The English Watch resurgence is a positive thing I believe, countries being able to produce their own product so it can be purchased within that country, or exported, can only be a good thing I am sure, but this has created a buzz and maybe a bit of a bandwagon in the UK for the English watch industry.
In the last 5 to 7 years we have seen many watch companies spring up in England and, naturally, I guess, this leads to confusion as people try to discern who these companies are and where they are coming from. I, like many other consumers, like to know where my product is coming from, not because I am over particular about where it is made, but rather that I know where it is coming from, then in a remote way, I can get to know the people or company that is making my product.
A company being owned in a particular country, but producing their product in another, is quite common practice these days, and I am not suggesting there is anything wrong with this practice, but it can add to the confusion of origin. I think many people understand that a large percentage of the goods we use here in the UK, including watches, are being produced abroad, often in the far east, then imported. This is widely accepted and fine, as long as companies do not try to obfuscate the origin of their product and mislead us
So what gives a product, or a watch, its origin? Well, I believe it is where it is made, not where it is owned, take Rolls Royce cars for a good example, I think we all know that they are still made here in the UK and most people would still consider them 'English or British' yet the company is now under foreign ownership. By this same equation, if the car was being produced in another country, but the company was in British ownership, would it be an English car? It is a good question. In my mind, it is where the finished product is actually made that dictates its stated origin, but of course, this is really for every individual to discern for themselves and figure out if this is even important to them!
At Harold Pinchbeck we are very focused on keeping our materials and skill as local as possible, this can be difficult in present times, but it is something we work hard to maintain. For example, our watch straps are produced by John, a third generation leather worker who makes the most beautiful leather watch straps...we have had many comments from our customers that they are the best they have ever seen! Just this week we have been hard at work with two highly skilled local engineering companies we work closely with, to produce some new dials, hands, and cases for some new watch models we are working on, then when ready, these will all be meticulously built into a new watch by one of our skilled watch makers.
For us, it is all about beautifully understated design, the best of quality, good communication, and finally delivering the very best customer service we can...I like to think from our feedback we are hitting our targets.