"To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess."
The words of William Shakespeare, who, as it is generally recognised, knew what he was talking about. Sometimes things are just perfect as they are, and the second you start adding to them - aside from simply wasting your energy - you risk ruining perfection. We completely agree when it comes to most things in life, including our design process; if it serves no purpose, you won't find it on one of our watches. Yet here we are, preparing to add a special edition to two of our most popular ranges.
We're painting the lily. Adding another hue unto the rainbow, if you will - two, in fact. Sorry, William.
Have we lost our minds? No. Have we decided that we aren't ready to lay the stories, history and inspiration that we have found in two particular people and their adventures to rest? Yes. We simply feel compelled to tell the full story behind every range, and these two, very special, watches will allow us to take a step closer to doing so; to add another chapter to our telling of the story. The Coniston and the Haskell ranges hold two very special places in the heart of Marloe Watch Company. Inspired by two very different British adventurers, they have evolved into iconic pieces within our range; both born from a desire to tell and to honour the stories of these remarkable men and their exploits the best way we know how; through creating beautiful timepieces.
If you're familiar with the Coniston range, especially the Coniston Bluebird, you'll have heard the name Donald Campbell. His words are engraved on the Coniston case backs, and every part of the watches - from the hands to the colourways to the case itself - is inspired by his story. And if you know of Donald Campbell, you'll most likely know of Sir Malcolm Campbell; and that's why we wanted to create a very special edition to sit alongside the Bluebird. This special edition is to the Coniston Bluebird as Sir Malcolm Campbell was to Donald Campbell; an origin story, a beginning, and a father.
Sir Malcolm Campbell was a seeker of speed from his earliest days. From flying as a pilot during WW1 and automobile racing to setting water speed records, he knew no boundaries when it came to pushing the limits of engineering and human bravery. In 1910, at the age of 25, Sir Malcolm began racing cars at the recently completed Brooklands Racing Circuit in Surrey. He christened his car Blue Bird and painted it blue, after having seen the play 'The Blue Bird' by Maurice Maeterlinck - a play which is centred on recognising the importance of the simple, honest pleasures of life which are, so often, just tantalisingly out of reach. For Sir Malcolm, this was the relentless pursuit of speed and the thrills associated with pushing his limits - a pleasure which his son inherited. The Blue Bird name stuck with Sir Malcolm, and he went on to set his first - the first of four - water speed world record in the Bluebird K3, a specially commissioned hydroplane boat, on Lake Maggiore on 1st September 1937.
The Bluebird K3 is the very boat, and Sir Malcolm is the very man, whose stories we tell through the upcoming Coniston special edition release.
The Haskell range tells the tale of Captain Scott and his men; of their battle against all odds to reach the South Pole. While we honoured the terrain of the Antarctic in the chalky, snowy dial of the Haskell Polar, we have unfinished business. We will never be able to capture the full, spectacularly intimidating glory of the entire Antarctic within a simple timepiece, but that won't stop us trying, and we wanted to bring another small - and contrasting - piece of that most hostile yet stunning landscape to wrists around the world. So we have.
Our upcoming special edition Haskell release is a celebration of the environment that surrounded these adventurers as they attempted to become the first people to reach the South Pole. Formidable, brutal and other-worldly, Antarctica has become a synonym for human endeavour and endurance, and its breathtaking vistas serve as inspiration for all who venture there. There was one section of the Terra Nova expedition which was to prove hugely influential in the outcome of their adventure; the Beardmore glacier. Traversing its treacherous lengths twice, Scott and his men were struck by its inhospitable but beautiful blue ice, and its contrast to the seemingly endless stretches of white that they had faced for weeks on end. The Beardmore was to go on to play a significant part in the series of accidents, worsening weather conditions and loss of hope that slowly claimed the lives of the party, despite their most valiant efforts. We have taken inspiration from this magnificent place; the myriad blue hues found within glacial ice, the refraction of light within its crystalline structure, the deep oceans upon which these masses float, and the people whose fights for survival and glory have played out on this most dramatic of stages.
We are utterly fascinated by these stories and people. What we didn't realise before we created these two ranges were that there are so many others who are equally fascinated; that we are a part of a far bigger club of enthusiasts than we knew. Together with our community, we are a group of people who like to dig beneath the surface; who like to explore beyond the beaten path and to delve deeper into the history of these renowned stories of bravery and adventure. We are at home here, creating objects from the stories that inspire us; that's what forms the core of our design process. That inspiration is infinite; we will never be ready to lay that passion to rest and dust our hands of these ranges and stories, for they have shaped our company and therefore our lives in a way which means they are woven into our very fibre. We hope that these two, limited, very special edition timepieces will complete the story, taking you one step deeper alongside us into the worlds which have inspired our watches.
Coming soon. Very soon.