While studying medicine Queen's University in Kingston I learned to play the "pipes" and was a member of the Queen's Pipe Band. I loved the music and until I graduated in 1960 the bagpipes were a great relief to me when I was stressed out with the studies. I still have my practice chanters. The ebony one with real ivory I treasure. On graduating I went to Ottawa and joined the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (MG) as the unit assistant medical officer. To be involved in the traditions of that great regiment was so rewarding. I was then wearing my Cameron of Erracht kilt. I still have my Balmoral with the beautiful regimental badge with Saint Andrew holding the Saltire. I write all of this because I am very proud of my Scottish connections. "
Dr Wight attached this image of his cherished practice chanters and his Balmoral with the beautiful regimental badge with Saint Andrew holding the Saltire cross.
We enjoyed the interaction with Douglas so much, particularly because there were so many aspects of the Saltire's design featured in Douglas's email. We couldn't believe it. We are very excited to send him the Saltire Northern Lights as soon as it has been completed, which should be very soon!
Our next very early supporter is Ian Blackwell, who lives in New Zealand. He told us a touching story about his beloved Aunty Mavis:
When I was born, I had Mom, Dad and Aunty Mavis. When Aunty was 18, she left New Zealand for a world trip, this was 1948-49. She ended up in Scotland and took a two-week trip around the country. She fell in love with Scotland, came to New Zealand, packed her things and left for a job at Trefoil in Edinburgh. All her life Aunty worked for the children at Trefoil. I was born in 1957 and in all my years Aunty came home 6 times, but she sent me hundreds of photos of her travels around Scotland.
We also mailed and emailed each other all my life. The last time Aunty came to New Zealand was in 2018 for Dad’s funeral, she was in her 90’s. I miss her so much and I wish to wear a Saltire watch in her honour.
That’s my story. Thank you so much.
Hearing from people like Ian and Douglas is a clear reminder that even though we are a wee nation, Bonnie Scotland’s influence on the modern world reaches far and wide. Long may it continue to be the case.Returning to the production of the Saltire Collection.
We are progressing with production of the first batch of watches and successfully solving challenges with hand painted dials. We believe that we are one of only a few watch producers who offer hand painted dials across an entire collection. To achieve quality we have had to experiment with different paint types on two different surfaces (Enamel and Aventurine Stone). With each small victory, we are one step closer to having the Saltire on your wrist.
Luckily, our very patient and perfectionist artist Guohao is determined to make each and every dial a unique piece of art.
As usual, if you have any questions, please reply to this email. We will get back to you shortly after.
Robert and Tomek