“One of Britain’s most celebrated designers, Matthew Hilton, launched his first-ever watch at this year’s London Design Festival. Hilton’s watch re-examines standard timepiece construction. Manufactured with a bead blasted stainless steel casing and featuring a leather strap created by Bill Amberg, the watch combines the case and face in a single component. Reassuringly weighty, the case is milled from solid billet of 316 marine grade stainless steel that is treated with the utmost care as it is passed through the various machining processes.
In order to retain the quality of the unprocessed material, detailing is kept to a minimum after the case is cut with no further polishing or finishing. The watch features custommade Swiss hands and is protected by a mineral crystal cover, resulting in a water resistant rating of 3ATM. A battery-powered Swiss-made quartz movement is embedded within a small hollow chamber inside the stainless steel body, secured by a steel back cover plate and gaskets.
The watch is a refined timepiece for people committed to simplicity, quality of materials and function. A strong link with Hilton’s celebrated furniture collections is evident in the design ethos and material choice of the watch and the presentation box.
Echoing the pared back simplicity of the case, the custom made strap is crafted in the UK by Bill Amberg, using a single piece of high-grade Italian aniline calf leather, laser cut and simply finished with wax. The strap is stitched to a machined stainless steel buckle, passed through the body of the watch and held in place by the steel back cover plate.
Designed to last a lifetime, each watch is engraved with the Matthew Hilton identity and a serial number unique to each individual watch. It is available with a chocolate, black or tan leather strap and comes packaged in a solid walnut block with card wrap, enclosed in a further protective paper wrap. Packaging is designed by Spin, the award winning designers of the Matthew Hilton website.
Hilton’s foray into timepiece design comes from his own love of watches and the engineering involved within the manufacturing process.
Hilton comments: ‘I wanted for a long time to find a watch that reflects my approach to design. I never found one and finally decided to make one myself. This is an adventure for us in the studio; a completely new area of design and a venture into manufacturing ourselves. The watch took a long time in research and development and I wanted to use the high quality engineering and craftsmanship we have in the UK – this expertise comes from fields as diverse as the Medical Industry, Aerospace and Formula One, but I wanted simplicity and reduction to shine through. A basic but luxurious design through the use of best materials and removal of superflous detail.’”