Category Archives: Horology

Approximately a year ago I wrote an in-depth article entitled ‘If Money Was No Object’. The editorial featured exquisite timepieces by Patek Philippe, Hautlence, 4N, Cabestan and Franck Muller. Ultimately these were just a small selection of marvellous watches available at the time of publication. If I were to write a sequel (or sequels) I would have an endless array of fantastic timepieces to choose from. Fundamentally the article contemplates the fantasy of being rich beyond our wildest dreams. Whether wealth is acquired from a lottery win, inheritance, fame, business etc; what would the beneficiary buy? Obvious preferences would be an architect-designed house, planes, boats, fast cars, artwork and jewellery. I would also include High Horology in this wish list. » Read more

About a decade ago after a huge sabbatical (which lasted 20-years), I began painting again. Originally, I trained as an illustrator and so my compositions were relatively small. Primarily, this was because it suited my highly detailed style and so they be could easily be posted to clients nationwide (United Kingdom). The new artworks were of portraits and flowers on a much larger scale and the medium was oil (rather than gouache previously used in illustration). This renewed enthusiasm in fine art also made me appreciate different style and especially abstract art because of the vibrant use of colour. Interestingly watch brands have also adopted this strategy with some exciting results. Here are four timepieces (including my own ‘Polaris’) that perfectly highlight this point. » Read more

From a young age, I have always been fascinated with astronomy and the universe in general. When I hear scientists talk about a cosmological event called the ‘Big Bang that took place 13.8 billion years ago, it blows my mind. It is also inconceivable to think there are planets so far away from earth that it takes billions of years for light to reach us. In effect, we are getting a snapshot from a non-existent world, far, far in the distant past.

For someone with a highly active imagination, the thought of distant galaxies with trillions of Earth-like planets seems like a probability. Certainly, writers like Sir Arthur Charles Clarke have written several novels including ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ that explore the possibility of space travel. This book was later adapted into a highly influential movie (of the same name) in 1968 by iconic director Stanley Kubrick. As well as being exploited by the film industry this captivating topic has also inspired many watchmakers. Here are four watches that are literally out of this world.  » Read more

A few days ago I had the opportunity to view a unique historic double fronted shop in a highly popular area of Adelaide. The building dates back to the glorious ‘Art Deco’ period and has a plethora of original features. Even though the property is pretty small (by Australian standards), it certainly has a lot of charm and would make a great gallery. I personally love the architecture from this era and previously owned a 1920’s semi-detached home in England. Recently I featured a timepiece from Richard Paige, that was inspired by New York’s iconic Chrysler Building on my website (Five Amazing Watches That Won’t Break the Bank). However, there are other beautiful ‘Art Deco’ influenced watches like the DR01 “Streamline” by David Rutten that are designed to make a bold statement. » Read more

One of the main reasons I established Total Design Reviews is because of my passion for fine craftsmanship and design in general. As well as being a writer I also hold a degree in Illustration and enjoy creating large artworks. My latest composition is a large Bristlecone Pine tree, which I am painting in muted colours. I favour oil paints and my technique involves multiple fine transparent layers to attain a luminous effect. This involves a certain level of patience because I am fanatical about detail. I would also describe myself as a perfectionist and always try to achieve the best possible results. Ultimately that is why I appreciate traditional skills like engraving, especially in the context of horology.  » Read more

In March 2015 I attended Baselword and I had the opportunity to speak with many of my watchmaking heroes. Many were using different carbon composites and achieving some very positive results. This material was becoming increasingly popular because of its texture and lightweight qualities. After the show had ended I visited a manufacturing company in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland to discuss a unique project. I had just created my own bespoke timepiece and had aspirations to develop a second. This company specialises in carbon watches and were experimenting with luminous technology. However, to produce a prototype was going they quoted around $15,000, which simply wasn’t viable. Fast forward a few years and I finally achieved my goal of creating the ‘Pure Carbon’. » Read more

One of the hardest aspects of being a watch writer is finding a sufficient amount of material to write about. It is true that there are many attractive timepieces available on the market but many are derivative of other brands. When I originally established Total Watch Reviews I wanted to show consumers that strong design is available at all price points. Ultimately this is why my hours of research has led me to feature many independent watchmakers. Due to the fact they don’t have the enormous marketing resources like Swatch, Richemont and LVMH they have to think outside the box (creatively speaking). » Read more

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