Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S04 ep4 : Eric Loth, Graham Watches, [England]

Interview with Eric Loth

George Graham, born in 1673, master watchmaker who lived in Fleet Street in London. He created several inventions but never patented any of them. For example, he created the first stopwatch. He devised a mercury pendulum system for making clocks more accurate in very hot and very cold weather. He also invented the dead-beat escapement which made clocks more accurate in general and built the master clock for Greenwich Royal Observatory. The escapement he invented is today simply known as the Graham Escapement and still used in high-precision pendulum clocks. It is actually a predecessor to the Swiss anchor movement almost universally used in wristwatches.


I have always been passioned by the industry, the watch industry. I was working for about 13 years in
Swatchco as a developing engineer, and I was responsible for 4 years of all the product development
for the brands. I always knew that most inventions came from England in the watch industry,
Statements, ***. Some English people may participated indirectly to the invention of the *****, by his
close friendship with ****. All these things were motivating me to say why not, reviving this, but it was
****. Let’s revive this story, take the heritage. The Britishness in the men’s luxury which is very
important. I mean, men know exactly that luxury comes from England, I mean the classics. Maybe it’s
time for us to build up something new. 1995 we have the first idea no one was interested in, because
why English. What’s the meaning of that, and I said wow that’s a vision, cause it’s where you have the
heritage and the story of George Graham, and the story of John Hammond.


Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

These guys has been living such exciting lives. They’ve participated, do things to the evolution. They
have been along with Newtons. *** was along with Newton’s. I was dreaming of that, so this gave me
the passion to go along. The Swiss industry, let’s make the things clear, did not existed as a watch
industry, 150 years ago. It just happened early 19th century, maybe it were mid-19th century. It was
very strong, but before that it was only English that made the watches, and the clocks for the Marine.


Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

My clinical background is a half Swiss, half Italian. One of my grandmother was French, even a quarter
French, a half Italian, a quarter Swiss, and if we go a bit forward I’d also be German. I’m not English at
all. I have to say that. I’m a innovated person, technical background but that’s my chance. So then I
know exactly that I could not go in a direction of a brand, that was say a classical brand, Swiss brand. I
had to find something more, maybe that’s what drove me to the English makers. Second product now,
why the product is like that. It’s a consequence of what I’m telling. I wanted a Chromo that was
different, but you know the Chromo, what makes it different here is you know, thumb is the fastest
finger. My son 13 years old, plays play station with thumbs. So the thumbs, and machine guns were
using thumbs always, because it’s the fastest. The thumb was used also in Mexico Olympic games, to
start and stop mechanical **** of the last Olympic games. And because they made some analysis and
they saw that the thumb reaction between your brain, eyes, fingers, seeing than giving instruction or
information to the brain, that gives instructions to your nerves. To activate your finger so the fastest,
was always the thumb. It has been analyzed, so why no chronographs around the world, where we
are using the thumb.


Jewellery Theatre Elements

The heritage I took from Graham, was his free mind. He was really an open minded person, very
curious person with several passions. Passions for cosmology, passions for the writings, for theatre
and so then he was the first to be admitted advisor as a fellow of the British Royal Society. So this guy
gave me a way of doing. You must free your mind, of what you think you should take from the past,
and try to find new ways, always this is what it is. It’s pretty in line with my mind too, and I free
everything, and I said, okay let’s start to analyze the product. Problem is, we start to make movement
that are more and more precise. What’s the meaning, if the chronograph specially is activated by a
finger, that puts more error than the precision of the movement, by starting and stopping. So then,
we went to the thumb and we say, okay how can we use the thumb?

What is the right position? Its here, clearly, must be here. Cannot be there, cannot be there, it must
be there. So then, by that what is the way to amplify these procedures with a thumb? This, we took
something that existed already. In the 2nd World War, it was used by some armies. Big watches on the
leg, they were using some *** to accelerate the activation and make it more precise.


Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

With the small production we have, I mean a few thousand pieces per year. You must be first reliable,
and so then, for that you take some motors like movements, that are somehow standard. We buy
them as spare parts, not as movement. We call them ***, and then we ask ***********, another
company we’re very close to, to transform the movement to make some customize movement just for
us. Once I got the first piece. I first show to some friends of mine the business, and they all told me
Eric bad news. Now we can state the obvious, you’re mad. It’s a left side functions, no one will buy,
cause these things is like a grenade. It’s like a lighter and frankly speaking, I was starting the
production of 250 pieces first batch, and I could not sleep for about 6 months, and now this is the DNA
of Graham. Could the brand have been a Swiss brand? I would never have the courage to start with
this. Why don’t we try that, it is nice, why not? Let’s do it, that’s it. That’s really English. Exactly that’s


OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Eric Loth, Graham Waches, England