British watchmaking is in a good place right now. In the past few years a surprising number of brands have made themselves known and, while we’re still a long way from equalling Switzerland, we have quality over quantity. For entry level brands we have the likes of Farer and Fears; for hard-hitting entry level we have Bremont and for true haute horology, we have Garrick.
Garrick takes British watchmaking seriously. By that I mean everything that can be made here is made here. That’s far harder than it sounds, given that it involved setting up their own workshop and investing in the skills and machinery needed to build their own movements and set them in their own cases. The Garrick S2 however proves that it was worth the effort.
Last year’s S1 was a statement piece, an openworked watch that showed off it’s British-made calibre from top to bottom in architectural brilliance. It wasn’t perhaps to everyone’s tastes, but it a hell of a watch. Now we have the follow-up and while it’s a little more restrained, the S2 is no less impressive.
The main feature of the watch is its silver dial, and what a dial it is. The engine-turning is to the kind of level you’ll find on any Breguet, a tight, wavy spiral only interrupted by the visible balance wheel at 6 o’clock. Here we have to examples of the S2, one with a rose gold-coloured dial, the other in plain silver and each has its own engine-turning; a diamond pattern and a tight zig-zag respectively.
Garrick are the opposite of mass production, so if you decide you want a different type of engine-turning, just let them know. Within reason of course. Regardless of your choice, each dial takes around 5 days to complete.
Subtler is the chapter ring and numerals. Rather than being individually applied, the whole chapter ring / Roman numeral layout is a single piece of hand-finished, blued steel. It’s a particularly beautiful touch against the rose gold dial, though it still works with the silver. The 42mm stainless steel case is pure elegance, especially with its fluted crown, and can be finished however you want.
Inside of course you have Garrick’s in-house, British-made Calibre UT-GO3 manual wind movement, complete with its very special balance wheel. You can see why Garrick want to show that off; its rim is made of Sircumet, a patented anti-magnetic alloy. No, it’s not silicon.
You can see more of the movement through the exhibition case back. A lot of it in fact, given how wide the sapphire is there. As standard the movement is simply frosted, nothing fussy, but if you do want something a little more extravagant, again that’s up to you. Seeing a theme here? You can choose what type of finishing you want, all the way up to full, gun-level engraving across the movement. Personally, I like the more restrained frosting; it just feels more… British.
At first, £13,800 might seem a lot of money; it puts the S2 at the pricier end of the spectrum for steel watches. But what you actually get for that money feels like it should be worth a lot more. It’s a watch that you can aesthetically customise almost across the board, includes some seriously impressive technical achievements and is made right here in the UK. Most importantly, it’s also bloody beautiful.
Price & Specs:
- Model Name: Garrick S2
- Case/Dial: 42mm diameter x 10mm depth, 904L stainless steel or gold, gold or rhodium plated silver engine turned dial
- Movement: Exclusive Garrick calibre UT-G03 manual wound mechanical movement, in-house free sprung balance – tested and regulated to ensure a daily variance of +3 seconds
- Functions: Hours, minutes and central seconds indication
- Power Reserve: 45h
Water Resistance: 100m
- Price: £14,995
For more information visit Garrick’s website.