I’ve been very keen to bring you news of brands who are making watches right here in the good ‘ol U.S. of A. However, bringing manufacturing “home” isn’t just an American idea. In fact, back over across the pond, the folks at Mr. Jones have just completed a few micro-runs of watches, the first to come out of their London workshop.
Interestingly, both of these watches (which are called “Tour du Monde” and “Vingt Mille“) are drawing inspiration for their dial design from literature. The Tour du Monde draws from “Around the World in 80 Days” (hence the air balloon), and the Vingt Mille calls to mind the giant squid attack from “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.
While these watches seem to be similar to previous outings from Mr. Jones (in terms of a quartz movement, and fairly unremarkable case), the true star of the show here are those dials. It started with larger-scale artwork (done by a Fanny Shorter, who previously designed box artwork for Mr. Jones), which was then shrunk and reproduced. And it wasn’t a simple copy job – they actually hand-mixed their pigments, and then printed the dials using a pad printer.
Not content to just print their own dials, they also did some work to create their handsets, cutting and riveting them; this then all led to the final assembly into the casing. Not as grand an excursion as building a watch from the ground up on-premise, but it’s a good start, and it sounds like they’re planning to do more of these small runs in the future.
Both watches are available now (provided their runs of 30 pieces each hasn’t been exhausted), for the price of $215. mrjoneswatches.com