William Wood is a British luxury watch brand up-cycling firefighting materials into unique luxury watches. Founder Jonny Garrett was inspired to create William Wood Watches in memory of his heroic firefighting grandfather and a percentage of sales are donated to firefighting charities.
Each watch contains a piece of firefighting heritage - part of a 1920s London Fire Brigade brass helmet is melted into every crown and the straps for each collection are made from hand-cut British fire hose that has served and protected the UK Fire and Rescue Service for over a decade, and you can still smell the rich smokiness in the red, yellow, blue or cargo green rubber.
Founded in 2016, William Wood has plans afoot to convert a closed British fire station into their showroom and flagship store. There are three limited-edition watch collections and a fourth - Triumph - due to be launched in March this year.
TheChicGeek says, “This is a fun and strong concept. I love the coloured rubber watch straps and where they all come from; London Fire Brigade Red, West Midlands Fire Service Yellow, Tyne & Wear Fire Service Blue and British Armed Forces Fire Unit Green.”
Below - William Wood - Triumph Collection - £2,150
From 1st March 2021
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As Official Timing Partner to both England Rugby and Twickenham Stadium, Bremont commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) with the release of its Limited Edition RFU 150 watch. Limited to only 150 pieces, the new timepiece honours this veritable milestone in British sporting history.
The Bremont RFU 150 features a chronometer rated movement with 24h GMT hand as well as the Bremont patented protective anti-shock movement mount. The 43mm satin and polished stainless steel case is fitted with a uni-directional rotating blueceramic bezel and features an automatic helium escape valve and crown protector. The bezel also allows keen timekeepers to keep an eye on the match playing time with indicators showing the approach of half/full time in red and any extra-time added on in white.
Even though a lot of things have been put on hold in 2020, there are some brands that are always ready to tackle more challenges. With that in mind, Omega has released a few new watches in 2020 that will intrigue anyone interested in precious timepieces, no matter if you’re a collector of precious watches or getting ready for an important event. With a brand new watch on your wrist, you’ll feel as the red carpet has been rolled down under you.
Join us on a ride through the new eye-catching portfolio of exquisite watches and you might just find a piece that meets your needs. We’ll present our top three picks from this year’s releases, focusing on the ones with a fascinating background.
Omega has decided to recreate their legendary Omega 321 calibre watches that have been worn by the Apollo 11 crew 51 years ago. For the July anniversary of the moon landing, the watch giant came out with the Omega Moonwatch — the second generation of the 321 calibres. The original watch is known as the Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Stainless Steel, and it holds a special place in the prestigious family of Omega watches.
The timepiece is not a limited edition, meaning that you can get the true connection to space history it offers anytime. The Apollo 11 mission holds a special place in the hearts of many space enthusiasts, meaning that the second generation of the Moonwatch is a cherished timepiece around the world.
Seamaster Diver 300m
Another significant timepiece in Omega’s collection is the Seamaster Diver 300m. The new edition of the Seamaster Diver 300m has been advertised along with the latest James Bond film that is set to be released in November 2020. Although we got a sneak peek of the watch when it was showcased during the 50th anniversary of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, we’re surely looking forward to seeing it on Daniel Craig’s wrist.
Omega watches have been a part of the James Bond franchise since 1995, especially the Seamaster collection, as Bond is portrayed as a Royal Navy commander. Until the film hits the theatres, you can enjoy both the gold and the platinum edition of the Seamaster Diver 300m.
Seamaster Planet Ocean America’s Cup
We wouldn’t want to leave out an outstanding new timepiece available around the world — Seamaster Planet Ocean 36th America’s Cup Limited Edition. The latest edition of the timepiece first raced in 1851 is ready to continue the tradition as a source of rivalry and fantastic sailing duels. In March 2020, the 36th edition of the watch was presented in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.
The newest edition of the Seamaster Planet Ocean America’s Cup is manufactured from 2,021 pieces of the finest materials and quality. The polished white ceramic dial is positioned above an Omega Master Chronometer 8900 movement. The red, blue, and white design perfectly embodies the patriotic spirit, as you can see red and white liquid ceramic inserts perfected for the regatta countdown. The brand’s capabilities are impeccably illustrated in the engineering of this timepiece.
When you can't see the wood for the Dries... it's probably time to step back, remember it's only August and just chill. We still have weeks of summer left.
For summer evening wear, team a nice shirt - this has a classic 1970s Verner Panton print - with a smart pair of loose trousers and sandals with socks. Who gives a French tuck?!
