The Covid crisis has given many of us the opportunity to reassess our lives and our values, and think about what is truly important to us, with many of us concluding that spending time doing the things we enjoy with the people we love rates near – or at – the top of the list. Values is what Perthshire-based Marloe Watch Company, a designer of traditional mechanical watches, was founded on; values of honesty and integrity, a love of the outdoors and slow living.
Marloe Watch Company was founded in 2015 by Oliver Goffe and Gordon Fraser, with the aim of creating traditional but original timepieces, and now has six collections ‘each with its own unique story and soul’, but all intended to provide a remedy to today’s disposable tech and ever-upgrading smart watches. To find out what attracts people to their products, we chatted to Marloe ‘superfan’ Alan Lewis, an ex-Police Officer with a love for the outdoors who never leaves the house without his favourite timepiece.
How did you first get into the outdoors?
I’ve always been interested in the outdoor life. Even from a young lad, I was always outside exploring, normally around the local marshes near to where I lived in Rainham, Essex. This was around 45 or 46 years ago! The wildlife fascinated me and I just enjoyed the freedom that being in the countryside gave me. I would walk for hours going nowhere in particular, and I guess this was the start of my love for walking and exploring..
What have been your favourite trekking trips over the years?
Over the years I’ve had some wonderful walking/trekking trips, both in the UK and overseas, but by far the most enjoyable and memorable trips were to Corsica in 2018 and the Trossachs last year. Myself and my partner at the time, Anne, along with my stepson Daniel enjoyed a fantastic week on the gorgeous mountainous island of Corsica. We decided to walk up Monte d’Oro a beautiful mountain at 2,389m. It was incredible, but what made this so very special was that en route up the mountain we found the most gorgeous picturesque mountain stream, we stopped for a while and paddled in the steam, and I chose this moment to propose to Anne, in the middle of the icy cold mountain steam. Luckily she said yes. It was perfect and will always be my most memorable and treasured walk /trek for that reason. The following year we honeymooned in a log cabin on the banks of Loch Long in the Trossachs, Scotland. We enjoyed a wonderful time and had many gorgeous walks around the forests of Ardgarten and Arrochar. It’s such a beautiful and rugged area – simply stunning.
What are your favourite walking destinations in the UK?
I’ve walked in the Peak District and really enjoyed Kinder Scout, I walked using the Jacob’s Ladder route and found that to be superb; lovely views and hard enough but not too challenging. The Lake District is special to me too, as I was fortunate enough to win a competition run by Marloe Watch Company to name a watch collection. I chose Coniston for the name and won a Coniston watch serial number 0001 as my prize. Naturally I couldn’t resist the opportunity to visit Coniston Water and walk that area and grab a few cheeky shots of the Coniston watch in its spiritual home.
How did you discover Marloe watches?
When I retired from the police in 2016 after almost 30 years, I promised myself a special watch. I had seen a gorgeous IWC (International Watch Company) watch but at the time I’d been through a period of ‘domestic realignment’ and couldn’t really justify spending that much money. Fast forward to meeting Anne; I had mentioned the idea of buying the special watch, just in passing, but then forgot about it, but unbeknown to me Anne was busy researching in the background, and she discovered Marloe Watch Company and, in particular, the Marloe Cherwell. She bought it and presented it to me in early 2017. Wow – I was immediately in love with this watch, but more importantly with the company; their philosophy and backstory just resonated with me. The guys who run the company, Oliver and designer Gordon were just so nice and approachable, they took time and really cared about their customers. I knew straight away this was the brand for me. The IWC dream had gone and had been replaced by Marloe Watch Company – the best of British!
We’ve got to ask; how many Marloe watches do you own?
To date I now own six Marloe watches: the Cherwell, the Lomond, two Conistons (one of which was my prize for naming the collection), a Haskell (this was my wedding present from Anne) and the gorgeous Morar Emerald dive watch, and I have another new one coming later this year. My wife Anne has two Marloe Derwent watches so, as you can see, we have both been bitten by the Marloe bug!
Do you wear your watches outdoors?
I always wear my Marloe watches when walking, and in fact I always take at least two, normally three, on holiday with me; one for casual smart, sort of field watch – this is normally the Marloe Coniston; the Marloe Morar because this can be used in water and I can go swimming with it on without worry; and my gorgeous Marloe Haskell for smart evening wear. Having my trusty, reliable and accurate watches with me not only makes me feel dressed but keeps me on track and on time.
Do you have an appreciation of time now that you’re retired?
Now that I am semi-retired, I find I enjoy the slower pace of life; I spend more time enjoying wildlife and walking. I love nothing more than walking with Anne and our Jack Russell dog, and we regularly look for new walking routes near to our home. Exploring new areas allows for greater appreciation of nature, wildlife and the peacefulness without traffic noise and being at one with the surroundings. It also gives me the perfect opportunity to grab the odd photo of the Marloes in different settings – my Instagram page is full of them! A major factor in my choice of Marloe watches was the fact that they are superb-quality mechanical watches – the interaction I get by winding the watches daily is strangely calming and goes with my more relaxed and chilled, technology-free lifestyle.
What walking/trekking plans do you have for the future?
We were due to have a holiday in the Brecon Beacons in May but unfortunately due to the Covid pandemic that was cancelled, as well as a short weekend walking trip to the Lake District which we have luckily been able to reschedule to October. As for the future, we plan to revisit Corsica to trek more of the beautiful island, but one of the most exciting walks/treks I would love to do is the Camino de Santiago, especially the Camino Frances as featured in the film ‘The Way’ (starring Charlie Sheen) and the book ‘The Pilgrimage’ by Paulo Coelho.
For more information on the Marloe Watch Company click HERE.