Monday, October 31, 2016

The Stamford Original

From Loomes -

Courtesy of Loomes
This little buzzer snuck in today and I have the opportunity to share it with you before the official reveal at Salon QP later this week.  And yes, I have permission ; )

Loomes is not a marketing powerhouse, but they do make some nice watches.  This is their latest offering - the Stamford Original.  As I have not seen it, I am going to let them tell you about it in their own words -

We are proud to announce the birth of our new movement 

The Stamford Original will be revealed on Thursday at the Saatchi Gallery.
Weighing in at 29mm diameter and just 4.6mm thin the movement is designed to suit our own watch cases and dials.

The Stamford Original is a completely new movement. Every component is manufactured in England. Much of the turning work is outsourced to around twenty middle-England precision engineering companies. From there the watches are slowly built up in our Stamford workshops.
 A staff of fifteen machine and jewel the plates, cocks and bridges in small batches and  machine cases and dials. Even the  screws and jewels are made in England.

Courtesy of Loomes

We were driven on by those in the industry who said this "couldn't be done" (the manufacturing of all the components in England). Robert stubbornly believed it could and has spent the last few years working towards this moment.

We will be exhibiting at Salon QP and the watch will be available for 2017. It is being made in a series of  twelve in white gold and twelve in yellow gold cases, 39mm diameter. The price of each is £28,500.

The Case:
Our own design, cast in London including Scottish river-panned gold and Cornish tin, 
in use for six years now and wearing well. For the Stamford watch it will be available 
in 18ct White Gold or 18ct Yellow Gold.

The Dial: 
Designed and machined and decorated by us in our inimicable fashion (the dial and dial feet 
are machined from the same piece of nickel silver. Finished with a matte surface and rhodium plated. 
The use of "Loomes" rather than "Robert Loomes" denotes the new Stamford movement.

The Hands: 
cut from high carbon spring steel they are individually heat blued to a dark rich hue before 
fitting to brass collets (made in Birmingham).

laser cut and polished in England. Fitted in place by Nylon gaskets which are hand turned by 
English specialists.

cast and machined by us, fitted to our own stem with rubber seals from Northamtonshire.

Hand-cut English bridle leather and goatskin individually made for us in Leicestershire by a specialist 
leather workers who produce for international Haute Couture houses.

Buckle and strap pin components:
The buckle and tongue is cast and polished by us. The pins are developed in Coventry from 
work done for an English pen maker.

The movement:

designed and machined by us in Stamford out of nickel silver. 
Each is hand reamed for jewel fitting and small internal screw-threads are cut by hand. 

Plate screws: 
designed by us, using a "nut and bolt" system. Manufactured in West Yorkshire 
using high carbon steel. Hand blued in the workshop.

The barrel and cap: 
manufactured by (an ex-employee of Rotherhams) a Coventry firm  

The arbors and toothed wheels: 
made in Yorkshire, just outside Huddersfield, home of George Savage qv. 
The tooth profiles are our own creation, being satisfied with nothing we have seen. 
I am reminded of the time a new manager entered a Coventry watchmakers in the 
early19th century with fancy French mathematical explanations of how to calculate pinion forms. 
One of the workers replied;  "but every Englishman knows a pinion is shaped like a bay leaf". 
We are influenced by our experience of how the wheels deform in use and so practical 
experience outweighs theory. 

The balance wheel:
turned in Leicestershire, machine holed and spoked in Stamford before hand finishing,
poising and fitting.

The collet:
made in Stamford

The roller:
made in Stamford

The hairspring:
made in England. We have a significant batch of these springs, fresh from the 
winding boxes (we still have access to). Six steel springs are wound together and come out, 
hardened and tempered, fused together. A mild acid bath is necessary to separate them from 
one another. before cutting to length, timing, forming inner curves and outer and finally 
pinning into a watch
We retain use of the winding boxes, have the hardening skills ourselves and an open
 option to produce kilometers of spring in Sheffield should we need it.

The jewels:
designed to our measurement, they are laser cut and internally polished, in England, 
from aluminium oxide tinged with chromium to give the traditional red "ruby" colour.
Alas, there is nobody in England who has invested in the Stepanhov method of jewel 
production, so ours cost many times the cost of conventional modern jewels.

Winding and setting components are cut either in Stamford or Cambridgeshire and hand 
finished in our workshops.

The mainspring:
provided by an English mainspring maker.

Simple movement facts:
18,000 vph conventional train. The (hidden below the barrel bridge) winding leaves a 
very traditional English half-plate appearance, and a large swathe of engraveable metal. 
The plates are 18ct gold plated for longevity after jewelling.

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