Britain has always been at the forefront of luxury, which should come as no surprise when it’s home to some of the biggest brands in the business. But what’s the secret behind this tiny isles success? We’re going to go out on a whim and say heritage, tradition and most importantly of all, ingenuity. So with that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best brands to keep an eye out for in 2017. Some you may even recognise, some you may not.
Elliot Brown’s award-winning watches are built to last. Hours of refinements have meant they can endure harsh elements and are the watches you want on your wrist if attempting extreme sports. The Tyneham is a case in point, with ergonomic positioning, discreet 40h power reserve and triple seals ensuring the watches are comfortable to wear, useful and won’t let you down in an emergency. Different design quirks in the collection mean you can choose the style that suits you best.
ISLE OF RAASAY DISTILLERY
Whisky fans will be thrilled to hear of the opening of the Isle of Raasay Distillery, the first (legal!) whisky distillery on the small Hebridean island. The combination of traditional Scottish craft with an uncharted whisky region is an intriguing one, and we are looking forward to tasting the first Raasay Scotch, which will be ready in 2020. If you can’t wait, join their luxury Whisky Club, which gives members the opportunity to stay on the island and invest in whisky-making history.
Producing objects of rarity, quality and craftsmanship is the philosophy at Grant Macdonald and is at the heart of all the company creates. By fusing centuries old techniques with the latest cutting edge technology, the designers and craftsman realise the true beauty in precious materials, creating timeless objects to be enjoyed for generations to come. They hold the Royal Warrant as Goldsmiths & Silversmiths to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and looking at their designs it’s easy to see why they are so loved. This piece, The Leopard Reclines, is one of a kind. The result of 160 hours work by 14 craftsmen, it’s made from sterling silver and hand-chased and painted to achieve a lifelike finish.
The beautifully-made G1888 bag from Gladstone was originally created in tribute to the Prime Minister, and quickly became a classic. It’s traditionally crafted from saddle leather which obtains a warm patina over time, and the high level of skilled craftsmanship it requires has made it a cornerstone of British heritage. An apprentice will need to train for six years before achieving the competence necessary to construct it. The leather used is up to the customer, who can choose anything from rare vegetable tanned lather from the ’80s to visually distinctive exotic leathers. Due to its exclusive nature, the service is available by appointment only with Gladstone’s expert founder.
gladstonelondon.com; prices from £5,000
The Weekender in olive from Bennett Winch is a must-have piece. Crafted from British waterproof cotton canvas and with premium full-grain leather trim and base, it means you can pack light in style.
Surely one of the brands who best demonstrates slick, cool British design, Aston Martin never disappoints. News of their latest hypercar, the Valkyrie, was first announced back in 2016, but a comprehensive update was released over the summer and it’s looking good, to put it mildly. Aerodynamic development has created a futuristic-looking exterior, while a smooth driving experience is assured thanks to a cockpit with a F1-style reclined driving position. Every millimetre has been carefully accounted for, to superb effect – believe it or not, two comfortably-sized adults can fit in that bijou interior.
Garrard’s connections with the Royal Family have always been strong, and their patriotic new Enchanted Palace collection continues to nod to them by using 1851’s groundbreaking Great Exhibition as its inspiration. This brooch is as eclectic and enchanting as the pieces were at the exhibition itself.
Oliver Sweeney was founded in Britain and has quickly built up a reputation for producing high quality, handcrafted shoes. With a focus on the best raw materials and a requirement that every shoe be finished by hand, the results are suave, sophisticated and always stylish.
Crown pays tribute to the shoemaking heritage of Northampton by crafting their own made-to-order shoe designs from their Northampton factory. Uniting the contemporary with the traditional, no detail is left neglected in their products – take the slick Overstone premium sneakers with Derby lace-up construction, which make comfort and luxury a priority. Double stitched at key pressure points to increase durability, they’re a pleasure to wear thanks to a soft, padded collar. Sleekly minimalist, they’re handmade using only the best quality leather.
We’re big fans of Ruark for their audio products that are beautifully designed as well as offering flawless sound quality. Their newest product, the R7, pays tribute to the original which was a modern update of the classic radiogram. So successful was it they’ve brought out a fresh new version for this year, which comes clad in beautiful Rich Walnut or Soft Grey lacquer. Slimmer than the original, it’s more aesthetically pleasing thanks to British milled grille fabric on the front of the speaker which disguises its functionality.
BLACKDOWN SHEPHERD HUTS
Blackdown Shepherd Huts create luxury living spaces from their large workshop near Ilminster in Somerset. Whether it’s a first-class hideout, a handy workspace or just somewhere you want to build for yourself, they can help. Their handcrafted bespoke and custom-made huts are incredibly high quality, using escape sustainable and superior products to create anything you can dream up. No detail is left neglected, from the joinery which is handmade locally, specifically for the huts, to the interior designer you can choose to involve or not. The result is a wonderfully-made space solely built on your requirements.
blackdownshepherdhuts.co.uk; prices begin at approximately £20,514 for the Heritage Shepherd’s Hut.