For a while I was talking to Giles Ellis as he was in the midst of starting a watch brand. It was interesting to see yet another independent watch brand thrust themselves along supported by one enthusiastic founder faced with a number of challenges. Ellis, and Englishman, wanted a watch that reflected his tastes and ideals. For him Schofield is a true Gentleman's brand and offers the types of watches he wants to hear. He has great admiration for both the historic and contemporary English watch makers that are helping to bring horological street cred back to the UK.
Schofield's first pieces are called the Signalman. Two watches, both limited editions, that are offered in a polished steel or matte DLC coated black steel case. The case is pretty interesting and unfortunately doesn't come across super well in these images. I will try to do some hands-on stuff in the future. It is 44mm wide and produced locally in Britain. While not a diver per se, the watch is water resistant to 500 meters and has a AR coated sapphire crystal.
Signalman refers to a lighthouse. There is actually an engraving of one on the rear of the watch. The shape of the case as I recall is based on a special light used in a powerful lighthouse in England. The dial of the Signalman pieces are well done, and I think Giles spent due time polishing the design. Hands are a good length and it is very legible. There is applied SuperLumiNova for lume.
Not wanting to offer a simple three-hand dialed watch to start, the Signalman GMT watch is imbued with both a subsidiary GMT hand as well as a power reserve indicator (and the date). Schofield nicely designed the power reserve indicator to look linear - something I admire as I tend to not like most of those fan-shaped indicators that can screw up the look of an otherwise balanced dial. Symmetry is king here, and I am a loyal servant of that rule.
Powering the Signalman GMT is a Swiss Soprod caliber 9335 automatic movement. It has a power reserve of 42 hours and I believe the GMT hand is adjusted in one hour increments with an inset case pusher. One of Schofield's intended special offerings is a lot of nice straps. They are 24mm wide and will come in a host of styles. Both limited edition pieces the Signalman GMT will be limited to 300 pieces while the DLC version will be limited to 100 pieces. More models to come after that as I understand. Prices will be 2,465 and 2,765 British Pounds (plus VAT if applicable). The brand will be showing at the Salon QP where they will be officially launched.
Technical specifications for the Signalman GMT PR and DLC GMT watches:
- Limited edition to 300 pieces or 100 pieces for the DLC model.
- Automatic Swiss Soprod 9335 movement, 31 Jewels, 28,800 bph (4hz).
- Decoration: Côtes de Genève, perlage, Rhodium plated, blued screws.
- Power Reserve: minimum of 42 hours, displayed at 12 o’clock.
- GMT display at 6 o’clock, set via push button at 4:30 o’clock.
- Water resistant to 500 metres.
- Antimagnetic movement holder.
- Signalman case: 44mm diameter, mirror polish stainless steel or microbille DLC.
- Dial: on two levels, applied numerals, Super-Luminova C1.
- Sapphire crystal: domed, anti-reflective coating on the inside.
- Strap: special edition, water resistant black shark-skin, lined with green calf.
- Buckle: curved, polished stainless steel, engraved, screw in.