Female flair and elegant designs found in the watch world...
Finding a watch that illustrates elegance and fine details within the affordable price range can prove to be difficult, especially when searching through the mass amounts of fashion watches that are available online. However, through the sea of simplistic designs like MVMT and Daniel Wellington there is one brand that brings a more artistic approach, Olivia Burton watches.
When looking through their site online it is clear that they have found a place in the affordable watch world that uses this more artistic approach to create beautiful designs which incorporates flora and nature at its finest. Their watches are aimed at the women's world, unlike a lot of other companies that focus solely on the male market, or make versions of their watches to suit the ladies market as an afterthought.
So, who is Olivia Burton? The British brand was founded by best friends Jemma and Lesa who met at the London College of Fashion, where their journey together led them to start their own business creating watches, as the girls say, “from the kitchen table”. According to their website the brand is “named after Lesa’s great aunt whose spirited approach and energy was a huge inspiration to the girls” which to me already seems to set the foundations of being a close-knit, family run business.
Their designs are all created in their studio in London, where they have a small team working on illustrations and colour palettes which are influenced by nature. Although their designs are intricate and the art behind it has clearly taken time and thought to create, the execution of these designs is completed to a level you would expect from a £75 watch.
An Insight Into Some of The Collections
Olivia Burton collections have a way to appeal to the many, ranging from the minimalist ‘White Dial’ watches through to the elegant ‘Marble Florals’ selection, and even some more uncommon pieces such as the ‘We Love Bee’s’ range. With so many watches to choose from, Olivia Burton appears to have something for all ages with a wide range of colour variations within each collection. However, even though they have a large array of products, I feel that these watches are targeted to an extremely girly audience. I personally prefer watches such as the Tudor Black Bay 58 or, if looking within this price range, the Seiko SNDC31P1 as I’m not the biggest fan of overly feminine watches.
One of the more vintage looking pieces by Olivia Burton is the Wonderland Nude Dial & Gold Bracelet Watch which features roman numerals and delicate indices which compliments its light dial. This combination of a clean, simplistic dial alongside gold details is commonly seen throughout vintage ladies watches such as Rolex Lady Datejust or vintage Cartier’s making it a desirable style.
Many companies have started using bees in their jewellery designs, and in a sense, joined the bee bandwagon of creating fashion items that use this little critter as a centrepiece for their designs. Olivia Burton have additionally touched on this popular trend with their ‘We Love Bees’ collection, alongside an extended range of watches and matching jewellery.
The 3D Bee further emphasises their artistic outlook on creating something that is not only creative, but furthermore brings a striking style to the dial which is more commonly seen in higher-end watch brands such as Gucci, Jaquet Droz, and Jacob & Co. This range is a great option for someone looking for a homage to luxury fashion brands, or a unique piece without the daunting price tag!
The ‘White Dial’ series feels like the epitome of minimalist fashion watches that work well with every outfit or any occasion. A clean dial and thin case size that sits comfortably on the wrist makes it a go-to option, and in a selection of case sizes from 30mm-38mm to please the needs of many.
Another more decorative design is their ‘Lace Detail’ watches which have strong inspiration from vintage lace fashion, featuring a raised ornate floral design which compliments its pale dial. If you’re a fan of delicate details then this range definitely stands out, and is additionally available in silver-plated, rose gold plated, and gold plated which helps target a larger audience.
However, although their prices do sit at the lower end of the scale (ranging from around £75-£250) the centre of attention for these watches seem to be style rather than durability or build quality. A quartz movement allows them to be more affordable, but in my own opinion the watches feel extremely light, and I think the overall quality of case, crystal and crown could be improved to really create an impact.
The main aspect, for me, that lets these watches down are the straps, which although fit my wrist perfectly (coming from someone with a 5” wrist, finding straps that fit can be a difficult game to play!) seems to lack in quality. The leather straps do have a softer lining, but have more of a plastic feel rather than being a supple leather.
Each watch strap provided features quick release spring bars which is definitely a strong characteristic, and I instantly found myself taking off the Olivia Burton black leather strap and replacing it with the Trend Quick Release Vegan leather strap form our Green collection.
My overall impression of these watches is that they are perfect for someone looking for an affordable watch which has an artistic flair at its core. With so many pieces to choose from, their execution of implementing a feminine touch on something that is mainly perceived as a man’s world shows their love of fashion, and that there are women out there who appreciate watches just as much.
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