By Gordon Fraser
22 Jan , 2021
Happy New Year everyone! We hope you had a good break over the festive period.
It’s taken us a few weeks to get through the buildup following the festive break but we’re starting to get on top of things now, and think more about the other projects that require our attention. We took some time to unwind and reflect on what was a truly incredible year for us over Christmas, both personally and as a business. We started last year with moving the business 400 miles north, from Henley to Perth - we packed two luton vans to the gunnels and transported everything to do with Marloe up to our office here in Perth. Since then, it’s been a convoluted web of strangeness that has taken Marloe, and us personally, through the ringer and spat us out the other side.
Like most, when Coronavirus arrived, we had to write off many of our plans for 2020, and shelve a lot of other stuff. The same was true for our production schedules - month by month not knowing if deadlines were going to be hit - mostly depending on the local lockdown state for each of our manufacturers. Some projects shifted to later in the year, some to 2021. We released a video at the tail end of the year talking about the various models we’ve been working on, so do take a look to see what we have planned.
But here we are, in the first few weeks of the new year and once again we find ourselves under lockdown here in Scotland. It’s a pretty severe lockdown, same as March/April last year but this time we have the benefit of experience and hindsight in how to operate under these conditions. So fortunately we're not impacted as much as first time round, and we’re still operating as normally as we can.
We thought we’d kick off 2021 with a quick update as to where we are and what we’re up to, and what we have planned for this coming year. With the new lockdown in effect it’s already looking disturbingly like last year but with the promise of a vaccine in the near future, there’s hope enough that we can start to think about how we’re going to plan our year out.
On the production side we have a new addition to the Haskell range launching in around 4-6 weeks, with the 42mm Solent arriving in the Spring - we had to delay that production a little, the reasons for which we will discuss in our upcoming Solent episode of this series. Spring will also see further celebration of the Campbell family and their world record breaking achievements. The Pacific project is now signed off for final production samples and shortly thereafter full production - that’s a really exciting project to get moving now and again we’ll discuss that in its own episode nearer the time. The other projects are progressing slowly but surely, as the world tries to open itself back up again.
This year is going to be exciting, despite these setbacks, not least because we will be moving into our new, purpose-built headquarters on the banks of Loch Leven. We’ve been keeping this move close to our chest for fear of it not happening, or being delayed indefinitely due to covid, but work continues on site and we’re still aiming for a summer entry. So many exciting things can evolve from this step into our own place, most excitingly the assembly of watches in-house - the transiting towards manufacturing in Britain as well as being able to host events and workshops. It’s incredibly exciting, especially as we expand and grow - it’ll also be good having the office so close to home (for me!).
So that’s where we are. We are clinging desperately to the hope that we will collectively get ourselves over the pandemic quickly and back to some semblance of normality. We will continue forging our path as we see it, and keep you all updated as to where we are as we navigate through this ever changing landscape. On the one hand it’s perpetually frustrating to be living and working through this worldwide struggle. It can often overwhelm you if you let it - but on the other hand, like Arnie said recently when trying to quell the rising unrest in America - the strongest steel is forged in the hottest fire. We are going through an unprecedented experience, all of us. If we deflect it the right way we’ll come out of this stronger than we could ever have imagined without it.
On that note - stay safe and we’ll catch up soon.