The Hand of Time


NICK HAMMOND straps on a new accessory and steps out in field, stream and throughfare…

TIMEPIECES mean more to one man than they do to another.

Some are simply infatuated and go as gooey over a rare watch as a philatelist espying a Penny Black.

I’ve both worn a watch for years – and then not worn one for years. I once discarded my simple, trusty timepiece because it became to me a symbol of rat-race, working-for-the-man, modern-day slavery. And the day I was made redundant from my golden-handcuffed office job and walked out of the building like a prisoner breathing free air for the first time in years, I took off my watch and put it in a drawer, where it has remained ever since. Then the dreaded mobile phone took over, and I used that almost exclusively to tell the time.

But recently, I’ve become more aware of the watch as an accessory to my attire. Not necessarily an expensive watch – for I’ve not fallen yet into the trap of the high-end, jewel-encrusted, state-of-the-art wristwatch frenzy. It’s just that I’ve realised a judiciously placed and elegant watch face can complement a suit or shirt in the same way a great pair of shoes, or a gorgeous tie can. Which is why I was intrigued to get my hands (see what I did there?) on a simple yet sophisticated watch from Morris Richardson when I first spotted it.

These are affordable and aesthetically pleasing wristwatches for men and women and come with an attractive added bonus; you can detach and change the strap to suit your mood and occasion.

At first glance, I thought this was mere affectation. But the very elegant 40mm rose gold gents’ watch face caught my eye and I picked one up, complete with its striking blue tweed straps. It goes rather beautifully with my treasured Steven Hitchcock Savile Row Donegal Tweed suit – perfect for a Winter’s day in the metrop. I’ve learned to tilt the wrist once more in order to read the time.

And when I went to pack the gun, dog, cartridges, wellies and assorted other accoutrements for a day in the field, I realised a watch would be more than useful too; I was to be on a tight schedule after the last drive of the day and I didn’t want to be seen swiping through my mobile while in the line – it’s the height of rudeness to one’s host, in case you weren’t aware.

So, in a moment of inspiration, I popped off the MR’s blue tweed number and replaced it with a light green herringbone Harris Tweed set of straps instead. And my watch about town was instantly transformed into a serviceable and eminently appropriate country sports timepiece.

In fact, I spent much of my time waiting for pheasants sneaking a look at my watch and admiring how it blended seamlessly with country attire. It seems the Hebridean Tweed straps have been a smash hit; most lines are currently sold out, so you may have to wait a little if you place an immediate order.

But don’t let that put you off. Morris Richardson designers have achieved the Holy Grail; a classically beautiful watch face in an attractive yet understated metal surround. As an added bonus, you have the ability to tweak the personality with the addition of some genuine British craftsmanship. Bravo.

I’m back wearing a watch again.

For more information about Morris Richardson watches, visit