Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Up-Close with the British-Made Garrick S2 Deadbeat Seconds

A gorgeous time-only watch that gradually gets under your skin with every ticking second.

| By Robin Nooy | 6 min read |

Over the past couple of years, plenty of watchmakers have gone above and beyond to demonstrate (and thus preserve) traditional watchmaking methods. It might be a romantic way of thinking, but we shouldn’t forget where the industry comes from and how watches were made in the old days. No CNC-machining, no computational calculations, no advanced materials or mechanisms, but pure, honest manual watchmaking. In a sense, that’s exactly what Norfolk-based independent watchmaker Garrick is all about – reinstating traditional British watchmaking through handcrafted dials, hands and hand-finished movements. To get a grip on this for myself, I take a closer look at one of the brand’s latest models, the delectable Garrick S2 Deadbeat Seconds.

Straight out the gate, there’s not much new when it comes to the design and style of the Garrick S2 Deadbeat Seconds. It still features a beautifully handcrafted dial with either a frosted or guilloché finish. It still features handmade hands and a time-only display. It still features a rather handsome manual wound movement. So far, nothing out of the ordinary right? Things start to change make sense very much though, after you’ve put some energy into the movement by winding the crown!

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The Garrick S5 Moon Phase presented last year.

tick-tock, tick-tock

Gripping said onion-shaped crown and winding the movement kick-starts the exposed Trinity balance wheel and the central seconds hand. And at that exact moment, the ‘secret’ of why this S2 differs from other watches by Garrick like the S5 Moon Phase, Regulator MK2 or S6 shown above, is revealed. All jokes aside, the clue is already in the name of course, but there’s a genuine sense of satisfaction when you first see this watch come to life.

Garrick has obviously come a long way from where it started, most notably in the movements when watches such as the Shaftesbury and the Norfolk were powered by ETA or Unitas movements with a touch of decoration here and there. Since then, in most watches, there’s a proper in-house crafted manual-wound movement to be found. In the case of the S2, it’s the calibre DB-G06, which is produced in Garrick’s workshop. This hand-wound movement beats at a rate of 18,000vph and has a power reserve of 45 hours.

In terms of construction, it has a very typical British style, with a three-quarter plate and stepped bridges. That gives the movement a lot of visual depth and tons of details to be discovered. From the engraved balance cock, the unique click-spring, and the visible motion of the anchor, to the wheels and spring that make the central seconds hand jump once every second and the exposed Trinity balance up front, there’s a lot to love! In terms of accuracy, Garrick has regulated this movement to run within a deviation of +3 seconds per day. And where this one is finished in dark rhodium, Garrick offers various types of colours and finishing for the movement to really make it your own.

craftsmanship through and through

This craftsmanship continues in other elements, such as the dial and hands. The S2 Deadbeat Seconds comes with either a so-called MK1 type dial that has a skeletonized chapter ring or the MK2 dial with a more subdued dotted chapter ring. The S2 we had on hand for a while features the MK2 dial with a hand-turned guilloché pattern and a finish in a gorgeous champagne tone. Surprisingly, this can shift slightly towards a silvery or even a pink-gold tone under varying light. The chapter ring has lacquer-filled dots for the minutes and hours, all done by hand. Alternatively, you can also opt for a frosted finish or different guilloché patterns. The Lancine hour and minute hands are polished, while the central seconds hand is heat-blued. Noteworthy is the fact the hands are quite thick so the bevels stand out more. Other combinations are possible, of course, as each Garrick is built to order, really.

All this is done in-house, which is nothing that many brands can say. Making a dial or a set of hands is a very delicate craft, especially when it concerns guilloché finishing or bevelling or heat-blueing hands. One tiny mistake and a component is flawed and thus has to be scrapped, with a craftsman having to start all over again. There’s a lot of effort involved with each and every Garrick, and it shows. The design of the balance bridge, for instance, is neatly integrated into the dial and fixed with polished screws. Thick bevels elevate the straight spokes of the bridge, adding yet more detail.

A 42mm wide and 10mm thick, the 904L stainless steel case, fully polished in this instance, acts as a vessel for all this craftsmanship. It might be on the larger side for some, but at least that leaves plenty of space for that lovely dial. The crown grips easily and is finished with a ‘G’ set in black. Naturally, a sapphire crystal on both sides pulls back all covers. What’s also worth mentioning is the fact this S2 is rated to a water resistance of 100m, which is admirable for such a stylish and essentially classical watch.

Pricing and availability

The Garrick S2 Deadbeat Seconds comes on a range of different leather straps, from humble calfskin to more exotic alligator or ostrich. For this one, Garrick opted for a grey lizard strap, which works surprisingly well, even though I wouldn’t have gone for it if given the initial choice. The price is set at GBP 19,000, excluding VAT, which equates to approximately EUR 22,500 or USD 23,750 (both before taxes).

However, I’d hate to be the one to burst anyone’s bubble, but there’s a slight problem with Garrick and the S2 that you should be aware of. Garrick still only produces about 50 to 70 watches per year, and given the brand’s popularity, it means build slots for each model are fully booked for 2024, and some even well into 2025. If you were to put in an order now, for instance, for this S2 Deadbeat Seconds, you’re currently looking at a lead time of 16 months. That means putting in an order now will get you your watch towards the end of 2025.

In all honesty, though, while waiting over a year for a watch is very long, there is a perfectly logical explanation for it. At one end of the spectrum is the limited production capacity, and on the other is the fact Garrick doesn’t want to cut any corners. I applaud Garrick for taking this conscious approach of striving for the highest level of watchmaking and not simply ramping up production for the sake of pushing more watches out the door. If you can’t get behind that or its devotion to traditional British watchmaking craftsmanship, perhaps Garrick is not the brand for you.

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2 responses

  1. I’ve always liked Garrick’s output. Beautiful dials and big free-sprung balances.

    So is this DB movement (presumably standing for David Brailsford) the first time they’ve not used Andreas Strehler’s Uhr Teil to help make their higher-end stuff? If so, that’s a pretty big step and most impressive for such a relatively small outfit.

  2. It doesn’t seem like such a long waiting list – not in comparison to some very much less innovative and interesting, industrially produced Swiss watches.

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