English Watchmaking has a new brand, Schofield Watches, and their first piece, the Schofield Signalman GMT PR has just been presented to the industry.
To launch a new series, never mind a new watch brand during such challenging economic times requires equal measures of optimism, courage and self-belief. It also helps if your first model is a well designed piece which promises reliability. Not only do the valiant individuals at Schofield Watches tick all the boxes, their Signalman GMT PR watch is perfectly priced and more than pleasing on the eye.
When it comes to watches with an English heritage, it matters not if they are English-made or simply designed by an Englishman, there is a certain "something" which sets them apart - low-key features, restrained design, quality build and a few quirky touches.
The Signalman GMT PR takes its name and design inspiration from that most robust and heroic of structures - the lighthouse. The references are subtle, the ever-so-slightly tapering case, the magnified lens-styled meeting of sappire crystal and bezel, on the dial a light beam motif which serves to indicate the power reserve and a caseback engraving. All are thematic and original features.
The Signalman GMT PR case measures 44mm across. Two small series editions are on offer - steel or black DLC coated steel. The former is presented with a quite stunning mirror polished bezel, the DLC version downplays the reserved, slightly utilitarian form of the piece even further.
On the dial are applied numerals with a strike-through zero, a GMT dial at 6 o'clock and a sneaky little date window at 3. An extra-thick domed sapphire crystal is set beneath the bezel, an addition which along with the two level dial adds depth to the piece.
Enclosed within an anti-magnetic cage is a Soprod 9335 movement, a calibre with proven reliability, which provides 42 hours of power reserve. Water resistance is to 500m.
The high spec presentation continues - each model is presented in a wooden marine chronometer-styled box with a brass tool for adjusting the GMT dial. Now, there are other ways than this of adjusting this highly useful function, but nothing quite seals that owner/watch relationship better than the ceremonial satisfaction of locating and using a bespoke tool to do the job.
The Schofield Signalman GMT PR watch comes presented on an unusual black shark-skin strap lined with green calf-skin and will be a limited release of 300 pieces in steel and 100 pieces in DLC coated steel.
More details at the Schofield Watch Company website.