When we set out to reopen Wagstaff Watches again after being closed for 60 years we had some choices to make. Who to work with, what movements to use, who could help with manufacturing, where would we get packaging, web design, advertising plans, payment systems and gateways etc etc. You can imagine there were a million and one things to do.

We found people to help with cases and we found strap manufacturers and we started talking about designs we wanted to head towards.  What we didn’t expect was having to fight off online trolls who seem set on stopping us develop and doing us down! We employ people, we contribute to society, we pay taxes and we support our customers and yes we hopefully make a profit – some people just don’t seem to like this. Setting up fake accounts online just to troll us.

The inspiration came from old pilot and field watches my grandfather had, which were passed along through the family from somewhere (my father was in the RAF so the aviation links were around) but we didn’t want to be another aviation brand, we wanted what pilot style and field watches gave – clarity and at-a-glance reading plus a dress-down no-nonsense style.

Every now and then someone online will tell us it looks like this brand or that and we understand, but the themes in watch design follow some traditional style arcs and to be honest a lot of watches look like something else. People often say to me that ours look like IWC and I point out IWC look like Sinn and Junghans watches – it’s just a style…nothing more nothing less.

You might not know but it is almost impossible to copyright a watch because the authorities to these things regard the designs as too generic in nature. And there will always be more expensive and cheaper watches available in similar styles, it just depends on what you want.

We also occasionally get asked how much the movements in our watches cost. I confess I just don’t get it.  I always think it’s a strange question, a bit like asking how much the engine in a LandRover cost compared to the price of the car.   It’s pretty much irrelevant to as long as it is tested and it works and our customers appreciate that.  You are buying the package and the brand altogether with the customer the backup and the guarantees.

We tested lots of movements over a year before we chose one for our first watch and we are currently testing others for future watches. You are clearly not going to get an £80 movement in a £95 watch – but we know that what our customers want is reliability and we choose movements accordingly.

And then there are the (thankfully rare) people who have assumed a lot about our products and never spoken to us. We even have people writing reviews when they have never bought one of our watches and then making outrageous claims. We are not alone in that and never get into long debates with them – it’s just not worth it!…they aren’t interested in the debate merely in doing us down and prove they know more than us or others when frankly they don’t.

But we ride these storms from online trolls as we try and stick to what we wanted to do in the very first place – offer good, reasonably priced products with great service to customers who just want a decent watch. We also know that customers value that we are putting something back into the rural community of the UK too through our programme support and grants. We hope you are (or will soon be) one of them!