You may have seen the pictures I posted in a previous thread in this forum or you may have read the excellent story by our friends at Fratellowatches.
Here's a closer look at their collection from SalonQP, and we also found out what is coming next. First a little about Meridian:
The Meridian Watch Company's story is a simple one: two friends recalling the heyday of English watchmaking set themselves the challenge of making a watch on English soil, using local craftsman and components. Three years after the notion first occurred, battling naysayers and in spite of doubters, the two have achieved just that with 'The Prime Collection' and a range of five calibres based around a Swiss movement.The watch case is manufactured completely in Meridian’s Norwich workshops from one solid piece of stainless steel, ensuring durability. With each case and back manufactured as a pair, they fit together perfectly and uniquely. The timepieces are water-resistant down to 1000 feet.
Simon (the one on the left in the upper picture, and his wrist above), a second-generation watchmaker, is a fellow of the British Horological Institute. Having learned his craft under the watchful eye of his father, Simon attended Hackney Technical College, where he studied under Peter Roberts, followed by WOSTEP in Switzerland. He founded his company restoring clocks and watches in 1986, his faultless work earning an ISO 9001 registration, the first horological concern to do so.
Richard, on the right on the above picture, is a watch connoisseur and collector who has long dreamed of manufacturing an English watch. As an industry veteran, he has seen many brands come and go and thus brings a uniquely insightful perspective, both as customer and designer.Over many conversations, they settled on creating a watch that is intended to be worn, knocked about and enjoyed, resulting in a watch sturdy enough to keep time through exposure to anything the elements can throw at it, whether in England or abroad.
While the Meridian watches currently all have a solid case back, it would be very nice if they'd come with a see-through case back. Why? Well, check this movement out, and you'll understand what I'm saying:
The base movement is clearly the Unitas, but hey, they decorated it pretty well! Let's show you one more:
The next step is the 100 hour power reserve, built in the Unitas:
Now, who wouldn't want that?
Let's hope we will see more models coming out soon. Meanwhile their first collection is cool enough to get one, taken that the price might draw some people back. Their starting price is GBP 4,495.00.
The sandwich dial is constructed by hand. its brass back is painted in the preferred dial colour, with SuperLuminovaTM applied for enhanced visibility in poor light conditions. The stainless steel chapter ring is then fitted, enabling the SuperLuminovaTM show through the apertures in the dial itself. The skeletonised stainless steel hands, too, have been made, polished and painted on site. They are hand-colleted to the central shaft.
Assembled from raw parts in the Norfolk workshops to Meridian’s specification, from a Swiss-made Unitas 6497/98 base calibre, the completely reworked ebauche serves as a platform for the modifications and modules that define the five Prime calibres. The movement is engraved by hand with the lines of longitude, engine-turning is applied around the balance, and the bridges are hand-frosted, the latter a revered, traditional finish often found in English watches.
Those paint-brushed dials are SO cool. The dial gets a different look from any angle. Just compare the white dial model in the two above pictures, and see what I mean.
Every watch comes in a canvas roll with two straps and this set of tools:
Meridian's attention to detail and commitment to craftsmanship extend to the screws which are hand-blued in the workshop. Traditionally, watchmakers would blue their own screws with heat and a trained eye. Modern chemical methods recreate the colour but do not reproduce the surface effects nor achieve the extra hardness the heat-based approach brings.Source: Meridian Watches
This artisanal care applies to the watch straps as well. Each watch comes with two hand-stitched straps made in the Home Counties, one canvas and one leather. After a period of use, the straps conform to the exact shape of the owner’s wrist. The stainless steel buckle, with integrated roller to ease fastening, is made from 11 distinct parts.Every timepiece is accompanied by two Meridian hex keys, and a small glass vial containing spare screws and strap bars. Also included is a ‘passport holder’ made by Smythson of Bond Street. The Meridian Prime will be offered in three forms, including brushed and satin-finished steel, hand-polished steel and Meridian Black.
Building an English watch involves the search for English contractors, suppliers and raw materials, exponents of dying crafts. Insisting on the use of traditional skills has resulted in handmade watches of which every example is a personal accomplishment by one of The Meridian Watch Company's eight employees – and therefore each watch is as individualistic as the person who will wear it.With their focus on creating hand-crafted timepieces made with time-proven methods, Simon and Richard continue to push themselves. Their next hurdle is the creation of their own movement, which has been in development for eight years, pre-dating their decision to create a new company. Meridian has every intention of furthering the rebirth of the English Watch.
Related link: www.meridianwatches.com
Pictures: Ernie Romers, Watchuseek (c)