Quite some distance away from what is widely recognised as being the home of watchmaking, from its workshops in Norfolk, Garrick has been diligently growing its reputation over the past few years as a watch company with a difference, a unique set of principles, and a vision to breathe new life into an almost forgotten, but fundamental legacy. Centuries on from a time when England, and London in particular, was the center of the commercialised world, as well as being at the forefront of watchmaking innovation, using local skills and in-house manufacturing where feasible, Garrick is awakening a new interest in English watchmaking.
Under the direction of its founder David Brailsford, his young company Garrick embodies this proud national heritage, with many of the components including dials, hands and crowns, as well as the beautiful free sprung balance wheels being manufactured, using time honoured techniques and old school tooling, under the roof of the Garrick atelier.
With the very limited edition S1 the evolution of Garrick takes another big step forward, as with its exquisite bespoke movement it is the company’s most sophisticated and spectacular piece to date. Designed and created in close collaboration with one of contemporary independent watchmaking’s most creative masters - Andreas Strehler - and his UhrTeil AG company, the S1 is a quite stunning wristwatch which emphatically stamps Garrick’s arrival in the scope of the serious collector.
Dressy and classical, technical and individual, the S1 is presented in a round 42mm case of polished stainless steel, and topped off with a big onion shaped crown.
Beneath the sapphire crystal, the dial is reduced to the base essentials, with a novel chapter ring of milled minute marks opening onto the frosted, gold plated surface of the movement’s main plate and an array of exposed gears of the power reserve and small seconds. The lower half is dominated by the magnificent balance which pulses beneath a prominent angular bridge, and with the escapement secreted below and only visible from underneath, its beat is graceful and mesmerising.
Hands which have been blued by flame are in the style of the old English marine chronometer, with anchor ends on straight and slender pointers now something of a Garrick signature.
Inside, much of the UT-G02 manual winding movement is manufactured in the UK by Garrick, in close collaboration with Swiss independent master watchmaker Andreas Strehler and his company UhrTeil AG, which specialises in the design of concept-to-reality Haute Horlogerie.
A sapphire case back reveals rubies set into screw-fixed gold chatons, circular brushed barrel, Garrick’s unique ratchet wheel and the tick of the escapement. From above or below, the workmanship is superb, and the very English style of restrained decoration of the movement’s plates is spartan yet beautiful, with polished edges contrasting with brushed or frosted finishes.
The Garrick S1 is very limited to only ten pieces, and while a significant and confident statement by this emerging company, with its uncompromising approach to every aspect of manufacturing, it is a remarkable wristwatch of distinction.