Australia is renowned for a great many things; beaches, beer (but not Fosters, for the love of God, never Fosters) and a wide range of animals that can kill you for example.
Australia is not, however, known for watchmaking . Or, lesser still, knowing anything about the traditional watchmaking houses that have shaped the history of horology over the last 300 odd years. All you need to do to confirm this is ask someone from Switzerland what they think of Jay-gar La Culcha or Blank pan and watch the politely veiled wince.
But what we lack in the way of a sexy, continental accent we are beginning to make up for in a rapidly growing number of local watch brands. Homegrown brands like Bausele, Melbourne Watch Company and Haigh & Hastings are making watches marketed with a distinctly Aussie flavour with their eyes on not only the domestic, but also international, market. Other prominent microbrands such as Aegir Instruments, OWC, Erroyl, Tangramatic and Rebelde call Australia home, while popping up on blogs and Instagram accounts all over the world.
The thing is, not much has been written about this nascent scene. In fact, nothing that we could find. And with a little bit of investigation, it turns out the majority of the players in it haven’t even met. Andrew wrote a page in The Weekly Review and GQ and that seems to be the sum of it.
This, we decided, should be remedied. It should be remedied with beer. Just not Fosters, obviously.
So we hatched a plan, cunning in its simplicity. Next week, from the 25th to the 31st of May we will boycott the Swiss and ban the Germans – we are all set to focus all our attentions on the watches being designed and made in our own backyard.
Stand by for a 100% Australian Watch Week on Time+Tide.
Like all good ideas, this one quickly snowballed. Of course we’ll review the watches, but let’s also get some expert and industry opinions on the current state and the future of the Australian watch scene. We enlisted the help of our friends at Worn & Wound to provide some international perspective. And the founders of Bremont and Seven Friday were more than happy to share their experiences about building a brand outside of the establishment.
To cap off the week we thought we’d do a very special Friday Wind Down. This is where the beer comes in. We decided to get as many of the Australian brands as we could together in a Melbourne pub, knock the froth off a few pints and share our love of watches.
More than that, in true Aussie spirit, we want you there too.
If you’re in Melbourne on Friday the 29th of May, and would love to see some local watches, please fill in the below form and we’ll be in touch. The venue is close to the CBD and the beers are on us; Time+Tide and the Aussie brands will be picking up the tab.
It’s only a matter of days now, so join us in toasting the inaugural Australian Watch Week, we hope you’ll get behind it.
A big Cheers from the team at Time+Tide, and for the record we’re drinking Little Creatures Bright Ale….