First there was the S1, then the S2, and now – with incontrovertible logic – we have the S3

The latest release from Garrick follows in the noble line of the British company’s recent tradition – and it’s certainly an eye-catcher. The defining characteristic is its open dial, showcasing the beating heart of the watch in all its glory. Furthermore, there’s a brand new in-house movement, which the company calls the UT-G04.

While there’s a family resemblance to the original S1, which was only launched in 2018, the S3 is quite different. A new main plate means a neater design, but Garrick says that it had to “revisit” each movement component and relocate a number of parts in order to achieve. This is ultimately what led to the creation of the new UT-G04 calibre.

The New Garrick S3 - Image Credit: Garrick Watchmakers

Other elements of the family resemblance include the trademark maritime hour and minute hands, which are also crafted in-house and heat blued. There are Roman numerals on the dial (similarly home-made and heat blued by Garrick) while there is a small seconds display and power reserve indicator. Aside from that, there’s plenty else happening on the face: it’s one of those watches that you can look at and constantly find new details. The way that the case is polished underlines the fact that this is not a watch merely to be admired, but to be continually marvelled at.

There are a number of other interesting technical features within the watch, such as a spring balance made from Sircumet: a non-magnetic alloy exclusive to Garrick. The rest of the watch relies on traditional methods, and there’s a choice of stainless steel and 18-carat gold for the case.

The history of the Garrick S3

Garrick itself is a relatively new watch brand that aims to showcase the merits of ‘made in Britain’ but has achieved a lot in a short space of time. The S1 was the first skeletonised timepiece that came out in March 2018, with only 10 units planned and a cost of just under £28,000 per watch in the UK. The S2, which was a little more restrained, followed last year at approximately half the price, with a distinctive silver face and a sweeping second hand. The S3 in many ways goes back to the spirit of the original S1 as a stunning range-topper. No doubt about it: Garrick is a brand busy creating its own heritage.

Now to look at the specifics:

  • 42-millimetre case in stainless steel or gold, with exhibition case back.
  • In-house Garrick UT-G04 manual wound mechanical movement, with 45-hour power reserve.
  • In-house free-sprung balance made from Sircumet.
  • Gold or Rhodium plated dial with black polished bridges.
  • Applied heat blued steel chapter ring.
  • Handmade steel, grained, polished or heat blued hours, minutes, and power reserve indications
  • Just 10 pieces to be released per year
  • Priced at £28,995

This watch is very much a statement of intent from Garrick, as it continues its path into the upper echelons of the watchmaking world. Without a doubt, it’s the finest watch that Garrick has produced yet, so this is one that’s going to be crucial to its burgeoning reputation. There’s a high degree of personalisation, which should win it a lot of friends and provide a fascinating alternative to the established Swiss frontrunners.

The New Garrick S3 - Image Credit: Garrick Watchmakers

Garrick founder David Brailsford commented on the launch:

“The S3 has proved the most challenging watch to make. For example, we had to create recesses within the mainplate to accommodate wheels and pinions. Moreover, when you make a watch with an openworked dial, every element has to be perfectly executed, nothing is hidden. Personally, I love the chatons and the prominent balance bridge at the base of the dial, they make me smile with pride every time I see them.”

Some personal thoughts on the release:

“Whether you like the watch or not – and I do – you have to admire the ethos behind Garrick. Here’s a company that could have done it the easy way but chose every time to do it the hard way, which is how the price is justified. The emphasis is on showcasing British watchmaking skills, with so many parts made in-house (especially the movement) and sourced from other British suppliers. And Brailsford says that a significant proportion of the company’s profits have been reinvested to secure more in-house manufacturing capability for the future. In every sense, the S3 is tour de force.”

A look at the Garrick Workshop - Image Credit: Garrick Watchmakers

About Garrick Watchmakers

Here’s a British company doing everything to take on the upper end of Swiss watchmaking. The company isn’t lacking in confidence. While Garrick uses some Swiss suppliers, they are actively trying to scale down all Swiss involvement. The Portsmouth was Garrick’s first watch to feature its own movement and the range has gone from strength to strength ever since. Yet there will never be any production lines: Garrick watches are always hand-crafted in their workshops in Norfolk. They may not necessarily appreciate the comparison, but this is probably England’s answer to Richard Mille.