A few days ago I had the privilege of attending the wedding reception of beautiful Vietnamese and Chinese couple. Certainly, love was in the air and everybody really enjoyed the event. At my allotted table I was seated next to a delightful lady who was formerly a property developer. Interestingly she specialised in demolishing dilapidated older style houses and sub dividing. However, nowadays the margins are too tight and consumers desire more than generic properties. As a writer, I can totally understand that homeowners crave for individuality and that is why they commission architects to articulate their visions. Read more
Category Archives: Art
Recently my fifth book entitled ‘Independent Watchmakers’ was published by ACC Art Books. They did an absolutely fantastic job and even helped organised an article (to publicise this book) in the New York Times. The journalist who interviewed me (Melanie Abrams) is a seasoned professional. Therefore, all her questions were meticulous in detail and she wanted me to explain the reason for my selections. Ultimately, I chose timepieces that displayed originality and exceptional design merit. However, it is fair to say that many of these amazing watches are beyond most people’s budgets. Read more
As well as being a writer and author I also have a major passion for industrial design. In fact, I am presently in the process of creating several bespoke timepieces with my Watchmaker friend Ben Birkett. Two of the watch cases are constructed from concrete and were made by English based craftsman George Slaughter. Originally I commissioned George to create some concrete buttons for my leather jacket brand ‘Morley Rose’. Based on positive results I wanted to explore how this amazing material would work in a horological context. Certainly, achieving the precise texture wasn’t easy but after 12-months of trial an error we got the correct balance. Effectively my objective was to create the same aesthetic used in contemporary modern residential architecture. Read more
A great marketing campaign is integral to the success of any brand. To a certain extent, the cost of production and materials is irrelevant as long as the story is good. When I visited Baselworld a few years ago so many Public Relation managers were telling me what to write. Ironically these executives have subsequently moved from company to company in a musical chair like scenario. In fact, many of these people no longer work in the watch industry at all.
Luxury brands obviously wanted to be portrayed in a particular manner because perception is everything. Sure, I understand the importance of selling a dream and convincing clients that they can’t live without your products. However, I feed off original design, innovation and original thinking. That is why I am always excited to see what delights watch brands have created for ‘Only Watch’. This year celebrates the 8th edition of the biennial charity, which raises money for research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In total (in the previous 7 editions) 40 million Swiss Francs has been raised with 99% of the proceed donated to this noble cause.
It goes without saying that all the of the brands participating in this charitable event should be applauded for their generosity. Every timepiece donated is exquisite in its own unique way. Taste is subjective and every writer will have his or her favourites. Here are ten of my personal highlights, which I feel display an enormous amount of design merit. Read more
Over the last few years, I have become more fascinated with modern materials and contemporary architecture in general. As an industrial designer, this prompted me to experiment with different textures and cutting edge techniques. Recently, I launched a boutique leather jacket brand called ‘Morley Rose’. The name was inspired by a ‘David Austin’ rose that was growing in my family home in the UK. My concept was to use industrial photographic textures like concrete, marble, galvanised steel, etc. for pocket trims and shoulder pads. Certainly, the overall result is very effective and a lot more subtle than you would expect. Read more
Over the last few years, I have been privileged to fulfil many of my ambitions. These include writing several books about subjects I’m passionate about and designing numerous mechanical watches. However, even though freelance work is highly rewarding it can also be very precarious. Certainly with rising bills, everyday expenses this life doesn’t suit everyone needs. Ultimately, that is why I love writing about independent watchmakers who make huge sacrifices to realise their dreams. A great example can be found in Vincent Plomb who owns micro brand Vicenterra. Read more
Generally, I am a cup half full type of guy and consider myself to be very privileged. About a decade ago I visited Australia for the first time to spend some quality time with my girlfriend (now wife) who was working there. As her contract had ended we had three blissful weeks together including a beautiful vacation to Queensland. One of the main attractions we enjoyed was the phenomenal Great Barrier Reef, which is the world’s largest coral reef system (comprising 2,900 individual reefs). For divers, this is the ultimate ‘bucket list’ experience and therefore demands an extra special timepiece. Here are four of the most extreme deep sea divers, watches on the market. Read more
After I left university in 1989 I became a freelance illustrator and was represented by a prestigious artist agency. I vividly remember working to exceptionally tight deadlines and normally working for 48-hours straight to complete an artwork. Thirty years ago illustrations had to be hand delivered or sent by a courier service. They also had to be mounted on a board with an acetate sheet cover. Obviously these days everything is done digitally and can be sent worldwide with the click of a mouse. Read more