Based on the South Coast of England, start-up British watch brand Elliot Brown was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Ian Elliot and horologist Alex Brown.
The co-founders have led Elliot Brown with passion, combining their expert knowledge and creative talents to produce watches that fill a gap in the market: stainless steel, Swiss component, quartz timepieces designed to withstand huge shocks. The brand prides itself on creating ‘stout watches for the more active gentleman’.
Start-up British watch brand Elliot Brown was founded by branding and marketing specialist Ian Elliot and horologist Alex Brown in early 2013.
The brand introduced its debut watches at the London Watch Show in July 2013: stainless steel, Swiss component, quartz timepieces. Elliot Brown prides itself on creating ‘stout watches for the more active gentleman’.
We’re distilling almost two decades of experience into a few watches that incorporate everything we learned along the way, so they look a little sharper, work a little better, and last a little longer. Their lifespan is measured in years, not fashion seasons.
The luxury of expressing passion. I was lucky. As a kid I developed a knack of having my cake AND eating it. Something to do with survival as the youngest child I think. Then school came and I wasn’t happy – so I negotiated to make it better – did a new course no-one had done before because I was passionate about it more than anything else. I gained the support of those around me to make it happen. University beckoned – I went but felt like a passenger and spent my time indulging in sport because I wasn’t getting much from Engineering (except the practical parts where we made things). It was the sport that drove a desire to work differently – to work at something which ignited the same passion. I left early to start a business and ended up making a watchstrap made from Velcro and polypropylene webbing. That’s how Animal was born – out of passion and sport. I made watchstraps on an old sewing machine because I wanted to know how to make the best one possible – the toughest, most comfortable, best looking. I travelled the length and breadth of the country selling them to retailers who would repeatedly say “I’m not a jeweller, why would I want to sell watchstraps” but passion won through in the end, they bought them and now they sell watches too.
There’s no feeling in the world like the one you have when someone finally says yes and you walk away with an order and work out that the profit is more than the petrol. That’s a future. Making and selling what I was passionate about allowed me to get involved in all the sports I loved because I understood their finer details, I got to ride with the pro’s the organisers, the movers and shakers and it meant I could indulge my passion for sport and run a business. It doesn’t take a genius to work out why I enjoyed running that business as much as I did. Others who worked with us shared the ride and were more passionate about it than any other job they’d had too. Visitors would often ask how we got our staff to be so motivated – at the time we didn’t have the answer but looking back it’s obvious. I was accused of being too passionate more times than I can remember and was made to feel like I was doing something wrong. Then you leave and there’s a massive hole – you get another job or start a different business but it’s different… there’s a sense of only using part of your knowledge – it feels incomplete and creates a yearning to get the old feeling back.
So that’s what Alex and I have done – ditched the safety net and put all our eggs into a new basket – one that’s more fulfilling than I can possibly describe. Running Elliot Brown is the best feeling in the world. The passion is burning, it’s being poured into watches that are the essence of our talent. We’re building a great new brand – doing things no-one else is doing, like the special motion-damped stainless steel movement casing to help our watches withstand huge shocks. You can tell when products come about as a result of undiluted obsession. They’re the ones that make the edges of your mouth curl up a little bit, they are inherently right, give great pleasure and last for years.
Alex Brown is a passionate and imaginative watchmaker who started his horological career by moving to London and knocking on every door in Clerkenwell until he was offered a job. That opportunity came from a watch-material dealer on Clerkenwell Road, London’s traditional centre for watch- and clock-making, where Alex spent the next four years learning his trade. Whilst working in Clerkenwell, Alex put himself through the British Horological Institute’s Diploma in Technical Horology at Hackney College, achieving joint 2nd place in the UK in his Final Practical Examinations. Looking for an opportunity to broaden his horizons, Alex was offered a position in Cartier’s prestigious aftersales department in Old Bond Street.
He was also approached by one of the founders of Animal Ltd, offering him the opportunity to set up and run their watch servicing department. After surprising Cartier by being the first person to decline an offer of a position, Alex moved to Dorset, and for the next seventeen year he ran Animal’s watch department. The role involved range planning and development, working with designers and manufacturers and overseeing the servicing department. During his time at Animal, Alex learned why and how watches could fail and started imagining how those points of failure could be minimised in order to make watches that could survive really harsh treatment for longer.
In the spring of 2013, Alex joined forces with Ian Elliot to establish Elliot Brown Ltd – a watch brand that uniquely incorporates these features into smart but rugged analogue watches specifically designed for the outdoor and active-sports sectors.