Elliot Brown emanates from a coastal playground where harsh natural elements and active outdoor lifestyles place huge demands on any timepiece. Conquering these demands meant refining and re-thinking every component, to create a watch with effortless style and rugged reliability at its core.
Frustrated that there wasn’t an ultra-durable watch that suited their lifestyle, they set about building one with the aim of eliminating some of the most common causes of watch failure. It had to look good, perform effortlessly, be thoroughly considered and every-day wearable for all wrist sizes.
Between them, Elliot & Brown share over 25 years building and maintaining watches used in harsh conditions like salt water, sand, vibration, mud, snow and rocks. Armed with this unique experience they set about solving the two key areas of shock and water resistance with a bespoke floating movement shield system and triple seals for all crowns and pushers that work 100% of the time in or out of water. They even submerge every watch in water and pressure test it to 20ATM / 200m for ten minutes.
The result is a rugged watch designed for all-day every-day use with an elegance that hides their go anywhere, do anything credentials with beautifully resolved detailing everywhere you look.
Every case is designed in-house and forged from a solid block of 316L stainless steel that is precision CNC-machined, and then brushed and polished, or finished with a PVD coating, depending on the model.
As well as being durable and corrosion-resistant, 316L is hypo-allergenic, so it is safe for those with nickel allergies. No part of any Elliot Brown watches or straps are plated with nickel.
The caseback is bolted down, not threaded onto the case, to ensure that the shock-absorbing movement holder is held in exactly the right position.
Every caseback has the model number laser-etched around the edge for easy model identification, should the watch get separated from its box or need to be returned for service or repair.
To ensure that your watch does not feel sticky on your wrist in hot weather, the area that touches your skin is as small as possible and has different textures and surfaces.
Every single watch is individually pressure-tested to 20 ATM, twice, to make sure that the manufacturing tolerances and assembly meet Elliot Brown’s quality standards; once when the bare case is machined, and again once the watch has been assembled. Every watch is designed to be water-resistant to the ISO2281 standard.
A watch which is built to survive the elements must be tested to the limit. That’s why Elliot Brown are uncompromising in the tests their watches must go through. Every single component is individually checked for cosmetic defects, then examined for specification and functionality.
To test that the crystal is correctly hardened and tempered, a 16.5g ball bearing is dropped from an electromagnet half a metre above the glass three times. If the crystal is too hard or too soft, it will either chip or shatter.
The chronograph pushers on the Bloxworth are each pressed pneumatically 5,000 times to simulate years of wear & tear. They must function perfectly after the test, and must also feel the same when pressed. No stiffer, no looser.
To simulate years of taking the watch on and off, the ends of Elliot Brown’s leather straps are clamped down and the strap flexed in half and then stretched out 5,000 times.
A 1kg block pressing on a felt pad is then dragged backwards and forwards across the surface of the strap 150 times dry and 150 times soaked in water to simulate years of wear & tear.
Every type of strap (leather, bracelet, webbing and canvas) is subjected to a traction and torsion test. A 5kg weight is hung from one end of the strap whilst the other end is repeatedly twisted back and forth through 180 degrees 5,000 times.
This tests the material the strap is made from as well as its construction and the attachments - the buckle, clasp, screw-in bars etc.
Every bare watch case is pressure-tested in air to 75% of the stated water-resistance (150m/15 bar) when they are delivered to the factory.
They are tested using air-pressure, not water, because it’s non-destructive and faster than water-testing.
After the watches have been fully assembled, they are pressure-tested again to 150m again in air to make sure they’re able to withstand full ‘wet’ pressure-testing.
One they have passed these tests, every watch is then wet pressure-tested in a 30cm-deep pressure vessel of water at 20 bar/200m for 10 min, and then placed on a hot-plate at 40-45°c for 15 minutes.
A drop of water between 18 and 25°c is then placed on the glass. After one minute, the watches are wiped dry and checked for condensation under the crystal.
A percentage of every batch is tested for shock-resistance by striking them twice with a 3kg pendulum hammer. Once on the left-hand side of the case, and once on the crystal. This simulates the impact the watch sustains if it falls from a height of 1m on to a hardwood floor.
A random selection of watches from every batch are also dropped 4 times in succession from 1m high on to a hardwood surface.
The assembled watches are put through a ’burn-test’ for 24 hours in 4 positions – face-up, face-down, crown-up, and crown-down, to test for timekeeping issues.
The watches are then fitted with their straps and undergo one final cosmetic inspection before being boxed and packed.
All Elliot Brown watches feature their unique Movement Shield System, which will ensure your watch can survive just about anything you can throw at it. Designed to protect the movement from shocks and impacts, the Movement Shield System is a solid stainless steel 'shield' that floats within the watch case on a series of silicon elastomer damper rings. The white/pale grey damper ring is visible inside the edge of the case in the picture below. Once in position, the shield isolates the movement from the case meaning that when the case gets a harsh knock, the movement is protected from the shock of the initial impact and is cushioned by the damper. It can withstand more than 5000G (G meaning the force of Gravity not grams).
Known for their harsh treatment of their own watches, Elliot Brown have obviously put the Movement Shield System to the test in what is said to be the most extreme test for shock in the business. The test is conducted with a pendulum hammer which strikes the watch, literally smashing it into a catch net as if it had been hit with a golf club. This is done 3 times during the test.
Bolting the case back down instead of screwing it down has surprising advantages:
Elliot Brown case backs are also beautifully designed. Not just for aesthetic purposes, the multiple surface finishes and tapered edges reduce the contact area, making the watch much more comfortable for you to wear in hot conditions.