However, then Elliot Brown came around. Their plan is to create watches for outdoor pursuits like mountaineering or sailing. They also included a bit of class. Swiss made, analog timepieces that are tested to take the pressures of the mountains.
The testing regime for every watch surpasses industry standard and then some. Elliot Brown pressure test all of their products to a minimum of 200 metres underwater. This is one of the many elements that shows the company cares that their time pieces work when they are required, they look good and they are practical.
It's that practicality that drew me to Elliot Browns watches. I met Ian, the Elliot in the equation, co-founder at a PR event a few years ago. I was already taken by their watches but listening to him talk about putting them together I could hear the passion that is taken to produce the final product that Ian held in his hand that day.
Part of the practicality of the Canford and the Bloxworth is the straps. You may ask why just the strap when there is so much engineering in the time piece. Well, the difference that changing the straps makes can change the whole look and use of the watch.
The Canford, with its brown leather strap makes it a classy watch that can be worn with a suit, still knowing it'll take bump if required.
Change the strap to the nylon strap and it's ready for a day on the hill.
The Bloxworth's bracelet strap is solid. it could be regarded as heavy, at 230g's, but it doesn't take long to get use to on a day to day basis. I've scratched the anodised black coating but it still looks good, maybe even better! When removing a couple of links I scratched the rim of the screw hole. It highlights though you can do it and you don't have to go to a wee man in an apron to change it.
Changing the strap to a bright orange specially designed rubber strap gives it a whole new look. It makes other people look and it increases its robustness for adventures. It also shaves 91g's off its overall weight.
The rubber straps Elliot Brown designed have been made of a special rubber that prevents it being affected by UV, seawater and won't absorb sweat. The shape of the strap takes a bit of time to form around the wrist due to its sturdiness but it does give eventually. The rubber straps come in an array of bright colours including a new Cyan option.
Image Courtesy of Elliot Brown.
Or you could choose black but that would be boring!
With the choices of straps I have the Canford or Bloxworth fits into any part of a my work or outdoor life. I actually avoid using any other watch. This did result in the face taking a pretty substantial dunt whilst cragging. It's still going strong though.
Elliot Brown have produced special editions watches for some great causes, the Special Boat Service Association and one very close to the outdoors folk amongst us is the Mountain Rescue Edition which puts money back to the organisation thats always there for us. Elliot Brown also sponsor Mountain Rescue England & Wales.
There's not much that I can fault with Elliot Brown watches, the only issue I've had is the battery has ran out in my Canford. I've had it over 2 years so theres not much to complain about.There is the option their new motion charging Tyneham that removes the issue of replacing any batteries. There's also a version for the ladies; The Kimmeridge.
On their website Ian Elliot is quoted saying“They’re built to last for years, not fashion seasons. There’s something comforting, putting on a watch that’s collected a few scrapes and scars, each with its own story to tell.”
I've collected scars and will continue to in the future. I whole heartily recommend getting an Elliot Brown watch, just don't be scared to give it some storylines.