Often in the watch community, it’s difficult to celebrate the art of horology in any other way than simply wearing a watch. I mean, sure, you can consume editorial content (bravo, you’re already nailing this), wear a pair of socks covered in watches and maybe even pick up a copy of your favourite watch magazine (I can definitely think of one or two). But, for the most part, expressing your passion for this all consuming hobby is not easy.
There’s one locally owned and operated Aussie business that’s looking to change that though, and to give you plenty more ways to show your colours – no matter where you are in the world.
That’s why, for this Micro Mondays feature, we’re looking at the family-run jewellery maker AHW Studio. Hailing from 81 George Street in Sydney’s lovely sandstone-laden The Rocks precinct – but shipping to the world via our marketplace – AHW Studio are creating horology-themed jewellery and accessories that are so unique, and quite frankly wonderful, that we had to find out more. So, we sat down with Angus from AHW Studio to discover the story behind his business, as well as his best sellers.
Q: Who was AHW Studio founded by?
A: AHW Studio was founded by the family members — Adelaide, Andrew, Aaron and myself, Angus. We actually based it off our mother’s initials, as she was the original core-creative brain behind it!
Q: When was AHW Studio founded?
A: AHW Studio was founded in 2007, with our family collaborative in The Rocks.
Q: What is the idea behind AHW?
A: We’ve continually wanted to express a form of contemporarily relevant, beautifully made, and aesthetically different pieces. Using vintage, obsolete components, we wanted to bring forward a ‘hidden art’ into modern light!
Q: Why did you train as a jeweller and not a watchmaker?
A: I actually trained as a graphic designer! My brother Aaron trained in jewellery-making and design; our Mum was a graphic artist and jeweller; Dad was a sculptor and designer. So, in combination, we were able to successfully blend photography, graphics, artistic ideas and my growing infatuation with watchmaking, engineering and history; added with my brother’s ability to craft and create jewellery around those ideas. It was an awesome collab!
Q: What are your top 5 sellers?
A: Oh, bit of a hard one … but my best 5 would probably be ‘The Cyrillics’ cufflinks, the ‘Operative’ ring, the ‘Slim Sir’ ring, our ‘Admiral Sterling’ bracelet, and then the ‘Soviet Dog Tag’ pendant.
Q: Where did the concept of watch movements inside jewellery come from?
A: All those years ago, Mum and I found her father’s watch, a really elegant Cyma from the 1930s. I’d found that the movement was entrancing, and later I realised it was one of the first movements to possess a 3-day power-reserve. This was one of the moments that inspired me to collect ‘firsts’ in watches, and a catalyst for us to re-create these mysterious machines into jewellery, and make them wearable again.
Q: Where are your movements sourced from?
A: Knowing that many, many watches throughout the last century are obsolete — either too expensive to repair, or too precious to discard … I began contacting and connecting with watchmakers, and then retired watchmakers, and learned a lot from them. I realised that these movements have been stuck ‘in limbo’, and are in absolute need to be expressed out on the front. The aim is to re-tell, re-introduce the art from within, while at the same time to up-cycle these parts – never to break any watch.
Q: What’s planned for the future?
A: We’re hoping to build a strong online presence, alongside always a brick-and-mortar shopfront. We find that that duality is a golden combination to work with.
Q: You’re obviously a watch enthusiast, what’s your favourite watch in your collection?
A: You KNOW that is a tough one, haha. I think I have a few favourites, for very different reasons. I see Time+Tide are big fans of Moser — I have a Hy. Moser ‘Esculape’, a dead-beat seconds complication from the ’50s that I’ve always been fond of. I realise many would mistake it for a quartz movement, as the seconds hand is ticking … although it was made for a doctor back in the day, for measurement of pulse. An ironically complicated function, and I feel strongly today that is so relevant.
Q: And finally, what is your grail watch?
A: Alright, so I’m typically all about vintage, BUT since I saw the De Bethune Dream Machine 5 Meteorite, it was simply too amazing to ignore. The combination of an actual block of meteorite + spherical moon + ‘digital’ direct-read time indication + tourbillon … it’s just SO insane. I feel it’s good enough to be an example of a human achievement if we were to ever express ourselves to an alien race! Haha, maybe …
Time+Tide is proud to be able to offer a number of AHW Studio’s excellent jewellery pieces for purchase right here, at the T+T shop. Hit this link to view the full range.