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Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:31 am
by Galton321
Is the market for watches expanding because the number of kickstarters and small companies new to me seem to be proliferating. It might, of course, be the Covid effect. The more you test the more cases you discover! The latest to demand my attention is Zero West Watches based in Hampshire. Anyone heard of them or even better seen one? They produce a small collection of aviation watches with a Spitfire theme and a couple of Marine watches. They appear to be well made and designed. In terms of marketing they have the necessary back story attached to their watches even one offering the Spitfire scap metal option. They use Swiss ETA movements. In fact I find some of them quite attractive. But they are not cheap. £2000 upwards. Anyone out there willing to take a punt at this price point for an unknown company, at least to me?

https://zerowest.watch

Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zer West Watches

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:48 am
by gannet
I like some of those, out of my price range though :( Big dials too but smallish lug to lug

Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:00 pm
by nbg
I think they have been around for a while.

I met the owners and tried on a few at an event in November 2019.
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Very friendly. When I mentioned that we occasionally visited the restaurant around the corner from them, they said to drop in when next visiting.

Neil

Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:44 pm
by angusbon
I know Wyatt has been closely considering one.
I've done a bit of reading up on them and seen a few interviews with the guys, seem top notch fellas and the watches appear to be superb

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Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:57 pm
by Amor Vincit Omnia
The longitude watch looks absolutely superb, and I could well be very interested apart from one thing – every single watch they produce seems to be in a 44 mm case!

Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:00 pm
by nbg
Amor Vincit Omnia wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:57 pm
The longitude watch looks absolutely superb, and I could well be very interested apart from one thing – every single watch they produce seems to be in a 44 mm case!
Indeed 44mm.

Why do think I was holding them in my hand for the pics, rather than wearing them! :lol:

Neil

Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:23 pm
by 0uatiOW
^^^ Thanks for the mention!

I have been evaluating Zero West for a while. I really like the look of some of the models & I appreciate seeing watches which are a little different to the usual offerings. Drop them an email - they’ll send you a printed brochure.

I have not yet seen one of their watches in person. I was hoping to meet the guys at the Watch It All About event, which was postponed due to COVID-19. I have some reservations, which I will explain below.

The sense I have of reading about them & watching a few videos is that the build quality is high, but I really need to get my hands on one to verify that fact. I know that their straps are handmade in house, and I read somewhere that many of their customers own more than one of their watches.

For me the designs stand out - some of their designs are very unusual - see the LS-1 for example - and perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but the models which attract me the most are the Spitfire S1 and the Café Racer CR-1.

I said I had some reservations - not about the prices (if the quality matches my expectations, then I would say the prices are in the right ball park). I’m also not concerned about the lack of track record or “heritage”. The more visible of the two owners, Andrew Brabyn, is super passionate about their mission and about watchmaking; I can tell these guys are serious about what they’re doing.

What does hold me back, aside from being unable to confirm my quality expectations, is that their watches tend to be large - 44mm with flat backs and my concern would be whether they will just wear too large on my 17cm wrist.

At the beginning of this year I had Brellum, Zero West & Monta on my list of new (to me) brands to try out. I have bought a Brellum (and yes, it is fantastic) and I’m excited to see whether ZW will live up to my expectations too.

Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:37 pm
by MarkAustin36
I met these guys at Club QP last Nov and have to say I was very impressed. Not only are their watches of high quality but the team behind the brand appears very credible and a great alternative Bremont.

I tried on a few of the watches and have to say whilst 44mm sounds big they do wear a lot smaller (no coincidence I was was informed). I've been looking at the new S4 pilot watch against the IWC and have to say the Zero West is looking like a winner for me, especially with the hand made strap.

Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:36 pm
by TigerChris
I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on them. There’s nothing there that jumps out at me currently. The S1-Spitfire is the pick for me but my Black DLC/PVD slot is taken with the Pinion Axis Black. At 49.6mm lug to lug I would suspect they wear fantastic, almost ‘Bremont like’. Definitely on the radar for future.

Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:44 am
by Thegreyman
0uatiOW wrote:^^^ Thanks for the mention!

What does hold me back, aside from being unable to confirm my quality expectations, is that their watches tend to be large - 44mm with flat backs and my concern would be whether they will just wear too large on my 17cm wrist.
They are interesting watches and judging only from the photos look to be well made.

I do feel though that they are on the size limit for a smaller wrist with a 50mm L2L of most if not all their models. Also if you have anything less than a 18cm wrist size you will need to punch your own holes in their strap.


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Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:01 am
by Amor Vincit Omnia
With so many companies now bringing sizes back down to around 40 mm mark, I wonder whether they might perhaps have missed the boat. They will probably prove me wrong.

Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:12 pm
by drand
I had not heard of the brand before and I am impressed having had a quick look at the website and pictures of the watches. The history behind the location is interesting, I had no idea that Emsworth has a speed record connection. Hopefully I will be able to have a trip over there at some point, it being fairly local.

If they are design and manufacturing some components themselves then the prices seem reasonable, thought it's a segment of the market (based on budget) that almost overwhelms with choice.

Their DSL lugs are rather smart, though like many others I find 44m is a bit on the large side and they seem quite thick too.

Glad these were brought to my attention though, so thanks to the OP.

Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:40 pm
by 0westTom
Hello members of the CW Forum,

My name is Tom, I work along side Andrew and Graham at Zero West as their press officer. A customer sent us a link to this forum page and we have been reading some of the comments and we are taken aback with how nice and supportive they are, that's really appreciated.

I think that it is clear that with a direct sales business model, a lot of the interest in the brand is going to come from various in-person events which I think has been noted in some of the comments here, so naturally we are disappointed with how this year has turned out, event-wise.

That being said, firstly, we are hosting an event at our design studio next week, Thursday 24th September, 6-9pm, where we are showcasing all of our watches to try on, alongside artwork, photography and a custom motorcycle done by local mechanics, as well two new watch models that are new for 2020. I would like to invite any one on this forum who is interested to drop me an email at press@zerowest.co.uk and I would happy to send more details about this and get you a space in our allocation of invitees to come down and try on any watches.

I am happy to answer any questions about the brand, about the watches, or on the event next week, so just let me know.

Thanks guys! - Tom :D

Re: Proliferation of watch brands, Zero West Watches

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:15 pm
by 0uatiOW
^ Tom beat me to it. I was going to share some emails, received last week. I’ll do it anyway. The open house invitation for next Thursday, which I sadly can’t make, and brief details of the Battle of Britain “Black Box” special.
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I had a brief phone call with Andrew yesterday - he seems like a top bloke - I would very much like to make ZW my next purchase, but I want to see one in person first.