Shortly after I met @danc21cy at the Bremont Townhouse he told me of an annual watch event held at the Sofitel Hotel at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. I immediately booked the date out in my diary and have been looking forward to it since.
World Time UK is an upcoming watch event that was first held in 2017 and the event has grown year on year since then, doubling in size for 2018 and 2019 was apparently even larger. The idea was developed by members of the Diver’s Watch Facebook Group which was started in 2011 and stands at a staggering 51.5k members.
The event is still quite small in terms of floor space and number of people, but the atmosphere was great and given it is free to attend, I can only imagine it growing in size as word spreads. It is well attended by brands (Bremont, Christopher Ward, Sinn, Elliot Brown, Formex, Alkin, Oris, Ralf Tech and CWC to name a few) so there is ample opportunity to try on lots of time pieces from little known micro-brands up to well established brands with higher end pieces.
Since both Dan and I attended, we decided we’d each write a piece on our 2 favourite brands / stands on the day.
One of the stands that really stood out for me at the show was the modest stand of Alkin Watches. Alkin currently offer one model for sale, the aptly named ‘Model One’. The model one is a striking and simple looking piece which stood out from the crowd for me. The company is based in Bristol in the UK and run by a very nice chap named Charlie who was manning the stall.
The Model One comes in a 42mm case, with a 50mm lug to lug measurement. It has an AR coated Sapphire and open case back. The case is made from 316L stainless steel (which is available either brushed or PVD coated) and you can choose from a version with a white fully lumed dial, or black dial. The lume in use here is Super-Luminova BGW9. The case houses the Seiko NH35A movement and it boasts 100m water resistance with a screw down crown at 4 o’clock.
The price of the Model One is £250, not bad at all!
Keep an eye out for the end of the year when they should be bringing out the handsome Model Two, which is a 2 crown dive piece with an inner rotating bezel. I am going to buy as soon as I can manage.
Formex watches have been around for a while, but before the show I hadn’t encountered them before. The guys manning the stall were really friendly and happy to talk through their time pieces which had some pretty interesting features which made them noteworthy.
Their stand out piece for me was the newly introduced ‘Essence’, which is available in a number of styles and either with or without a chronometer rated movement. The former currently retails at £710 and the latter £1095.
The Essence features an AR coated sapphire on both the front and the back of the watch. The 316L stainless steel case is 43mm in diameter with a 49mm lug to lug measurement. The movement in the chronometer certified version is a Sellita SW200-1.
Uniquely, there is a patented floating movement case, which allows the movement to move with your wrist as you move it from day to day. I am not sure how practical it is as suspension, but certainly it was very comfortable to wear and it backed the pressure off when the crown was beginning to press the back of the hand. It also appeared to be very well made.
The bracelet has pinch spring bars, allowing it to be removed without any tools, which was nice to see and the patented bracelet extension was added very nicely at the clasp end of the bracelet. If you opt for the strap, it comes with a carbon injection moulded deployant which also has a patented mechanism to allow extension.
The Worldtime 2019 Event was the first year where Elliot Brown Watches attended. Their stand consisted of the majority of their core range; Blowworth, Canford, Holton and Kimmeridge lines. All of which were available to get hands on with and try on in various colourways.
But a particular highlight was a few special projects which EB Watches support and have done for a while. The main ones which I found particularly impressive was the second iteration of the Mountain Rescue Watch which is based on a retail Canford. This is due to the fact that mountaineering is another passion of mine. Each watch sale will donate money to the mountain rescue charities which operate in UK. The other was the latest project which supports those who operate within the RNLI.
As per with any interaction with EB Watches it was an absolute pleasure and for anyone who finds themselves in Poole, get down to the Lake Yard there’s always a brew available and Ian and Alex are always willing to host and show you what they do!
Secondly (joint second) I enjoyed seeing both Bremont and Christopher Ward. Both companies have recently entered into a contract with the Ministry of Defence and now have the ability to license certain model lines with the Heraldic emblems of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. Both Bremont and CW will operate within their own price points but their offerings within this new venture are fantastic. Now Bremont isn’t new to the “military watch game” as it were (look back at the previous article written). However this is the first foray for CW. In my opinion, for the price point any potential owner will get a lot of watch for the money. The line consists of 3 Watches one for each service; the watches are based on the Trident watch architecture with different dial designs. My current opinions on this are that their interpretation of this line are that the watches have been tastefully designed and executed at a great price point. Watch this space.