In this fast-paced digital world, there are still some who care about traditions, craftsmanship and historical relevance. We at MONOCHROME applaud this, being the kind of mechanical watchmaking we like. Canadian-born watchmaker Bradley Taylor is one of those young guns who have the skills and determination to meticulously craft a beautiful timepiece, in very limited numbers. Today we take a look at his inaugural watch, the Paragon.
Bradley Taylor learned the trades of being a watchmaker in Le Locle, Switzerland after attending Korpela & Hofs Watchmaking Competence Centre. During his education, he focused on designing and constructing watch components, finishing techniques, restoration and working with 3D CAD software. As it turned out, this combination has helped him shape his future as a watchmaker. Following his education, he spent a couple of years in after-sale service to further hone his skill. This helped him pursue his eventual goal of one day creating his own watch.
A fellow-Canadian classmate at K&H led him to start the first Canadian luxury watchmaking company, Birchall & Taylor. After initial success and selling a couple of watches under that brand, the brand will sadly be a victim of the global pandemic. Not to be deterred, Bradley Taylor is now launching his own, eponymous brand. His first watch, the Paragon, is his vision of what a traditional watch should be, bringing modern touches into the mix.
Striving to one day do as much as possible in-house, he realizes this should match or possibly surpass the quality of an outsourced component to make any sense at all. So for now, his watch relies on an existing third-party movement and outsourced components. That does not mean he is cutting corners for the sake of just producing a watch, as the Paragon demonstrates. The case measures a modest 39mm across and is fully polished, except for the caseback. With its scalloped bezel and stylized lugs, it makes for a very pleasing watch to behold. It is also rather slim, at only 9.8mm in height, mainly due to the choice for a micro-rotor movement by Vaucher, but more on that later. Surprisingly, it is water-resistant to a very comfortable 120m.
The dial is where the Paragon really shines. It is produced by Comblemine, Kari Voutilainen’s dial-making company. The dial of the Bradley Taylor Paragon is available in three colours; light blue, purple and black but bespoke options are possible on request. Every dial has a unique engine-turned guilloché section on the outer edge, and a similar pattern in reverse on the small seconds sub-dial. All polished steel numerals are individually made and applied, and were designed by Ian Brignell, a well-known Canadian typographer. In between the numerals and guilloche section is a minute track in black. Bradley Taylor had trouble finding a manufacturer that could supply hands at a consistent colour of purple so, as a true watchmaker, he now makes them himself. The hands are laser-cut and then finished and heat-treated by hand. You have a choice to have them fully polished, or tempered to a purple or blue tone.
As said, the movement is a micro-rotor calibre by Vaucher, specifically the 5401/32. It measures 30mm across and only 2.6mm thick, keeping the watch nice and slim. It beats at a 3Hz frequency (21.600vph) and stores up to 48 hours of power when fully wound. The movement has restyled bridges, which are finished by hand, to give it a more traditional appeal. The finishing consists of hand-bevelled edges, with sharp inner angles, Cotes de Geneve, as well as a 22k gold micro-rotor with hand-guilloché decoration. It is visible through a sapphire crystal caseback, screwed in place with four square-head screws.
The Bradley Tayler Paragon is a very classical and elegant looking watch with no concessions to quality as envisioned by the man himself. Each customer has the chance to order a bespoke strap, for instance in beaver tail or salmon leather to keep it Canadian through and through. The Bradley Taylor Paragon is priced at USD 22,000 and will be limited to 12 pieces in total. For more information, please visit Bradley Taylor’s website.