Garrick is a small British watch brand making elaborate, old fashioned mechanical watches, largely by hand using a mix of traditional and modern watchmaking techniques. Their website boasts of a bespoke watchmaking service, and their designs can be most aptly categorized as ornate in nature, with engine turned dial finishing, meticulous hand polishing, and even the use of enamel. Their latest watch, the S4, is their new entry level product, and features a dial that is among the most detailed I can recall seeing on a watch at this price point. Garrick’s watches are proudly low production, and they seem to have taken the approach of doing the exact opposite of what large brands that manufacture watches at mass scales do. That is to say, they’re happy to take the long view, and do things slowly and on their terms.
Introducing the Garrick S4, with a Dial Made By Hand
One look at the S4’s dial reveals its complexity, but understanding how it’s made forces an appreciation for the way Garrick goes about executing their design vision. For Garrick, the idea behind this watch is to do as much by hand as possible, and it starts with the use of a lathe to create the brass disc that will eventually become the base of the S4’s dial. Even on very expensive watches, dial blanks are often stamped, as it’s a process that lends itself to scaling for mass production. Garrick’s dial blank is then sanded down to remove imperfections and subsequently bead blasted. The chapter ring and small seconds ring are cut and drilled for fastening, but before being applied to the dial are baked at a high temperature to harden the metal.
Once the metal has cooled and the chapter and seconds ring have been “spun” on a lathe to give them their unique finish, Roman numerals are laser engraved and filled with ink by hand using a syringe pen. Other finishing touches include heat blued hands meant to evoke a maritime motif, a frosted central dial, and guilloche applied to the small seconds register through the use of a traditional rose-engine lathe. The end result is a dynamic dial with multiple finishing techniques having been utilized, and a watch through which one can clearly see the hand of its creator.
The S4 runs on a manually wound ETA movement that has been rhodium plated and features plenty of design flourishes of its own, mostly recalling early British watchmaking. The barrel has been elaborately engraved, and the three quarter plate is a nod to English pocket watches of the 19th century. According to Garrick, the movement is regulated to a variance of just three seconds per day.
If there’s an area of the S4 to quibble with, it’s the size of the case. The watch comes in at 42mm in diameter, which is big for something that veers toward the formal in its appearance. That said, the larger size gives the wearer a greater opportunity to admire the watch’s impressive features. A large canvas sometimes leads to a work that’s simply more impressive based on sheer size, and while it might at first seem a bit anachronistic to make a dressy watch over 40mm, it’s also understandable that Garrick might simply want the S4’s wrist presence to properly convey the skill and hard work of its creator.
The S4 starts at £4995, which is more than fair considering the craftsmanship that goes into each watch. Each S4 is made to order, and orders can be placed starting today. Garrick