Made In Britain Collective and the Story behind Schofield
A round of drum roll! In early June, we took part in the Made In Britain Collective event, which aimed to showcase the quality and excellence of Great British craftsmanship and talents.
The Made In Britain Collective Event
Let’s start with a little description of the venue and its ambience. The event took place at the Devonshire Club. This place is an exquisitely decorated private members club, standing in a 5-storey building in the very busy corner of the City of London. The concept behind Made in Britain Collective is impressive and unique, gathering small independent British companies to show their craftsmanship and savoir-faire. Out of the ten luxury companies pulled together, there were leather smiths, wine makers, tailors and of course, Skolorr.
Taking this opportunity, we staged the debut of a new brand partner on our platform, Schofield. We preached independent watchmaking from our insider perspective to watch novices. It was a great time to discuss and listen to the perception people had of the indie world. And we had a cherished guest to inspire the audience with what he knew best: fine British watchmaking, from the brilliant mind of an independent watch brand’s founder-creator…
The Story behind Schofield
Everyone who listened to the story behind the idea of Schofield was fascinated and transported to a whole new world. It all started with an odd set of circumstances. Giles Ellis, Schofield’s founder, passionate about watches but alien to the industry, aimed to acquire a watch from the famous indie brand Bell&Ross. However, Ellis had quickly understood that the prospect was gloomy. The timepiece he was seeking for was above his budget. He then became obsessed with the idea of creating his perfect vision of a timepiece. He discovered the hard way that buying a unit of every single component of a watch separately was impossible, and he soon ended up having 99 extra timepieces in stock. He decided to offer the watches under the name Schofield. Which turned into a brand, as we now know it.
Why ‘Schofield’, you may ask. It all comes far removed from the watchmaking industry. The Smith & Wesson Schofield (pronounced SKO-FIELD) pistol is one of the most famous weapons often associated with the Old West, in the American collective imagination as the outlaw Jesse James’ famous best friend. Ellis, as a Western movies aficionado, was very close to this atmosphere of cowboys and pistols. He decided to build his brand around this universe, got in touch with the Schofield family in the USA (originally from Scotland), who gave him the right to reuse the name. One condition would be not to use a pistol feature on the brand’s logo.
In 2011, Schofield’s success story kicked out. Ellis revealed his business plan at the renowned Salon QP fine watch fair in London, and described the beginning of his brand, “Initially my business plan involved selling a grand total of three watches. In my first year, I exceeded year three of that plan.” But to Ellis, this isn’t about a meteoric, instant success.
7 years later, with a great extra amount of invention and creation added in, the brainchild of Giles Ellis has been born in England. Guests have been told about his adventure with this exact same passion as in the early days.
British Watchmaking Industry
Great Britain was once the superpower in watchmaking, during its maritime heyday. By 1800, around half of the world’s watches were produced in Britain. As everyone knows, the Swiss has since taken over the reign. It is not a small feat for a new wave of British watchmakers to revive the craft. A case in point, although all Schofield watches are assembled in the brand’s workshop in West Sussex, in the South of England, certain components still have to come from abroad. For The Telemark, for instance, its stainless steel case is made in Germany and the movement is an ETA made in Switzerland. Ellis is on his endless quest for a dial craftsman specialist in the United Kingdom.
At Skolorr, we recognise Great Britian as the country of supreme heritage to produce the finest independent watchmakers and craftsmen. Should it be just one to quote, the late Dr George Daniels, a Briton and a master horologist, (and now his protégé Mr Roger W. Smith), no doubt leads to the general consensus as the most talented watchmaker of the past two centuries. In light of the legacy, the soul and essence of Schofield is inspired by British watchmaking and will remain rooted in England.
> Discover more about the universe of Schofield
All photos by Made In Britain Collective