The real value of a dive watch, in our eyes, and the reason that we were so compelled to make our own, is the rich history that has led to this niche object becoming a must-have for the modern-day consumer. There are so many incredible, diverse stories from the individuals, organisations and events that shaped the dive watch into what it is today that it’s almost impossible to pick which ones to share; which is why we've had to create an online publication, to be released this winter, as an outlet in which we can delve into this rich history and give it the time and attention it deserves. We wanted to strip back the glitz and glamour; to take the most important elements of dive watch design and history and to use them to craft a beautiful, unique, functional object which is purposeful both in its intended use, on a dive, and on land. We wanted it to be able to withstand the deepest depths along with the rigours of modern day life, to serve and to delight no matter what kind of environment its owner is in. The Morar has been years in the making; the object that you can now own has been fine-tuned, considered, honed and tested to the limits of both design and functionality. This project may have begun in 2016, but throughout the years, the Morar has called to us; there was never any doubt in our minds that we would come back to it, and find a way to bring it to the market. That time is now.
We name all our watches after bodies of water, mainly in the UK but sometimes further afield. When we approached our dive watch project we knew the name was going to be of utmost importance, and the depth of the water would be similarly so. Luckily we have a hugely deep loch in Scotland, Loch Morar, the deepest body of water in Britain, which is 310 metres deep.
Loch Morar is situated on the North Western coast of Lochaber in the West Highlands and is a stone’s throw away from Mallaig; the main port for the small isles and Skye. Mallaig is also the termination point for the Great Highland Railway, the route of which features in Harry Potter, as the Hogwarts Express passes over the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Morar is a very small place, with a few houses and a hotel. The loch itself is the opposite; incredibly long and vastly deep, the loch sits at 9 metres above sea-level and looks like a sea-loch; one that is attached to the outer seawater. It is instead a mountain loch, fed with fresh water from the mountains that surround the loch and is home to several species of fish and geological interests.
One inhabitant has traversed the ages and remains to this day a mystery; Morag, as she’s affectionately known, is said to have lived in this loch for centuries. It is said that Morag is around 30 feet long, with rough skin and three dorsal humps, and we can’t help but be enamoured by this creature of folklore. So much so, we placed her on our caseback.
The dive watch has become more than a dive watch, it has become a symbol of wealth, of status and taste. Or so popular culture would lead you to believe. When we set out on our journey with MWC, we always knew one day we would design and produce a diver’s watch, and when that time came we wanted it to be as unique and different to all the cookie cutter designs as we could possibly make it. The dive watch arena is the most crowded place in watch land, and there’s very little to differentiate between any of them, save some branding, marginal technical specifications and fancy materials.
The time for our dive watch project arrived in mid-2016, with a quick sketch of a rounded, pebble-like form with integrated bezel and curved lugs. This sparked the beginning of what would become a project spanning the course of 3 years, flitting from impossible problem solving to project shelved to resurrection. At one point the Morar was intended to use a manual movement, but due to significant challenges and a lack of realistic solutions, the Morar was shelved whilst we focused on other projects.
However, in November 2018 the Morar project roared back to life after deciding, for the first time in MWC’s history, to use an automatic movement as the engine. This would solve many of our historical woes with the project and allow us to bring the Morar to market more resolved than originally designed; a by-product of our countless hours of discussion, production cycles and technical hurdles emanating from our other projects during the Morar’s shelf time.
As a result, the Morar is beyond even our expectations. It's the product of the desire to create something that followed no preordained plan, that complied with no preset expectation of dive watch design nor compromised any element for aesthetic or vanity reason.
We designed the Morar to be a dive watch that can be used as a dive watch. In MWC we follow very few rules except one; nothing unnecessary. If it doesn’t need to be there, it shouldn’t be there. By following this ethos it allows us to design freely and accurately, knowing that only the elements that bring utility and clarity to the design will make the cut. As such the Morar is, in our humble opinion, a dive watch in the purest form; no aesthetic quirks, no luxury materials and no claims of status. It is a robust, beautifully made, expertly engineered instrument that can withstand any diving environment found in both recreational and professional diving.
It’s interesting to us that there’s such an industry demand for dive watches, given that the majority of people that wear dive watches don’t actually dive. It’s a completely aesthetic decision, driven by the feeling of adventure and daring, of going to places that humans are incapable of surviving without apparatus and skill. It is this desire, that will to go places that demand expertise and experience, that focussed our minds and set us on a path to the purest design.
You’ll see, as you become accustomed to the Morar and its design, that we have taken the vitals of dive watch design and have stripped back everything we could, to try and achieve a remarkable, clutter free yet essentially informative design. There’s no ceramic inserts or high-dome crystals, no mirror polished cases or expensive precious metals. The design follows our ethos to the letter.
We've obsessed over each and every element of the Morar - there’s nothing we haven’t considered, sweated over or compromised for. It’s our pride and joy, and we’re delighted to have persevered, as the results speak for themselves.
All roads really do lead here, and that place is Morar; our first dive watch.