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Up-and-Coming British Watch Brands to Look Out For

Clemence Munro

As the number of brands who took part in the Alliance’s British Watchmakers’ Day shows, our homegrown watch industry is a vibrant, energetic and almost obsessively eclectic one, with new timepieces appearing weekly and new brands almost as regularly. And while, of course, some of those new British watch brands don’t make too much of an impact, some newcomers to the British arena have already proven that they’re here to stay.

Here then are a selection of up-and-coming British watchmakers creating everything from funky dive watches to cycling-inspired sports watches. So, even if you’re not getting in on the ground floor, you’ll want to keep an eye on these guys.

BŌKEN

Boken Nomad

BŌKEN Nomad

The first watch from fresh-faced, adventure-focused and Japanese-named BŌKEN, the superb Nomad has the kind of confidence you expect from a watchmaker with a lot more under their belt. A fantastically high-spec diver with a 42mm tonneau case in lightweight titanium, the Nomad’s bright, eye-catching colourways, 300m water resistance, and solid Sellita movement makes for a great modern diver. Plus, If you buy a Nomad or the upcoming Odyssey, you’ll be granted access to their online members’ lounge and invited to future meet-ups to take part in the brand’s adventure lifestyle.

More details at BŌKEN.

Clemence

Clemence Munro
Clemence Munro

Clemence Munro

Clemence as a brand really highlight British values, inspired by tradition and family with a dedication to quality, longevity and also legacy. That legacy comes in the form of a commitment that for every watch sold, Clemence will plant a tree in their native Scotland. The watches themselves currently come in two forms, the Munro and the Photic Diver, stylish and attractive tool watches with vibrant colours – the signature orange is particularly cool. The Munro has been a particular success with its tricolour dial. However, fair warning, the accessible prices and popular designs mean they are often sold out so you want to make sure to stay notified when restocks are coming.

More details at Clemence.

Edward Christopher

Edward Christopher Manta

Edward Christopher Manta

The newest of the new, Edward Christopher are all but a newborn on the global watchmaking stage and yet seem to have already developed one of the more confident arrays of British watches at large. The Manta Dive Watch is as far from your usual Submariner-inspired fare as it can get while still offering a respectable 200m water resistance, leveraging that peculiarly British penchant for colour as far as it will go. The dials have a glorious kaleidoscope guilloche like a mandala in fume hues of black, blue, green, sky blue, and an absolutely magnificent rose red.

More details at Edward Christopher.

BVOR

BVOR Watches

BVOR Vision

BVOR may have one of the pluckiest backstories in all of watchmaking. An engineering teacher and two of his students coming together to create a brand named after the school’s boarding house where the students stayed. The timepiece they created is the BVOR Vision, a 42mm cushion shaped watch with a broad bezel and visible screws. It has a horizontal patterned dial with hours, minutes, seconds and date powered by the Miyota 9015 automatic movement. It feels like there’s a lot of room for this brand to grow and that’s an exciting prospect for an up-and-coming British wristwatch brand.

More details at BVOR.

Apiar

Apiar Invenire v1.0

Apiar Invenire v1.0

Proper technological innovation is usually left to the big boys, the maisons with millions to throw at R&D and aerospace materials to knock a few grams off the movement weight, or create a slightly new colour of ceramic. Apiar on the other hand are illustrating that British horological ingenuity doesn’t stop at design, bringing some serious technology to bear on their timepieces. The technology in question is dubbed ‘additive manufacturing’, which to the layman is better known as 3D metal printing. Essentially, layer upon tiny layer of Grade 23 titanium powder is built up using precision lasers to create the kind of three-dimensional shapes that simply wouldn’t be achievable through your standard milling process. The result is the striking Invenire.

More details at Apiar.

Arken

Arken Watches

Arken Alterum

There are lots of reasons to start a watch brand and the driving force behind Arken was the sheer thrill and challenge of it. With no prior design or watch industry knowledge they set out to create a watch brand from the ground up and with the launch of the Instrumentum in 2021 they made that dream a reality. They’ve since built themselves a firm following thanks to their dedication to accessible titanium watches. That effort has been rewarded by a surge in the popularity of titanium watches across the market.

More details at Arken.

Adley

Adley-FIXI-T1-Collection

Adley FIXI-T1

Watchmaking and cars go together like Brits and the pub, so automotive-slanted timepieces are just as common. But to butcher George Orwell, ‘four wheels good, two wheels better.’ At least, that’s the Adley ethos, whose entire collection is inspired by bicycles. And honestly, from their debut timepiece, the FIXI-T1, you don’t really need us to tell you that. First and most, obviously, is the fixed gear (inspired by fixed gear bikes) circling the centre handstack with its signature five-spoked layout. The mechanical component is backed by a vinyl grooved dial like the lanes of a velodrome with cool, minimal indexes.

More details at Adley.

