Jack Matthew Elam
Jack’s dad is an engineer, so he has always been familiar with working with his hands. Before watchmaking, Jack did fine furniture and cabinet making at college and university. Creatively it was great, but intellectually it wasn’t stimulating him enough.
At 22, Jack first discovered watchmaking. He didn’t know watches were still made by hand back then, so discovering the likes of George Daniels and Roger Smith was quite remarkable. His first literary introduction was Watchmaking by George Daniels, then Theory of Horology and many other books followed. Jack was self-studying for two years before he found out there were schools in the U.K. that catered to this discipline.
He applied to the Birmingham City University and started the 3-year course in September 2017. At the Birmingham School, they covered the history of horology, mechanical watches and clocks, quartz watches, CAD, design work and business.
Since graduating Jack has registered his own company, and went down the route of an independent watchmaker. He has been furnishing his workshop with equipment and getting ready to start manufacturing my first series of wristwatches.
Jack is inspired by George Daniels, Roger W. Smith, Vianney Halter and F.P. Journe. He’s also drawn to AkriviA for the level of the invention on display and for their design language, especially the Chronomètre Contemporain. But during his studies at Birmingham, he wasn’t just limited to modern horology. He’d take inspiration from Harrison, Graham and all the greats from the past.
In 2021, Jack designed the Wandering Hour Series, limited to just eight pieces. His wondering hour is inspired by Luc Monnet’s pocket watch but with a contemporary flair and a design that is representational of Jack’s own DNA.
For the Wandering Hour Series Jack used a BNB Concept calibre as the base movement which he has re-engineered and redesigned. He also made his own main plates and bridges for the movement. For this series complication, he has designed a wandering hour module, which he made 90% of the components for. The Wandering Hour Series has a power-reserve of 12 days and is visible via a central power-reserve indicator on the dial side of the watch.
The finishing is quite British. The wandering hour module is black rhodium plated with a black rhodium Clous de Paris central area. On the movement side the bridges are frosted, and gold plated with polished bevelled edges and black polished steel components. There are three separate finishing styles on the bridges, frosted, polished bevels, and graining on the side, this is reminiscent of what you might find on an MB&F for example and lends itself to a high level of attention to detail. The balance wheel has a frosted finish on the spokes, straight-graining on top and polished rims. So, there are quite a few finishing techniques implemented on each component and the order they are completed in will be important as to not damage any of the finishing.
The case in stainless steel also reflects modern sensibilities and is sized at 39mm.