Birchall & Taylor Reference 1

Birchall & Taylor is a Canada based premium mechanical watch brand founded by watch makers Charles Birchall and Brad Taylor. Both founders are the alumni of Le Locle’s Korpela and Hofs Watchmaking Competence Centre, which is one of the few remaining classical watchmaking schools in the world. In 2018, Birchall & Taylor launched the brand’s debut timepiece, the Reference 1.

After completing studies at Watchmaking School, Charles began working for the esteemed independent watchmaker Roger Smith. He was tasked with producing Daniels anniversary watch, a watch designed by Roger and his mentor, the late George Daniels. His work involved finishing tiny individual watch components working in the Isle of Man in a small team of very skilled watchmakers. Charles learned many fundamentals of the trade working for Roger but most importantly he learned that a watchmaker can flourish outside of Switzerland. After one and a half years he made the difficult choice to move back to Toronto, he very much loved the work but found himself missing his home town.

After Watchmaking School Brad returned to Toronto, despite his parent’s concern that he was going to be learning a dying trade he quickly found work at an independent service centre. He earned his level 2 certificate from Patek Philippe as well as Hublot, Maurice Lacroix, Bell & Ross and many others. During this time he continued to think about what his ideal watch would look like, and began making sketches in his free time. In Toronto, Brad approached Charles and they began discussing the prospect of forming a company together and joining their names (Birchall & Taylor).

As things began to become very real, the two watchmakers began to finalize their design ideas together and planned a trip to their old stomping grounds, Le locle, Switzerland. After meeting with companies who could meet their strict standards of quality they created final drawings of what would be their first watch; the Reference 1.

They would soon return home and propose their designs to anyone who would listen, luckily finding a handful of people who would be willing to prepay for their watch, knowing that it could take many months for them to be finished.

Their first watch was designed to be an excellent dress watch, hitting all of the boxes they had in their minds of what a dress watch should be.

The Reference 1 is an automatic watch featuring 38 millimetre stainless steel case, which is hand finished to the highest standards. The watch features a ‘Grand-Feu’ enamel dial is made by Donze Cadrans in Le Locle, Switzerland – one of the best regarded enamel dial making company in the world.

The Reference 1 houses an ultra-thin, micro-rotor self-winding movement manufactured by Vaucher, the world renowned movement manufacturer based in Fleurier, Switzerland.

By working with Vaucher, Birchall & Taylor were able to offer a reliable and tested movement to their clients, while delivering their design language by designing all of the other components and having them manufactured from the best companies in the industry.

The watch is worn on an alligator strap of the highest quality, joined by a beautiful stainless steel, machined butterfly clasp.

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