Aera

Aera Watches

Aera D-1 Diver and P-1 Pilot

Slightly more established than some of the others on this list, Aera are nonetheless a new brand by watch standards, though one that’s already proven to be a staple of many tool watch lovers’ collections by now. Their own collection boils down, succinctly, to two models: the P-1 Pilot and the D-1 Diver. There’s no showboating here; even their names are straight to the point. Both pieces eschew colour in favour of a practical, high-contrast combination of black and white and proportions that lean into their respective uses – numerals and second counters for more accurate timekeeping for the pilot, oversized indexes in various shapes for easy low-light reading on the 300m diver.

More details at Aera.

Alkin Watches

Alkin Watches

Model Three Diver (top) and Model Three Dual Time (bottom)

Alkin Watches is a Bristolian brand with the concepts of simplicity, functionality and longevity at its heart. Their watches are designed to be lifetime companions, combining a timeless style with practical materials and durable construction. Take the Model 3 for example, a 40.5mm watch with stainless steel case available with either a dual time bezel or a diving bezel, adding layers of versatility to the accessible tool watch. Adding to the reliability of Alkin’s watches are the trusted mechanical movements inside from suppliers like the Japanese brand Miyota.

More details at Alkin.

Nomadic

Nomadic Watches Deep Ocean Blue

Nomadic Watches Maraí

Defined by Belfast’s maritime history, Nomadic watches pays tribute to one of the most famous ships ever built. Belfast is synonymous with its shipyards but unfortunately, the shipyards’ greatest achievement was also one of the biggest nautical tragedies in history: the RMS Titanic. Alongside the Titanic, a pair of smaller replicas were also made to ferry people to the ship, one of which was the SS Nomadic, the ship that inspired the creation of Nomadic watches. Their debut timepiece, the Maraí, literally translates to Irish Sea Farer, a tribute to the new horizons that Belfast’s great iron ships were created to explore.

More details at Nomadic.

Shoreham

Shoreham Snowdon GMT

Shoreham bring the world of independent watchmaking to Wales through their collections the Monmouth, Pembroke and Snowdon. Wales is well known for its dramatic landscapes and amazing outdoor adventures and Shoreham’s watches are built to keep up with anyone exploring the country’s many areas of natural beauty. The Snowdon GMT is a robust 39mm steel field watch with a sector dial and GMT complication making it ideal for travel and adventure. A GMT can also serve as a day/night indicator, useful in Wales’ many caves to keep track of when you should be resting on an extended adventure.

More details at Shoreham.

Tesouro

Tesouro

Tesouro Aspire

It’s nice to be ambitious and Tesouro are very open about their aims and goals. They want to become one of the leading motorsport watch brands on a national and international level and have already made strides towards doing so via partnership with several Rally and Rallycross events, teams and drivers. Their watches embrace a wide range of styles with the sports integrated Aspire, pilot Navigator Chronograph, Neptune Field Watch, diving Ocean-Master 500 and dress watch Elegance. Considering their connections to rallying, the Neptune Field Watch with its robust design seems the most thematic.

More details at Tesouro.

Zero West

Zero West DB-2 Lancaster

Zero West DB-2 Lancaster

At this point Zero West have been around for a while but have recently been kicking things up a gear. Many of their watches deserve attention, especially their pilot’s watches inspired by historic planes. There’s the DB-1 Lancaster, S2 Spitfire and more recently the H2 Battle of Britain with a display based on the slip-turn indicator of a Hawker Hurricane.  Each H2 also features original metal from one of the planes that saw action during the war making them historically significant objects. They also produce a ranges of watches inspired by trains and nautical travel.

More details at Zero West.

Sherwood Watches

Sherwood Commander Black

Robin Hood is one of the most storied figures in British folklore, the archetypal folk hero stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. He also calls Sherwood Forest his home and it’s this Nottinghamshire landmark that provides the inspiration for Sherwood Watches. Their watches are designed to be both practical and refined – perfect for Robin Hood himself who in some stories was both an adventurer and an Earl. Their debut timepiece is the Commander, a dive watch with 200m water resistance but that also has a more subtle interpretation of a dive timer bezel so that it’s less overt on land.

More details at Sherwood Watches.

Escudo

Escudo Ocean Seacrest Silver

British designed, Swiss made is a catchphrase of many of our homegrown brands, and for good reason. There’s a distinctive, often colourful approach to British watchmaking that’s invariably appealing. But Escudo adds one extra twist to the formula and that’s Portuguese inspiration. Specifically, the brand – named after a defunct Portuguese currency – is inspired by the country’s golden age of exploration, a theme funnelled directly into their debut timepiece, the Ocean Seacrest. It’s the smaller details that help it stand out from the crowd of likeminded tool watches, with pointed indexes imitating the cardinal points of the compass, a handsome, less-is-more layout, and a diving bezel 12 o’clock indicator hosting the colours of the Portuguese flag.

More details at Escudo.

96Zero

96Zero Field Watch

96Zero is a British wristwatch brand dedicated to the military. In fact, the name 96Zero stems from those being the last three digits of the founder’s army number while he was serving. Translating that military experience into watch design means they focus their efforts on the three core aspects of military engagement: land, air and sea. Or in horological terms, field watches, pilot’s watches and dive watches. They have an upcoming project called the Sabotage based on spycraft featuring a dial that absorbs 98% of light, creating a dark, dramatic watch.

More details at 96Zero.

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