JANE: From the watches I have seen, they feel like generational pieces, legacy pieces. You talked about your father’s and your grandfather’s watch being passed down. I can actually see these Marloe watches being passed down generationally.
JAMES: There are four collections of watches, is that right?
OLIVER: Yes, there are four collections of watches, and then there are limited or special edition ones. The entry point for Marloe Watch Company is the Coniston: our sort of do everything, daily watch
And then we have the Morar which is our dive watch. It can go down to 350 metres if you want it to. You wouldn’t survive, but the watch would.
(JANE laughs at GORDON’s comment)
Then there is the Haskell which is a Swiss watch, a daily adventure watch, but at a higher level. That was inspired by Scott going to the Antarctic and trying to get to the South Pole.
The last one is the Atlantic, a kind of aeronautic, heavily 1920s-era watch: a pilot’s watch.
The project for me took three years to go from the first concept to delivery. There were so many peaks and troughs in that project, from design woes to manufacturers walking away.
It was a certain achievement for me personally to get that out into the world.
OLIVER: The Atlantic is a good example as well of several things that we’ve touched on. There is a passion of ours to create beautiful, engineered pieces.
The level of risk you need to take. Gordon came to me about a year-and-a-half ago now. We had the second prototype of the Atlantic, and he had been looking over the prototypes for about a week or two, and he just said, “Look, I’m really sorry, but I want to start again”.
The point where you have made two prototypes, you have probably invested tens of thousands of pounds, and I sort of said, “Sorry, what do you mean?” And he said, “It’s not resolved. I can’t move forward as a designer. It needs massive, massive changes”.
It’s at that point where you need to ask the question: What is the risk here?
Can we do that, or in fact can we afford not to do that? It really goes to show what Marloe stands for: that we are not gonna bring anything to market that isn’t well designed and resolved or we’re not proud of.
So, we made the decision to scrap what we’d done to that point, other than the learnings that we’d experienced, and start again.
There were so many hurdles that we had to overcome, but this is another thing about bringing your passion to life. It’s never easy, and if it is, it isn’t worthwhile.