It’s no secret that the British watch making trade has a rich history of innovation, insight and intellect in developing movements that have been the bedrock of the trade for centuries. Since Neolithic times, structures like the iconic Stonehenge have mapped the heavens to help structure the days and nights into building a circadian rhythm for us all. From the ingenuity of our ancestors to now, British inventors and experimenters are estimated to have developed over 75% of the concepts and machinery prototypes in mechanical timekeeping during the golden age of British horology in the 18th- 19th centuries.
It was the British that solved the puzzle of naval navigation with the development of longitude that helped chart the course of success for many of the explorers in Europe upon their travels of the new world. Mankind still keeps time by the standard set at Greenwich in England – an unshakable foundation that helps connect the world by equalizing our concept of time over the planet’s vast geographic locations and who can ignore Big Ben, one of the most unforgettable working symbols of time that stands proudly over London.
From years ago to today, England has been the heart and home of true modern timekeeping. By the 20th century, the prominence of the English watchmaker had begun to be overshadowed by the acute Swiss precision approach to refining the existing movements and the trendy American fashion market. Today, with approximately 100+ companies servicing a £101.3 million per year market, we are witnessing the resurgence of the British horological industry and the empowerment of micro brands.
These young businesses and ambitious entrepreneurs are where we see Hawchester, London positioned and the vibe among the industry is that the UK is seeing a strong period of development in recent times. Pricing in the watch industry is one that runs a wide gamut of possibilities. With prestige prices from prestige brands to economy pricing from fashion brands, the average price of a watch in the UK is seen to waver around the £5000 mark but this figure could be skewed by the outliers in the trade that can range from £250- £1,000,000. As a micro brand ourselves, our reasoning behind a price point of £500-£700 is based on the current economic affordability of goods and the expense of manufacturing that we need to bear. While we believe that economy pricing is not the right model for the brand value we wish to project, it is important to us to maintain a reasonable price point for our target audience that doesn’t limit the opportunity of the everyday leaders we want to connect with, to invest in a Hawchester, London watch. It is a mindset, that we seek in our clientele; people that believe as we do, in making a contribution to the world as fearless and committed leaders in their communities.
We offer a brand that believes in the same purpose and encourages investing in what matters to you. Over 50% of the sales of British clocks and watches are made right here in the UK with our primary export market being North America with over 18% of sales. Europe has over 12% with emerging markets in Asia Pacific, the Gulf, China, India and the Carribbean all contributing, but in very small numbers. There is huge potential to grow these numbers by marketing the ‘uniqueness’ of Britain and our legacy when it comes to watch making, but which hasn’t yet been cultivated by the brands of the trade that enjoy the powerful position in which they sit in the market.
While their brand names have gained equity, there is plenty of room to grow the specialty of a quintessentially British industry as the hallmark of ingenuity and quality. At Hawchester, London a big part of our product offering is that brand story which we pour in to each time piece.
Our Clerkenwell Collection is named after the epicenter of the craft in Britain and the colours of the five products we have launched have been inspired by British history, landscape and celebrates our national pride. With more focused communication on the mastery of British watch making being introduced into more brands, we can be ambassadors for the trade and help to herald the UK as the powerhouse it once was.
There is room for specialist horological supply chain businesses to grow and support the UK watch movement within our shores and regain that innovative spirit that once drove all those game changing inventions. For us at Hawchester, London, it was this desire to see Britain’s watch culture and history be restored to that former glory that drove us to start our brand and to be committed to telling the story of Britain’s horological history.