Though watchmaking in Great Britain was once the best in the world, it's more likely that Switzerland, Germany and Japan come to the fore in the mind of the average watch consumer today. That being said, we've seen a resurgence of British firms in the "microbrand" scene over the last few years, no small number of which are actually Scottish brands.
Land of green rolling hills and beautiful lochs, land of whisky, land of narrow mountain roads that have a tendency to nearly kill Americans who aren't used to driving on the left (true story), Scotland is also, it turns out, home to more and more small watch brands whose wares are affordable, design-focused, and unique. Here are some of our favorites from the past few years:
Based in Glasgow, anOrdain is the brainchild of Lewis Heath, whose enamel-dialed wares are some of the most beautiful in the modern "microbrand" scene. Highly affordable given the incredible effort that goes into their manufacture, anOrdain's Model 1 and Model 2 are as much pieces of art as they are timepieces.
Paulin was founded in 2013 by three sisters, one of whom, Charlotte, is the wife of anOrdain founder Lewis Heath. The brand's newest watch, the Neo, marries an automatic movement to a funky anodized aluminum dial, which is hand-dyed. At roughly $512, it's an awesome design-focused timepiece that doesn't skimp on the details.
Instrmnt Applied Design
Also based in Glasgow, Instrmnt Applied Design is a multi-disciplinary design studio whose watches marry a minimalist, Bauhaus-inspired aesthetic with modern materials and features. Their Dive Watch, which looks like something Walter Gropius would wear, is a great alternative to a Sub, while their new 36mm Dress Watch is pure '60s class.
Marloe Watch Company
Headquartered in Perth, Scotland, Marloe's new dive watch, the Morar, is wildly affordable at just $425. Based around the automatic Miyota 9039, it comes in five cool colorways and is inspired by Scotland's deepest loch, Loch Morar. Marloe also makes contemporary everyday and field watches in the form of the Coniston and the Haskell.