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We are Scotland Watch Company!

We're a watch design and production company who create classic, luxury watches with subtle features reflecting the uniqueness of Scotland's culture, history, natural beauty and art.   

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Scotland's Newest Microbrand "SWC" - Our Story - Part 2


The second part of our short blog series documenting the journey that we have undertaken to this point, becoming Scotland's newest microbrand,


Part 2 - Design Ideas & Production Hitches


Tomek

With a step up in quality, Chinese watch manufacturers have opened themselves to being the largest manufacturer of watches in the world. This, in turn, created a rapid expansion of watch microbrands stimulating fierce competition for newcomers.


To succeed we had to concentrate on originality. As a fully Scottified foreigner, I wanted to create watches with Scottish themes and include unique Scottish elements but avoid the stereotypical and clichéd tourist offering. I wanted to create a collection of four visually linked watches with elusive but recognisable Scottish components representing culture, tradition and maybe a bit of national pride.


I was thinking which watch components could look Scottish and started with hands. I designed them to resemble a sword, claymore, dagger, dirk or skean dhu, but Robert felt that it was too obvious. I decided to concentrate only on the second hand as a chanter - the instrument used to learn the Scottish bagpipes. My next idea was to create a zero marker on a turntable bezel in the shape of a thistle, the flower of Scotland and the country’s emblem. To depict Scottish national pride, I didn’t want to do anything too obvious or tacky and I chose an elusively hidden St Andrew’s cross representing the Saltire, Scotland’s national flag. We agreed to name our first line the Saltire Collection. To ensure the uniqueness of each watch we decided that every dial should have hand painted elements.




Robert

Design ideas were challenges for Tomek’s creativity, but I don't think that he understood how easily they generated problems for me! But I was up to the challenge. I had to find manufacturers who could deliver all his ideas to the high quality we required.


It was really taxing, but I am living in the one place in the entire world where I should be able to find quality watch producers open to challenges. Therefore I journeyed into the great web of Chinese watch manufacturers.


I quickly understood that most manufacturers in China don’t apply creativity to their approach to the manufacturing process. When I introduce a specification that does not fit in to their strategy of “easiest route possible”, it is often met with pushback. Experienced engineers will tell me that a concept simply cannot be achieved.


I do not like to take NO for an answer, and especially in China, I repeatedly told them that it is possible, only they don’t know it yet. The most contested spec was our hand-painted dials. They would scoff at the idea and jostled about quality control, time management and volume. I was told time and time again that the dials should be printed not hand painted. When I said that it was a non-negotiable, most declined the collaboration, and the search continued.


Finally, one company said “yes we’ll do it”. They agreed to follow our specification and we negotiated terms. When they delivered sample dials, we realised that they were printed and not hand painted. We were ripped off, lost nearly 6 months and a substantial part of the initial budget.


It became obvious that I would need to produce the dials myself.




Above is an example of the hideous dials that we received. Clearly not made from the material that we requested from them and not hand-painted.


PART 3 of our series about Scotland's Newest Microbrand to follow next week


Sláinte


Robert and Tomek

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