Having just reviewed the Schofield TeleMark, I was curious to learn more about the watch’s creator, Giles Ellis.
Have you ever been to Miami? If so, what did you think?
I’ve never been to Miami, though I would love to. Interestingly, in a very obscure way the colours of Miami have influenced some recent leatherwear design. I was after a colour palette that was similar to Miami deco and opted for more a slightly more subdued version of this by looking at Japanese matchbooks from the 1920s. Even if you were to take away Miami vice, Miami Ink and David Beckham’s latest news I still think Miami would be a fundamentally cool place to visit.
How would you describe the American watch ethos?
Not dissimilar to the British in regards to manufacturing, by that I mean that there are so few of us that American made or American designed watch companies are considered niche and specialist. I have always admired the likes of RGM sticking to their guns with modesty. With regards to consumers we are fortunate that 40% of our sales come from the US and Canada, I suspect that British-ness has something to do with it although I’m convinced that it’s more to do with their discerning taste.
Much has been made about the downturn in Swiss watch sales. What are your thoughts?
Being a super-niche British brand the downturn in Swiss sales barely affects us. We sell globally and direct so if our aesthetic, narrative and technology meets with your approval then it leaves price as the only hurdle. Although we watch closely what the Swiss get up to they rarely influence our decision making with one caveat, the acquisition of swiss made mechanical movements, which we use in all of our watches.
Tell us about the first time you envisioned Schofield Watch Company.
Schofield Watch Company was never envisaged as a whole but evolved from vanity. Having been ensnared by mechanical wristwatches and upon realisation that I couldn’t afford them I decided to make my own. Being such a particular guy the project of making one watch for myself soon escalated into a situation where I had 99 watches left to sell, ironically I had now spent more than 30 of the watches I had originally coveted.
What is your daily inspiration?
I’m not sure if you want something trite, like my wife, my children, my dog, the rugged British coastline, the moon, or the female form but actually I am motivated by trying to impress you… and debt.
What surprises are in store for fans of Schofield?
This might be a good opportunity to point you in the direction of our behind the scenes website https://undercurrents.info as this is the first place that ideas and developments are revealed. What we can say now is that naturally there are more watches and some of these will be variants of existing models and some wholly new models.
Your TeleMark was inspired by the film The Heroes of TeleMark. Are there any other movies that may inspire new watches?
At first I was going to say “absolutely not” but in fact our forthcoming watch, The Obscurer has been influenced by many science fiction films, perhaps the most obvious would be Tron (the first one).
What is your favourite type of cuisine?
I’m trying to answer this question with something witty and amusing but I have nothing to give you other than I am a complete nutrition and fitness bore with a contradicting sweet tooth- I like ALL food sans meat and dairy.
If you could have the singing voice of one person throughout history, who would it be?
Finally, what one quality must every artist possess?
Thank, Giles! To learn more about these fascinating watches, be sure to visit: