Eve’s Watch Awards 2017 in association with Urb-it is delighted to present its Pop-Up spectacular Struthers London. Husband-and-wife watchmakers, Craig and Rebecca Struthers, offer the most bespoke service in British watchmaking. Their creative process takes clients on a journey from concept to creation, starting with a hand-rendered illustration, and ending with a worldwide unique timepiece.
Passionate about making, the critically acclaimed multi-award winning watchmakers have been recognised for their contributions to British craftsmanship and horological study. Craig is an alumnus of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust for his contribution to the preservation of traditional watch case making from sheet metal. In 2017, Rebecca Struthers became the first watchmaker in British history to earn a PhD in horology studying fakes, forgeries and emergence of the eighteenth-century Swiss watch industry through the hidden marks found within surviving examples.
Every commission begins with a conversation
From their Tailor-Made service, which allows you to select from a range of existing case, dial and strap designs to the ultimate in bespoke watchmaking, a worldwide unique watch designed and created just for you. Every Struthers watch is created by working directly with the Struthers watchmakers.
Hand-crafting watches takes time, with the process typically taking between four months and two years, depending on the complexity of the piece. Clients are updated throughout the process with photographs from the bench and the option to visit the Struthers workshops to see their watch being created. Fitting their traditional approach to horology, the Struthers’ Georgian workshops are in the historic former premises of renowned British industrialist, James Watt, in Regent Place, Birmingham.
In the same way watch watchmakers and goldsmiths have been working for centuries, every single bespoke watch commission begins with hand-rendered presentation illustrations to begin realising your idea.
Timepieces can be Tailor-Made around one of their existing designs that can be modified to your preference of colour way, leather textures and precious metal. For something completely unique, the Struthers can design and create a one-off piece, just for you.
Based in the historic Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, the Struthers use traditional heritage equipment dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, applying the same techniques that have been used by watchmakers for centuries.
Having started their career as vintage restorers working with nearly five-hundred years of watchmaking. Centuries-old watches have no spare parts supply, so it was hand-making new components for heritage movements that gave Craig and Rebecca the skills they required to start making their own watches. Importantly, it was this education that inspired their approach towards longevity of design and craftsmanship. In the same way, the watches which inspire have survived the centuries, with the right care, every watch leaving the Struthers workshop is designed to last for hundreds of years to come.
While working on their first in-house movement, Struthers watches are crafted around reclaimed pieces of history. All Tailor-Made and Bespoke watches use a recommissioned vintage or antique movement which has been rescued from the bullion industry. These movements are completely stripped back and remastered, taking once-loved timepieces and restoring them to functional watches with instant provenance.
The material should be worthy of the piece. Struthers watch cases are exclusively crafted in precious metal, from sterling silver, to 18ct gold or platinum. Using a combination of casting and raising from sheet metal, every Struthers watch case is created using traditional silver and goldsmithing techniques. With every piece finished by hand, slight variations make every watch, even Tailor-Made, completely unique.
To perfect the tactile finish of every case, the final polishing stages are completed in the hands of the watchmakers using cloths.
MASTERS OF CRAFT
The Struthers are proud to work within a network of masters of craft, from cabinet makers to leather workers and gun engravers who allow the greatest attention to detail to be applied to every commission inside and out. Every Struthers client is given immediate access to this exclusive network to make their idea a reality.
From hidden compartments in presentation cases to secret engraved messages within your watch, this network guarantees every watch is as unique as its owner.
Furthermore, it makes every Struthers watch an investment in independent British craftsmanship which preserves heritage trades for future generations, and, supports some of the exceptionally skilled people who work here.
Watchmakers make watches. The next stage in the Struthers journey represents the ultimate in independent watchmaking – machining their own movement in-house. Staying true to the Struthers’ history in restoration, they are the first watchmakers to recreate the English lever escapement in nearly a hundred years. Featuring a slow 16,200 beat train, the movement was inspired by one of the first machine-made English watch movements made in 1880.
By travelling back in time to where the British watch industry ended, the Struthers will find their own path through the history of horology by applying modern materials and production techniques to a historic design. This first movement will be a manual-wind, time-only movement, that will provide the base for future complications.