British Watch Brands Have Their Day

On a bright morning in early March, about 100 people waited patiently outside a grand Edwardian building near Victoria Station, waiting to be the first to enter British Watchmakers’ Day, a fair dedicated entirely to showcasing a few dozen brands based in Britain.

Inside, there were displays of timepieces from labels that have received international attention, including Christopher Ward and Fears, alongside many less well-known brands, such as Geckota, Isotope Watches, Pinchbeck and Pinion. Many founders, including the celebrated British watchmaker Roger W. Smith, staffed their companies’ tables.

And in spite of the event’s name, the fair included a couple of clock manufacturers, Sinclair Harding and Thomas James Clocks, as well as an Irish watch brand Sidereus.

Visitors lining up outside Lindsley Hall as the British Watchmakers’ Day fair opened.

In all, 44 companies paid 395 pounds to 1,395 pounds ($500 to $1,760), depending on floor space, to participate in the eight-hour show. And the fair’s organizers, the Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers, said it was the first of its kind in the country.

“There’s really no other opportunity to see them all in one day,” said Mickler Bentley, a retired teacher who traveled to the event from his home outside of Waynesville, N.C.

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