FIVE QUESTIONS WITH STUART DUFF, HEAD WATCHMAKER

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A WATCHMAKER AND WHAT HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN GETTING TO THIS LEVEL?

I began watchmaking in 1989 with the Signet group as a trainee and whilst there, I learned the basics of quartz and mechanical servicing. From there I went on to work for the Swatch group for seven and a half years and travelled to Switzerland where I was fully trained on automatic mechanical movements. After then working for the Aurum group, SWICO and completing a Rolex course on St. James Square, I moved to Bremont and have been here for over 7 years. I am proud to say that I am Bremont’s longest serving employee.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO WORK FOR BREMONT?

I moved to Bremont purely by chance. A friend had passed on my details to Nick and Giles and they took me on board as their first in-house watchmaker. I wasn’t very familiar with Bremont at the time, but it was an exciting experience to be part of a young watch company. At the beginning there was a lot of hard work involved for everyone, but starting out on this journey and seeing the potential of the company was well worth it.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR ROLE AT BREMONT?

A big part of Bremont’s ethos is that we test our products to the extreme, so to be part of this process in testing different parts, their compatibility and how everything comes together in the workshop is very enjoyable. Before new products are introduced into the range the parts are thoroughly checked, and assembled together to ensure that the quality of the build is the best it can be before going into production. This is a very technical process but one that is great to be involved in. It’s also great to work closely with Nick and Giles and they are around in the workshop a lot which is a real boost.

WHAT ARE THE GREATEST CHALLENGES INVOLVED IN WATCHMAKING?

Repairing and servicing automatic watches is my background, but now we are embarking on a much larger mission involving both assembly and manufacture which is a lot harder than you can imagine. From both a business and technical perspective there are a lot of elements that have to come together to make the process run smoothly. The intricacies and tolerances involved in watchmaking are unlike anything else but it’s great to see the end result in a Bremont watch.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE OF BREMONT?

There are many new developments taking place at Bremont, which includes working on a new in-house movement. This is very exciting and an impressive feat for a company like Bremont. To be able to do this in the UK is going to reignite the reputation of watchmaking in Britain. Seeing a lot of young watchmakers joining the team is positive and it makes you very proud to see the trade growing and become more accessible. Of course we’re all very excited to get into our new state-of-the-art watchmaking facility currently being built, which will be a huge statement for the brand.

MEET EX-SPECIAL FORCES AND ‘SAS: WHO DARES WINS’ JAY MORTON

We’re incredibly proud at Bremont to have remarkable individuals like Jay wearing and indeed testing our watches out in the field. ‘Tested Beyond Endurance’ isn’t just a strapline, it’s something we actively put to the test. We caught up with Jay here about what brand alignment means to him and how he’s been coping during the lockdown.
Read More