Credits - #Gifted Shirt - Dries Van Noten from Harrods, Trousers - American Vintage, Sandals - Grenson, Socks - Falke, Watch - Kronaby
TheChicGeek teams up with Thomas Sabo in this special OOTD to highlight their new mesh watch collection. Strong and stylish, this collection of watches feature stainless steel-coloured mesh bracelets and sunray finish dials with coordinated silver-coloured indices and hands.
The monotone colour palette and striped detailing inspired the rest of TheChicGeek's outfit while on his way to catch TheChicGeek Express. The clean lines and striking two-tone colourway are as timeless as black and white itself. It made TheChicGeek think if only everything in life was this clean cut?!
Left - TheChicGeek is wearing Thomas Sabo ‘Rebel Spirit’ Watch - £180
Find out more about the new Thomas Sabo collection here
Credits - Watch - Thomas Sabo, Cardigan - Pretty Green X John Smedley, T-Shirt - Sunspel, Trousers - Raf Simons X Fred Perry, Shoes - Sperry, Socks - adidas, Spectacles - Neubau, Fragrance - Azzaro Pure Chrome - Read TheChicGeek Fragrance Review here, After Shave Balm & Shaving Cream - Frederic Malle, Face Cream - Buly
Something occurred to me the other day with regards to the watch business. Much like the oil industry which continues to pump out millions of barrels of oil, despite the price falling, in order to fend off or weaken the burgeoning fracking industry, (it’s a lost cause, btw, but what other options are there?) the watch industry is doing much the same thing: pumping out large volumes of product at all different price levels trying to keep themselves desirable and relevant.
Left - Are luxury watches sinking for good?
The smartwatch was a catalyst, and while it hasn’t really dented the traditional watch market, it was already under threat from people using their phones to tell the time and the slightly old-fashioned, pompous and alienating approach many Swiss brands/makers have.
Global Blue’s latest data for the third quarter of 2016 show global spending on watches is down -32%. The UK aside, which is experiencing a blip due to the weakness of the pound, Global Blue’s latest year-to-date data shows that the W&J (Watches & Jewellery) category has been hardest hit by the global luxury spending slowdown.
The reasons they give are: Chinese are buying fewer watches due to the conspicuous consumption crackdown, higher import duties are a major deterrent, as is the dual effect of less attractive product and lack of price differentials. Plus the landscape is dramatically different now that global shoppers are deterred from visiting Europe due to the persistent perception of reduced safety and threat of terrorism.
Like all industries that experience rapid growth it will inevitably lose momentum and stall. They are trying to offer something special, but in volume, which is an oxymoron. They are also not very transparent at helping consumers know what they are buying and paying big bucks for.
They’ve opened huge flagships to showcase their brands in insulation, so as not to be contaminated by any others, but it’s not sustainable. Recently, Mike France, co-founder of internet watch retailer Christopher Ward, said, when talking about mono-brand watch stores, the “Regent Street model cannot be economically viable”. He said: “Ultimately they will die. Some of them will remain, but most of them will die. At the moment stores are flags for the brands; most of them lose a fortune.”
The volumes the industry are churning out are unsustainable too and has taken the 'luxury' halo off the industry. They are in a damned if they do and damned if they don’t situation.
Lots of consumers are turned off by the prices and are turning towards the ‘pre owned watches’ or 'second hand watches' market for something different or if they still want a status symbol-type brand at a price that they can afford and justify.
I’ve also heard branded/licensed watches in the mid-market are struggling and many brands and fashion companies which don’t specialise in this area are leaving the category all together.
Luxury watches are at a crossroads. Will we look back in a few years and find it funny that people used to wear lumps of mechanical metal on their wrists? Only time will tell.
‘Minimal’ men’s watches have continued their rise in popularity over the last few years with many brands offering different styles at price points to suit nearly all budgets. Simplicity and design are the key to the male modernists who fill their Instagram accounts with Brutalist concrete and tiled floors.
It’s difficult to find a perfectly balanced minimal watch, some are either too simple or not elegant enough. I think two young Glaswegian guys, Pete Sunderland and Ross Baynham, who met while studying at Glasgow Caledonian University, have found the perfect solution.
Their company, Instrmnt, make the best minimal watches I’ve seen. They have just the right amount of design, detail and movement. They also have the feel of a good quality watch, that gets better the more you use it, at a price that, while not cheap, is definitely something we can all afford.
