Developing The Holton Professional
The Elliot Brown Holton Professional is the latest to come form the British brand, and it is a watch that they are truly proud of too! The Elliot Brown team tend to not use focus-groups, and out of company marketing studies, however, for this piece, this rule was broken! This is because the watch has not been made for Elliot Brown, it has been designed for, and in collaboration with, a specialist branch of the British Military. This is due to the fact that many of their operators preferred wearing their own Elliot Brown watches over the Military issues pieces they were provided with.
After receiving this feedback, a senior member of the military branch approached EB to ask about the potential for designing a solution for their problems; losses caused by broken spring-bars, awkward bezels that don’t work with gloved fingers, sub-par water resistance, torn straps and lack of durability in harsh conditions. Once set this unique task, EB used their 20+ years of experience producing durable watches to put some ideas together for the Elliot Brown Holton Professional watch. The watch quickly began to take shape, and it soon became clear that a brand new watch would be needed to meet the specifications required, rather than modifying a current model!
The result of the research and testing was a timepiece with a design that manages to portray the minimalism of vintage military, with it’s slab sides and starkly bold details, whilst still managing to offer clear lineage to the Elliot Brown style. This process was made possible by the support of the Holton operators, who were also huge watch fans, with a premium taste and a challenging idea.
The result is a brand new watch, whose design manages to echo the minimalism of vintage military watches with slab sides and starkly bold details yet carries clear lineage to Elliot Brown’s house style.
“Our challenge was to design a watch that would live up to their aesthetic expectations as well as being totally fit for purpose. Something functional but uninspiring wouldn’t be enough.”
The Elliot Brown Holton Professional Watch
In order to solve the issues presented, the Elliot Brown Holton Professional had to implement some special features, making it the perfect timepiece for the field. The first piece of tech was a high-grip bezel, which was the same external diameter as the case, and has been produced as a uni-directional bezel to ensure that it only turns one direction, by gripping the edge, or pressing downwards on the top with a gloved hand, which was one of the crucial points made by the Holton operators. Unlike divers watches, the bezel has a hash mark every minute, so rather than being printed on the aluminium, each mark is debossed then filled with SuperLuminova C3 on the steel bezel. The same SuperLuminova C3 has been used on the dial and hands to ensure high viability in poor light conditions, as the use of GTLS tritium tubes was ruled out due to being too visible through night vision, something that is of huge importance to these military personnel.
Millimeter-perfect hands. The minute hand is a slender parallel baton design with a point, so that it will line up exactly with the minute markers, which is a necessity for military use, whilst the hour hand is the opposite, short and stubby! This mixed design makes sure that the two hands are as different as possible in order to avoid confusion and potential mistakes. This model will also feature a screw down crown, positioned at the 4 o’clock mark in order to keep it from being caught or damaged. The crown is triple sealed and helps to keep the watch water resistant up to a 200m, even when unscrewed! Each watch is subject to 3 pressure tests including 10 minutes at 200m in water, which is extreme with watch testing, to ensure that each watch holds up to the expected specifications!
With 2mm thick sapphire crystal glass, with a special anti-reflective coating on the underside. Every crystal is tested to withstand the necessary pressure, with 3 x 17mm ball bearing drop tests from 500mm, without a single sign of damage. Instead of using the fixed bars used on early military watches, which was one of the features the Holton operatives had previously complained about. This new innovation holds the same strength as the previous version, however they can be unscrewed with the bespoke pentalobe driver, enabling quick and easy strap changes on the go.
The case back is bolted down to compress the seals and movement shock absorption system perfectly. The new multi-level detail on the back of the case ensures that there is minimal contact between the watch and the wearers skin – perfect for warmer climates and long term comfort.
“Delivering the first batch of watches personally by hand was one of our proudest moments and hearing such positive feedback fills us with the kind of heart-felt passion that we started this journey with and when it comes down to it, that’s what makes our watches different. We do it because we love what we do and leave no stone unturned until we’re happy to put our names on the dial.”
The Elliot Brown Holton Professional is the first Military issue watch from a British company in 13 years!