The Garrick S1
For better or worse Garrick is inextricably linked with classical British watchmaking. For me that’s firmly better rather than worse as I’m a sucker for understatement. But that’s also just what comes of obsessively finishing every surface to the level of an old Swiss artisan in his Alpine workshop. One follows the other like day and night or old 70s TV stars and disturbing scandals. Yet that’s just what makes Garrick’s latest creation so different.
The S1. Even the name rings with modernity. Not like it’s trying too hard like the Garrick Blockchain or something, but just that it know it’s something apart from the rest. Just look at it; nobody’s going to think it’s in the same field as the Portsmouth or earlier Shaftesbury. Hell, it looks like it’s from an entirely different watchmaker.
Don’t worry, the things that make Garrick great are still there. Watchmaker Craig Baird has gone to town on the S1, crafting more of it than ever here in the UK, all of which is on peacocking display. It’s certainly eye-catching, both in mechanics and sheer colour.
The most unique aspect of the S1 however, isn’t immediately obvious. It’s not open dial nor the strange feeling of depth the case shape gives it, but the material used for the balance.
Sicumet is a copper-based alloy and like any material advances (think silicon) has plenty of benefits over standard steel. For one, it’s resistant to magnetism which is a huge deal when you’re talking about such minute constructions.
The movement also includes Garrick’s free-sprung balance and olive jewels because of course it does. They have standards to keep. Those standards flow directly into the finishing too; just because it’s more modern doesn’t mean Garrick has gone slack.
Each surface is hand-finished which when you have brushed, hand-frosted and grained surfaces next to one-another is pretty spectacular. Add in some gold chatons, a selection of different, hand-crafted hands and that signature fluted crown and you have a watch that is entirely Garrick. At the same time it’s entirely not.
There’s no holy tablet from the mountain stating in the engraved words of a watchmaking god that fine finishing and traditional craftsmanship require a classical style. It’s just a given. It’s even been a given by Garrick in the past – but not so any more. The S1 could well be the new face of true British watchmaking.