Thomas Earnshaw watchmakers: Best of British

It’s been a while, but the Best of British series is back and what better way to kick it back off than with one of the world’s oldest and most decorated watch brands? I’m talking of course, about Thomas Earnshaw.

Thomas Earnshaw has been dubbed ‘the father of the modern chronometer’ – and with good reason. This is one watch brand that is steeped in history and I am honoured to be the owner of one of their flagship Swiss made watches which I’ll be getting into in a little bit.

First of all though, let’s start the history lesson.


Thomas Earnshaw

As stated above, Thomas Earnshaw is widely considered to be the father of the modern chronometer. He was responsible for taking the marine chronometers of the 1700’s and improving on them to such a standard that his designs were used in Royal Navy journeys across the globe.

thomas earnshaw packaging

The Thomas Earnshaw chronometer no. 506 was actually used on HMS Beagle, which was Charles Darwin’s means of transportation when he was studying evolution around the world. I think it’s fair to say then, Thomas Earnhaw has got some decent clientele.

After reading the company’s story on their about page, I was stunned by just how much history Thomas Earnshaw has. From royal astronomer customers to being responsible for aiding the navy in their first longitude discovery journey – the stories just kept on coming. If you want to find out more about their unbelievable 200+ year history then click here.

some more thomas earnshaw packaging

What I picked

I cheated slightly in this respect – as I went for something from their Swiss made range. However, what could be more British than taking influence from different cultures? Right guys? Guys?

Anyway, I went for the beagle. This puppy is hands down the sexiest watch that Thomas Earnshaw produce (in my opinion anyway). It has a classy stainless steel bracelet with gold going straight through the middle and wouldn’t look out of place on God himself.

close up of thomas earnshaw box

It is also named after HMS Beagle – the ship that carried Darwin during his discovery of human origins. You’re not gonna be getting a watch with that much history anywhere else are you?

Having that bit of history and knowing the sheer quality that the watch offered made me feel about 10 feet tall as I walked down the street. You just feel like you’re a somebody when you’ve got one of these little fellas adorning your wrist. I was prancing around like I was Elvis even though in reality I’m just some bloke who writes words on the internet.

box opened to reveal thomas earnshaw watch

But that’s the beauty of it – you don’t have to be a movie star or a hot shot to feel like a million dollars. Just owning something that you know is effortlessly cool is such a confidence booster – even if it is a bit materialistic.

A spot of travel

I was lucky enough to fly out to Lisbon with the blog and to Barcelona with the missus this past month, so I thought I’d really put my Beagle to the test and bring it along for the ride.

One thing that stood out to me (not just on holiday) was that the watch seems to go with every single outfit I put together. Whether it be jeans and a t-shirt, suit and tie or a pair of undies and nothing else, the watch just goes. I can’t really explain it but the design is just perfect for blending in with all manner of rig-outs.

thomas earnshaw watch overlooking lisbon

It was also ideal for keeping track of time while I was plodding along exploring side streets and beaches alike. When you’re having the time of your life in a foreign land it’s easy to lose your sense of time, missing important events or meals, etc. Luckily I spent most of my time gawping at the design of the Thomas Earnshaw so there was no chance I’d be losing track of time.

Here’s some more pictures of the Beagle on its travels through the Spain & Portugal courtesy of yours truly.

The good

I’ll try not to babble on too much here but it’s going to be quite hard not to.

Let’s start with the overall design. This watch just oozes class, it wouldn’t look out of place on Prince William – although I’d argue it looks better on me…

man sat on ledge checking watch

The stainless steel bracelet is the perfect fit and lets the watch blend seamlessly into any outfit as stated above. The face itself is a gorgeous display of the inner workings of the watch (which you can get a better view of from underneath) and the second-counting hand even has a little Thomas Earnshaw logo at the end.

It’s all about the details for me and Thomas Earnshaw have delivered this and then some with the Beagle.

Something that I have found to be lacking in a lot of my previous watches is a feeling of sturdiness. They always felt lightweight and poor quality. I will admit that my first few attempts back when I was 16 were from China so what could I expect.

close up of thomas earnshaw watch

However, I got a G-shock back when they were cool along with an Armani watch not so long ago and they both felt, for want of a better word – flimsy.

As soon as I picked up my Thomas Earnshaw though, I immediately felt the weight of the watch. Everyone knows what I’m on about here (hopefully). You know when you can just tell something was built properly – built to last. Yeah, that.

close up of the back of a watch

Finally, this is quite an overlooked aspect of modern watches but…it tells the time. I have actually addressed this in a previous Best of British post, but I feel like watches are being over-complicated nowadays to the point of having so many gizmos and add-ons that they don’t really tell the time effectively.

You end up having to look through so many little trinkets that you may as well have just gone on your phone. This isn’t the point of a watch in my eyes. It should tell the time and make a statement, but not be too in your face. The Beagle has absolutely nailed all three and I couldn’t be happier with it.

The bad

I’ll be quite honest with you, I can’t really find anything to whinge about here. The watch is on a complete other level to anything I’ve ever laid my hands on and the company as a whole couldn’t be any cooler.

However…

It wouldn’t be fair to say ‘This is the best watch ever. Buy this watch. Buy this watch. Buy this god damn watch‘ without giving some form of balanced opinion on it.

man sat on steps

The only thing I can have a pop at is the price point for this particular model. It is £1,000. A grand. 1k. Now, that is a lot of money, especially for those on a tight budget. But at the end of the day, you buy a watch for life.

You treat yourself to one when you want to remember something, you buy it for the history, the quality and the potential that it could be passed down through the ages.

If I ever make a sprog then I’d love something like this to pass down through through the generations. A grand looks like a teencie weencie investment when you look at it in terms of lifetimes doesn’t it?

close up of thomas earnshaw watch

Even if that wasn’t the case, a grand isn’t that much for a watch when you think about it. I bet you’ve got a few watches that were each a few hundred each – there’s your grand.

And, Thomas Earnshaw are packing hundreds of other watches that start at about £200 so it’s not like you have to jump right in with the most expensive watch they offer. Go for the less expensive models if you want to get a feel for the company without having to drop too much cash.

You don’t have to drop a month’s wages for a quality timepiece – I just have stupidly expensive taste which will probably come back to bite me in the arse one day, but for now I’ll enjoy my wee beagle.


Thomas Earnshaw, the father of the modern chronometer and one of the finest watch makers to have ever lived. The man was a legend and his watches live on to this day – still true to his original vision.

I am in love with my Thomas Earnshaw watch and I can’t fault either the company or the craftsmanship whatsoever.

If you’re interested in getting your own Thomas Earnshaw watch then you can visit their site or keep up with them on Instagram.

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