#LFW Camden Series: The Designers

19th September 2017

For a second time we delve in to the fashion world of Camden Town. This time to Camden Watch Co, who incidentally do not consider themselves a fashion brand. More on that later.

Their watches are inspired by Camden, created in Camden and named after Camden bus routes. There’s an emotive connection between this company and the area they call home – their passion for it is palpable. At the same time, they are branching out with a new store in Shoreditch. We’re talking to founders Jerome and Anneke…hg

What is Camden Watch Co?

We have two companies, we have Camden watch company but then we also have AMS Design studio, AMS Design studio is a product design studio which specialises in watches from designing to producing, and then importing. So, if client was to come to us with an idea, we’d handle all the designs, the branding the back end of things.

What motivated you to have the Camden theme?

I think it’s just because we love Camden, there’s no other way to explain it

– it’s like when they say to writers “write about what you love” – it’s the same with design. It just fit, and not only that but it’s got this amazing industrial heritage that just fit all the styles and the themes that we liked anyway. It was a great route for the brand to start out from.

It’s not just Camden – it’s also the Victorian stories, the crazy heritage of London as a whole.

Do you feel like Camden is the type of place that really facilitates creative success?

We’ve made a lot of connections through working in Camden, including in the Collective coworking space. It’s not just about the people you meet – it’s about who they know, too.

It was just the two of us who set up the business. And at times that life can be very lonely. You could go the traditional route of meeting people through networking events but it can be quite corporate and stodgy. Or, you can meet people on a personal level in cool spaces that facilitate collaboration. These spaces can be fantastic.

Tell us about the design process…

The ultimate answer is there is no one process.

There’s lots of different elements that come in to play with design. A new concept might be inspired by a story.

For example, we read about Tom Sayers – a bare knuckle boxer buries in Highgate. He moved to Camden and became the best bare knuckle boxer in the world. We loved the story and created a watch around it.tom sayers

Other times, we will want a specific theme and we’ll look for details to incorporate in to it. We collaborated with a cyclist who used to live in Camden, and so we needed to question how to incorporate themes from the cycling world in to a watch.

We used Camden’s underground to inspire our Northern line watches. The line used to be purple, so we have traces of that incorporated. And of course the watches are all named after bus routes in the area. There’s a whole bunch of details that come in to it inspired by London as a whole. But Camden Town remains the corner stone for those design details.

So you don’t consider yourself in the fashion industry – where do you place Camden Watch Co?

When you’re a fashion brand in the watch world, you tend to be the type of brand that dies out. And that means the products are often not the best quality. We want to create great products that are affordable and will be worn in years to come.

Which design is your favourite?

I cannot answer that.

It’s like asking, which is your favourite child?

Are there other cities you love for design inspiration?

As a designer you never switch off. One place that stands out is Japan, where we also sell our watches. I think the customer service over there was outstanding. So we’re looking for inspiration for different areas of the business, all the time.