You get to assemble the watch yourself - perfect for all those watch geeks - see below. The calf leather straps are crafted in the valleys of the Bavarian Forest, Germany and Instrmnt has their own store located on Glasgow’s Parnie street in the city's Trongate area selling other niche labels alongside their watches.
Left & Below - Instrmnt - 01-C - £180
Left - Instrmnt has their own store located on Glasgow’s Parnie street in the city's Trongate area
Don't forget to join TheChicGeek, tomorrow - Thursday 10th December - to discover Fossil's new Q smart collection of bracelets and watches.
Left - The curious pairing of TheChicGeek & Fashion Foie Gras. Join us this thursday night
A perfect example is the Q Founder - pictured right - a touchscreen digital watch in refined stainless steel that tracks steps and connects seamlessly to your phone.
Right - Fossil Q Founder is engineered with Intel Innovation® and powered by Android Wear™ — in addition to tracking your activity, receiving notifications, and inspiring weekly curiosity, you can also match your watch to your look in seconds with customizable watch face designs - £279
The first 25 guests through the door will receive a special exclusive 'curious' goodie bag and with live DJ, fun photobooth and festive refreshments, it's not to be missed!
With a special 10% discount and free engraving and embossing on the night, treat someone you love this festive season with the perfect gift from Fossil.
When: Thursday 10th December from 6pm - 9pm.
Where: Fossil, 330 Oxford Street, W1C 1JE
Don’t forget to RSVP! See you there!
#Sponsored by Fossil
TheChicGeek casts his discerning editor’s eye over the new collection from Fossil. From timepieces to bags, jewellery to small leather goods, Fossil has something for everyman this season. Here are TheChicGeek’s top picks and how you should wear them:
1. For something dressier and more grown-up, for the new season, try this Buchanan Chronograph with a smart black leather strap. Team with a suit for work or a fine knit for an evening out.
Left - Buchanan Chronograph Black Leather Watch - £165
2. Apart from adding a quality finish to this backpack, the leather details add a practicality and durability which will only get better with wear. Looks great with a hoodie and jeans.
Right - Estate Backpack - £169
3. Simple, yet effective, this braided leather bracelet is fastened with a generous hook in a copper coloured metal.
Left - Hook Detail Bracelet - £49
4. It is the subtle touches that separate the plain fashionable from the super stylish. This simple Concorde-like pin will look great on the lapel of a dark suit without drawing too much attention.
Right - Paper Airplane Pin - £19
5. Perfect for the huge AW15 shearling/flight jacket trend, this watch blends the best retro qualities with Fossil's famous leather for the most stylish of contemporary aviators. Wear with an oversized knit and leather/sheepskin flight jacket.
Left - Breaker Chronograph Vaccheta Leather Watch - £185
What are you favourite pieces?
Get involved @fossil #CallingAllCurious
See more here
Being naturally curious makes TheChicGeek the true geek that he is. He is curious about the new, curious to discover the best and curious enough to try anything once!
Left - What a curious bunch?! On Set - TheChicGeek shooting the new Fossil #CallingAllCurious campaign with the help of a few friends
Well, it's lucky then, that American accessory brand, Fossil, asked TheChicGeek, and a few friends, to take part in their new #CallingAllCurious AW15 campaign.
The current AW15 menswear collection falls under the theme of the ‘Curious Set’. Shot in London, we were tasked with celebrating the curious world of Fossil - its people, products and culture - in a series of images and choosing the product which most represents our personal style.
This season, Fossil has focused on product 'Icons' that have been developed with different colours and finishes. Craftmanship is essential to the collection, bringing attention to unnoticed detail designs in every cut, stitch and bolt.
Right - Marcus from TheChicGeek wearing ‘Estate’ backpack & ‘Grant’ brown leather watch - £125
Representing the concept of accessible cool, Fossil’s identity is anchored in vintage authentic style mixed with a creative spirit and a sense of humour that extends into all its products – watches, jewellery and bags.
From the pick of the new collection, TheChicGeek went for a handsome brown 'Grant' watch with stitched strap and an 'Estate' backpack with stylish and durable leather details and straps in a textured grey finish.
Left - Curious Couple - The Fossil #CallingAllCurious Campaign - womenswear blogger, Fashion Foie Gras, & Marcus from The Chic Geek
Perfect for this curiously new season, it just leaves TheChicGeek curious about how he survived before without them!
See TheChicGeek's Top 5 Fossil Items of the Season - here
So, what makes you curious?
Get involved on social media - #CallingAllCurious @Fossil
WIN TheChicGeek's Fossil watch here
See what makes us all curious in the full @Fossil #CallingAllCurious video below