British Watch Issue

THE WATCH THAT LAUNCHED A THOUSAND SHIPS

Icon: Harrison H4 Marine Timekeeper

The problem of longitude -- where you are on the planet, east-west speaking -- was the thorniest puzzle of the day, or really, of the 18th century. In 1714, the British government offered the huge prize of £20,000 (roughly £2 million today) to anyone who could solve the longitude problem once and for all. Enter a self-trained carpenter from Yorkshire, John Harrison.

An empire once again?

The Horological State of the Union Jack

The 1700s really were the halcyon days of horological innovation and most of it was happening in the British Isles. In 1800, some reports say that Britain made half the world’s watches, around 200,000 a year. By 1900 however, production numbers had fallen to roughly 100,000, though worldwide consumption was by then in the millions. So what happened? And where does British timekeeping stand today?

Showdown at High Tea

Want This, Get This: Bremont ALT1-B or Christopher Ward C1000 Typhoon

The modern pilot's watch resembles those of the 1940s and '50s as little as an F22 Raptor resembles a P-51 Mustang. Nowadays, it's all about materials, ruggedness and functionality. Modern pilot's watches are also getting as stealthy as the planes they're modeled after, all blacked out for night maneuvers and flying under the radar. Today we look at two stealth fighters from England, both high flyers, but one that won't dive bomb your budget.

The Battle of Britain

British Watch Shootout

The three watch companies at the vanguard of the British timekeeping renaissance -- Bremont, Christopher Ward and Schofield -- represent very different approaches, price points and designs. Yet they share one thing: a distinctively British take on the wristwatch. We spent some time with each to establish a solid cross section of timepieces from across the pond. Put the kettle on and settle in for our impressions.

Founder of Schofield Watch Company

30 Minutes With: Giles Ellis

Giles Ellis is a man obsessed with details. Though his pet project, Schofield Watch Company, has won high praise from watch connoisseurs, Ellis is still wary of being pigeonholed. Quirky hard goods and a premium line of straps prove it: Schofield is an adventurous brand driven by design yet still rooted in the traditions of watchmaking and a distinctive British pride. So what makes the man behind it all tick?