Ever since I was a young boy I have been fascinated by craftsmanship. By the skill, the knowledge, the patience and the tradition that goes into certain trades.
As I grew older, I also found myself attracted to aesthetics. Not just how something was made, but how it looked, how it felt, the design and thought that went into to making certain products.
When I was around 15 years old, one of my brother’s friends – who was five years my senior – invited me to join a course on watchmaking. I promptly agreed and quickly found myself utterly enamoured with the art of watchmaking.
Once I had decided to become a watchmaker, I applied myself to learning the trade.
For seven years, I attended the prestigious watchmaking school of Le Locle. First, a four year course to become a qualified watchmaker, then another two years to learn watch restoration followed by one further year to learn horological construction.
I then started restorations, working on vintage watches, clocks and automata. A singing bird pistol, complicated automaton watches and Fabergé eggs were all amongst the pieces that passed through my workshop.
Restoration work is incredibly gratifying, but I always knew that at some point I wanted to work on my very own masterpiece.
My first foray into independent work was an intricate Tortoise automaton, made from 18 carat gold, diamonds and sapphires. The time I spent researching, engineering and making the Tortoise fuelled my love for the craft, and it wasn’t long before I starting dreaming of the next step – creating my own watch.
The craft of watchmaking is dying out. We live in a society based on speed and convenience in which it would take you less time to print a wristwatch than it would for me to make a single cog.
But that’s precisely why I do this.
I do this for the art. For the passion, the patience, and the precision that goes into every handmade watch. Into every screw, every cog and every hand that I design, make, polish, and place by hand.
Soberly Onyx is not just a watch.
It’s a labour of love.