30 Minutes With: Giles Ellis

Giles Ellis is a man obsessed with details. Though his pet project, Schofield Watch Company, has won high praise from watch connoisseurs, Ellis is still wary of being pigeonholed.


Giles Ellis is a man obsessed with details. This personality quirk — or curse, as Ellis has called it — came from a youth spent trolling Casio watch catalogs comparing the arcane functions on offer. Thankfully (at least for us), there are none of Casio’s aesthetics evident in Schofield watches, Ellis’s ultra-successful British timekeeping pet project. Though the brand’s watches — like the Signalman, which won praise from connoisseurs for its innovative design and its attention to detail — have been extremely successful, Ellis does not want Schofield to be pigeonholed as a mere watch company. Quirky hard goods like a machined aluminum LED torch (flashlight for us colonials), a leather case lined in vintage sailcloth, cigar tubes and pocketknives are all for sale, in addition to Schofield’s extensive line of straps made from materials from wool tweed to cricket ball red leather. In short, this is a brand fully driven by design that remains rooted in the traditions of watchmaking and a distinctive British pride. So what makes the man behind it all tick?

Q. It’s your last drink and meal on earth. What’ll it be?
A. Salad and a fish cake followed by a bowl of Coco Pops.

Q. What are you reading at the moment?
A. Global Denim, which is overly academic but informative.

Q. If you could go back and give your younger self any advice, what would it be?
A. Start saving. Don’t spend all your money on rare Air Jordans.

Q. What is the most important aspect of running a small company?
A. Follow your own path.

Q. Who or what are the greatest influences on you and what you’ve done with Schofield?
A. The greatest influence on Schofield is our desire to be impressive and make things that have been thought through on every level, encapsulating who we are and what we take inspiration from.

Start saving. Don’t spend all your money on rare Air Jordans.

Q. What can we expect from Schofield in the future?
A. More watches and associated products made by thinking.

Q. Beyond watches, Schofield has the blogs, the straps, the hard goods. Do you have aspirations to be more than just a watch company?
A. We are going to carry on doing what we do in the way we do it. Our course is set; this is Schofield.

Q. What other watch companies do you admire?
A. Romain Jerome, Ochs und Junior, Panerai, Ennebi, Zenith, A. Lange & Sohne, Peter Roberts and a myriad of others.

Q: Weigh in on the state of the British watch industry. There seems to be a bit of a renaissance at the moment.
A: There does and there is, and we’re pleased and proud to be part of it. In fact, the Schofield Blacklamp and forthcoming watches all have England on the dial and we’re thrilled with that achievement. The future of the British watch industry is dependent on those people involved working with sincerity, clarity and endeavor.

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