Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Current Favorite: The Camden Watch Company

When I was in high school, I had a summer job as a sales assistant at a now-defunct department store in my hometown. Low points included hanging up returned men's underwear and selling store credit to customers I knew probably couldn't afford to make their payments just so I could keep my job (we had to meet a certain quota every week, otherwise our hours were cut). High points included gazing at the jewelry counter ever-so-often and using the store discount, which came in handy. I had my eye on a particular watch, so I saved up for it all summer long. On my last shift, I came home exhausted and turned over the covers in my bed to find the watch sitting there, in a box. My dad had bought it for me - not wanting me to spend my hard-earned money, but meanwhile teaching me a lesson about saving up for something (it didn't work, by the way, I still anxiously eye my bank account the week before every payday).

It also goes to show that I love watches. They serve a practical function, sure, but I treat them like any other accessory and - depending on what mood I'm in - I might wear my rose gold bracelet watch from Kate Spade on days I'm feeling fancy or my minimalist black, leather-strap Cluse watch on days I'm feeling cool (note: I am neither fancy or cool).

This summer, not unlike that high school summer I described above, I pined after (very specifically) a watch with a white face and a light grey leather strap.

Then I saw the No. 27 by The Camden Watch Company (named after the No. 27 bus in London) and I got the same feeling I had when I was seventeen and looking through a glass jewelry display.

A modern take on the classic vintage dials seen on Victorian clocks and pocket watches, this watch spoke to me. A little oversized (but not too clownish on my bitty wrists), it has an industrial feel to it and is evocative of London's streets, markets, and history. The light grey strap makes it easier to wear with my lighter, pastel-palette summer wardrobe and it's something I'd slip on for a wedding or for a casual weekend picnic.

It's a beauty. It's also wonderful to see a London-based, British watch brand thriving in the indie watch-making scene. Although The Camden Watch Company's roots are in Switzerland (which is famed, amongst other things, for its luxury watch industry and design), its place is firmly in Camden, where its two founders, Anneke Short and Jerome Robert, currently live.

Each watch is named after a bus route that runs through Camden Town and each is designed at The Camden Watch Company's offices in Camden. In fact, the watch is so Camden-centric, the back is stamped with the motto found on the crest of Camden: "Not For One But For All".

All these little details make the watch so special, and the design is actually very similar to the one my dad gave me all those years ago. I'm getting all sentimental.

I'm a fan of the other watches in The Camden Watch Company's collection, including the No. 88 (it's so simple and classic!) and the No. 24 Northern Line, which I think would look great on John. Which one would you choose?

I'm always surprised by the number of people I know who don't wear a watch. Do you? Do have one or several to choose from, depending on your mood? (Fun fact: speaking of my dad, he alternates between wearing a Rolex and a plastic Dragonball Z watch he bought for HK $8 in a random side street in Hong Kong ... he actually wears the Dragonball Z watch to meetings at work and thinks it's hilarious when people comment on it!)

My No. 27 watch was generously provided by The Camden Watch Company. I look at it longingly most days and wear it on others. Shop the entire collection here. All opinions are my own.


  1. Love the story about this watch company, such a stylish and classic design. Haha that's so funny about your dad watch collection! I have 2 watches, one silver and one rose gold. I would love to have one from Larsson and Jennings though!

    Hanh | hanhabelle

    1. Silver and rose gold go with everything! I love the Larsson & Jennings watches but the watch-face is too big for my wrist :( :( :( So I ended up going with Cluse, which are in a similar style but fit my wrist much better!

  2. I used to walk past their showroom most days when i lived in Camden but knew it'd be too dangerous to actually go in! I love this watch - nice pick. Also a big fan of Shore Projects (but currently sporting a Fitbit haha)

    1. Oh man, I love Shore Projects too! There are just too many good watches out there. I need to visit The Camden Watch Company showroom ... I bet it's super tempting and so beautiful!

  3. O man I worked at a Mervyns in high school and saved up for months and months for a computer and then my grandparents did the same thing where at the store when I was getting out my checkbook (man how old school!) they actually paid for it. It did make me love that computer so much more than if I had not learned that lesson!

  4. I'm still surprised how many people claim that "no one wears a watch anymore," when I still have a big old tan line on my wrist from wearing mine every day. Sure, there are lots of other ways to find out what time it is, but a watch is a convenience. That said, I've been wearing the same one for well over a decade. A couple years ago I took it in to get the battery replaced, and the jeweler said "Did you get this from us? The original battery is still in it, and the first battery replacement is always free." So I'm somehow going on fifteen years wearing this thing without ever having paid for a battery for it.

    1. Completely agree, Marjorie! You must have an excellent watch. I love my Kate Spade watch, but it seems like it needs a new battery every 8 months or so ... ugh.

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