Shaw Watches – Handmade, Bespoke Mechanical Timepieces from New Zealand

Shaw Watches is small watch atelier based in the city of Auckland, New Zealand. Established by a young and passionate watch maker, this independent watch company produces custom-made mechanical wristwatches which carry the vintage charm. These exceptional micro mechanical art pieces are built from scratch using the highest quality materials and traditional methods.

Founder of the Shaw watches, Reuben Shaw started designing/making watches in early 2013. As a well-trained manufacturing Jeweller and engraver he has been in the Jewellery industry since 2008. Reuben Shaw had a passion for mechanical watches, and inspired from this passion, he put his skills as a goldsmith to work, and designed his first ever mechanical wristwatch.

The very first watch made by Reuben Shaw was not meant for commercial purpose, yet it was acclaimed by wristwatch enthusiasts who discovered his creation through various online forums. Many of them contacted him to create such art pieces for commercial sale and the idea for Shaw Watches was born.

Today his small workshop in Auckland producing watches to order for clients around the world. These watches are not mass-produced; instead they are made one at a time by hand using the same methods that master horologers followed 100 years ago.

There is always a project watch taking shape in his workshop. Once finished, the design will be made available for purchase and customisation. Each of these ‘prototype’ watches is completely handmade and takes many months to complete to make sure nothing is overlooked.

These handmade mechanical timepieces are powered by 1970’s Swiss manual-wind watch movements sourced from vintage wristwatches found in antique shops around the country.  His all watches are named after famous historic New Zealand transport vessels (Trains, Ships and Planes) to reflect upon the country in which they are made.

Soldering of Lugs

After receiving the ‘donor watches’, the original case, strap and dial are recycled, and the movement undergoes a full service with any worn parts being replaced, making them fit to provide another lifetime of service. After taking the external measurements from the movement, a case is fabricated using Gold or Sterling Silver to meet customer’s requirements. There is also an option to set diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones into the case.

Manufacturing of cases and setting the stones are carried out by Reuben Shaw by hand in his workshop, using traditional watch-making methods and tools. He also blends it with modern techniques if necessary.

Assembling of dial

The straps are made in Italy from the finest calf leather, and once fixed in place cannot be easily removed, unlike most modern straps.

Each timepieces from Shaw watches takes several weeks to complete, and prices start at $USD1, 700 (shipping charges apply). Other options include custom engraving. Every Shaw Watch sold includes a full Insurance valuation performed by an independent appraisal company, and will be presented in a New Zealand native Rimu watch presentation case.

The Kingston Flyer & the Southerner
As of now, Reuben Shaw is working on two watch designs, the Kingston Flyer and the Southerner. The original timepieces themselves will never be sold, but instead will remain as part of his collection.

Reuben Shaw’s first watch design, Kingston Flyer is built around an ST96 Swiss watch movement, which is fitted with Incabloc shock protection, a pin/pallet escapement, 17 jewel bearings and a 48 hour power reserve.

This prototype timepiece is marked “Limited Edition” on both the face and the display back to signify the fact that it is the first watch ever produced with this design, and the serial number “14001” will reflect that.

The ‘donor watch’ for Kingston Flyer was a 1970s vintage men’s Olympic. Its movement was perfectly working, however the dial was faded. He has used a UV printer to produced an exceptional dial for Kingston Flyer. The vintage ST96 Swiss watch movement,which powered the donor watch was selected to equip his new timepiece.

A hand-made sterling silver case measuring 35 X 38 mm was fabricated for the Kingston Flyer. The Sterling Silver lugs are then soldered to this case. He has also carved out a unique crown to equip this timepiece.

The Kingston Flyer is priced at $USD 1, 850 and will take one month to build. Features include Sterling Silver handmade case (35 X 38 mm), 17 jewel ST96 Swiss manual wind movement, Incabloc shock protection, 48 hour power reserve, display back, mineral glass, Italian made calf leather strap, named Insurance Valuation, all presented in a NZ made Rimu display box.

The Southerner watch is in early stages of the process right now. The Southerner will be priced at $USD1, 700.

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