James Lamb is a British watchmaker (and silversmith, and precision engineer) who is currently making some of the most visually stunning watches in the world, but flying almost completely under the radar. That might change somewhat this week, with the launch of a new limited edition spun off from the Origin Series, Lamb’s first line that launched in late 2021. The all new Azur will be sold exclusively through Collective (in the United States) and The Limited Edition (in the UK). It’s a big moment for Collective as well, as they continue to expand the list of brands offered in their online store after adding Fears last year.
There are a number of things that make Lamb’s watches special, but at the top of the list is the use of silver as a case material. The .935 Argentium silver cases are made the old fashioned way, entirely by hand from flat stock bullion. A lathe, hand tools, and copious amounts of heat are the only additional elements used by Lamb to create each case. The result is a 39mm watch with sharp lugs and a curvy midsection with the unique luster of silver that is extremely uncommon in modern watchmaking. In addition to the silver case, Lamb also constructs the dial feet, winding crown, and other components from sterling silver and other materials by hand, in his workshop.
If you’re familiar with Lamb’s Origin Series, you know that the colorful enamel dials are meant to correspond with the “elements” of life, namely earth, air, fire, and water. For the Azur, Lamb has gone with a geometric pattern finished in a bright shade of blue that isn’t necessarily thematically tied to those earlier watches, but shares some obvious aesthetic links. We still get an offset ceramic subdial with crisp pad printing and a simple, easy to read display with minimal text. Aesthetically, these dials borrow heavily from pocket watch design, as well as enamel work in disciplines outside of watchmaking. If you’re interested in watches that highlight traditional decorative arts, James Lamb really ought to be on your radar.
The movement is a hand wound Sellita SW-210, which keeps the case height to a slim 9.75mm. The lug to lug distance is 48mm, which seems like a versatile size that should please a variety of wrists. Typically, a watch ordered from James Lamb can be made in a range of sizes via custom order, as each case is essentially made from scratch, but for this limited run it was necessary to land on standard dimensions, and 39mm feels like a happy compromise. It’s also worth noting that for this edition the caseback has been laser engraved with a design that mirrors that of the dial, and it also bears the hallmark of the London Assay Office as verification of the purity of the precious metal used in the case. This is the oldest such office in the United Kingdom, having been in operation in one form or another since the 14th century.
Availability of the Origin Series Azur will be extremely limited. A total of 12 watches will be sold, with half made available through Collective and other six through The Limited Edition. The retail price is $8,900. James Lamb x Collective Horology