H A R O L D P I N C H B E C K
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The Watch Tailor
The mere mention of his name conjures up images of intrigue, mystery and Britain's Imperial past. As one of the iconic figures of the 20th Century, many of our impressions of him are influenced by David Lean's 1962 film, and his career is well documented, but is there really any connection between Lawrence of Arabia and Harold Pinchbeck watches?
Well, yes.... it may be tenuous, but there are some interesting links!
Brough Superior were officially dubbed "the Rolls-Royce of motor cycles", and their name has always been associated with style, luxury, superb design and the best engineering. When Brough decided to commission a watch to carry its brand name, it chose an equally independent British manufacturer: Harold Pinchbeck. The two companies have several synergies: both are small outfits working to extremely high standards, both have long histories and both have recently been revived and rejuvenated - in Pinchbeck's case by a family member.
Lawrence appreciated fine British engineering - "a Rolls in the desert is above rubies" - and he owned no fewer than seven Brough Superior motor cycles; in fact, he was riding one in his fatal accident in 1935 (it is now on display in the Imperial War Museum).
So, Lawrence had a Brough connection, and Brough have a Pinchbeck connection. Of course, it would be wrong to make too much of this tenuous link, although the story has an interesting twist: in 1925, Lawrence lived in Lincoln, at the top of the famous Steep Hill, when stationed at RAF Cranwell. His lodgings, commemorated with a plaque, were just 50 yards from Harold Pinchbeck's Exchequer Gate office.
It is easy to picture him, commuting to and from Cranwell, on his Brough Superior motorcycle - whatever watch he was wearing!