As we're mid-way through our competition to Name Our Next Watch, we thought it was a good opportunity to talk about the reasons behind the names of our watch collections.
Three years ago when Gordon and I were designing our first collection, we took great inspiration from the city of Oxford - a city where I worked (and adored) for over 10 years. Oxford is a magical place with the most stunning architecture, so we were furnished with plenty of design ideas. As the timepiece began to take shape, we knew we needed a name that was truly representative of the city.
It was one gloriously sunny afternoon that while punting from Cherwell Boat House to the Victoria Arms pub, on the Cherwell River, that I messaged Gordon to say that I had an idea. Gordon and I have always had a fondness for the lakes, rivers and waterways of Britain, so it felt perfectly apt to name our first collection after one such river, one that encapsulates the very essence of Oxford life and the universities within - the Cherwell.
The name of our second collection came quite naturally as we hiked round Derwentwater in the Lake District discussing the various designs we had been working on. Each watch in the Derwent collection takes inspiration from the Lake District, from the Countess Pillar which is adorned by a beautiful and colourful sundial, to an old pressure gauge which had been designed by British thermometer maker Sidney Brannan.
We wanted the collection name to reaffirm where the watches got their design cues, and indeed continue the convention of naming our collections after bodies of water, hence the name Derwent was chosen.
Our third collection was over a year in the making, but the name came first. As a passionate Scot, Gordon was keen to give our Chronoscope some Scottish influence. Of all the Lochs in Scotland, few have as much connection in popular culture as Loch Lomond. An hour north-west of Glasgow, Loch Lomond is the gateway to the Highlands - a distinct visual indicator that you're about to enter the most beautiful place on Earth.
Most associated with the song "The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond", Loch Lomond is also the name of Whisky drank by Captain Haddock, in Herge's Adventures of TinTin (Gordon is somewhat of a TinTin superfan). It's a glorious place full of activity and culture, and also hosts a mob of wallabies on one of the islands within Loch Lomond - one of the few places where wallabies exist outside of Australia.
Continuing the Lomond's Scottish inspiration, surrounding the exhibition case back are the words of poet and lyricist Robert Burns - Nae Man Can Tether Time or Tide - from his 1790 narrative poem, Tam o' Shanter.
The Haskell was the first collection from Marloe Watch Company that took inspiration from a body of water outside of Britain.
On the 1st November 1911 Captain Robert Falcon Scott set out on the Terra Nova Expedition to reach the South Pole. Eleven weeks later the naval officer became the first British explorer to ever reach the pole, but sadly perished on his return journey.
The world was informed of the tragedy when Terra Nova reached land in New Zealand over a year later. Within days, Scott became a celebrated hero and national icon.
The Haskell was inspired by such British exploration, and is named after a the Haskell Strait, the ocean passage which Scott crossed as he set off from Ross Island in Antarctica. One member of the Terra Nova Expedition, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, famously described Scott parties’ attempts to get themselves and their ponies off disintegrating sea ice, past patrolling orca, and onto the McMurdo Ice Shelf.
To give a watch a name is quite difficult. From a design standpoint the name really does influence the direction. An elegant ladies dress watch can't really be called "The Rock" in the sameway a 50mm dive watch could. Similarly a really complicated slide-rule pilots watch would seem counter-intuitive if it was called "Simplicity". For us the concept of naming our designs after bodies of water allows us to bypass literal naming conventions and instill more of a personal touch to each and every one. Each watch in our collection so far has a important and memorable connection to us, as people. Which is why we are really excited and overwhelmed with the variety and connection each of our entrants have shown for their name suggestions. It's been a brilliant and heartwarming process to be a part of, and one that reaffirms our belief that wrist watches mean more to us than mere objects to present the time.
We'll be announcing the winner of the Name Our Next Watch competition soon, and we will begin the next phase of MWC's trajectory. We are so very excited.