Do you remember your first watch, and how did your passion start?
Of course, it was a watch I purchased when I was about 16 years old. Nothing expensive, a nice simple chronograph but it was one of the first things I bought for myself after I started working, which I think made it feel that little bit more special. In fact, I still own that very watch, however the original strap broke so it now has a Lloyds Watch Co. strap fitted and sits in a display case beside the very first piece I produced myself.
I started becoming interested in watches as a teenager, not a watch fanatic by any means but I definitely enjoyed looking at nice pieces. It wasn’t until my late teens / early 20’s, as I became heavily involved in design and engineering, and could therefore appreciate the level of intricacy, attention to detail and craftsmanship involved in creating a mechanical timepiece, that my passion for watches really took off. My first watch related memory is as a young kid, I happened to find one on a playing field, which someone had unfortunately lost and had become buried in the mud… Maybe that subconsciously planted the seed and has resulted in what I do today!
When did you launch Lloyds Watch Company Ltd., and how did you get started?
Lloyds Watch Company Ltd. was officially launched throughout 2015. Our website went live early in the year and our debut piece ‘Series A’ was then released onto the market towards the end of the year. However, unofficially Lloyds Watch Co. was created in October 2013, it was at this point in time when the first idea came about and the foundations were built.
It all transpires from a very humble beginning, and to be perfectly honest there was no real plan or intention for it to happen. As mentioned previously it all started in 2013, which was the year I turned 21. To celebrate my Birthday I planned to purchase a nice watch to last and keep for the foreseeable future, as many people choose to do so. However, months had passed since my birthday and I still found myself searching shop windows and online on a daily basis for the right piece. I had a budget in mind and certain things that I wanted the watch to feature, but finding one that ticked all the right boxes was proving difficult.
One evening whilst online trying to find the watch I wanted, unknowingly conducting what would become my market research, I started creating and visualising one in my mind. Every detail was visualised and thought about, right down to the movement, materials, material finishes, case design, dial design, strap, screws and even the size of the exhibition case back window, a dimension which still remains present on the watches as they are manufactured today. Just to make sure I didn’t forget, I quickly created a note on my phone to write everything down. Thankfully nothing was forgotten, but I still have the note saved on my phone to this day, dated 6:00pm 30th October 2013!
It was at that moment I started to seriously consider designing and creating my own piece, at this stage it had nothing to do with creating a brand or a business, it was purely in order to create something that I believed couldn’t be found on the market. Not only that but, being passionate about watches already, it was a great chance to learn an incredible amount about horology and take my passion to a level above and beyond where I ever thought it would be.
As expected, and quite understandably, it wasn’t as easy as simply making a watch. As a Mechanical Design Engineer, and therefore being involved in developing products from the ground up on a regular basis, I already had a good foundation of knowledge to utilise and build upon. However, the nights were still late and the learning curve was still incredibly steep.
After 12 months of design and development the first piece was finished, an extremely rewarding moment, its quite difficult to explain exactly how it felt putting the watch on my wrist for the very first time. It was after the completion of this piece that my attention then turned towards creating the brand by evolving and building on the work that had previously been carried out in order to get to the point I was already at. The decision was made to officially form the company and the rest, they say, is history.
What is the concept for Lloyds Watch Co. and what inspires you to create the designs?
There are many things that inspire my designs; as a new brand, admiring the work of others from within the watch industry can be extremely inspiring. I’m also a big believer that the watch and automotive industry go together extremely well, whether its certain design aspects, material selection, material finishing or the exclusivity of a piece, there are often many crossovers that can be made between the two. Therefore l believe that looking towards other industries and what they do can also be very inspiring.
A lot of my design work is done through visualisation alone, very rarely will I sketch a product. I’ll sketch the odd thing now and again, but that’s usually a certain aspect of the design that I need to quickly get down on paper before I start working on the computer. I’d rather visualise a design and then jump straight into bringing it to life on CAD, this is where I find the design and engineering of a product can evolve together. I enjoy this part of the process a lot, in fact I am currently working on the design of what will hopefully become our second piece, and although it’s early in the process, I am happy with how it looks and the ideas behind it.
The main concept behind Lloyds Watch Co. is to create Limited Edition pieces, which bring together and incorporate British design, high quality materials, British based hand finishing and assembly with Swiss Made Movements. Not only this but offering pieces such as these at a realistic price point in a strong area of the market. These were the main focal points when creating the concept behind the brand. Lloyds Watch Co. is still a young brand, but I have many ideas for the future and cant wait to see what it may bring, the support so far has been incredible.
What movements are you using and why?
We currently use Sellita movements, more specifically the SW200-1 movement in our Series A. A huge factor in the selection of this movement was down to the fact that I wanted to incorporate a Swiss Made movement, which of course this is. Not only this, but it featured the functions that I required, dimensionally it was suited to what I wanted to create and it’s an extremely reliable and accurate movement.
Looking ahead to the future, I would love to one day design and create my very own movement, which would be incredibly special.
Where are you guys located, and where is the assembling done?
We are based in the United Kingdom, and so this is also where every single one of our watches is designed, hand finished and hand assembled. It all takes place on the border between England and Wales. Just a short drive from the Black Mountains, my very own scaled down version of the Swiss Alps!
I have always regarded the combination of utilising British Design and Swiss Movements as an extremely important aspect of the brand, and so this has been maintained since the very beginning.
Where can we buy your watches and what is the price range?
At this moment in time, our watches are available exclusively through our website – www.lloydswatchco.com. Due to the low volume, limited production nature of our products I find that this works well, just a small group of people will own our watches worldwide, so I want customers to feel like they are receiving a more direct and personal service.
Series A, our debut piece, is currently priced at £1099 GBP. Setting the right price was always important to me, I aimed to try and be very realistic whilst doing so and bring a watch of this nature into the reach of a greater number of people and I believe this price point is capable of doing so.