Garrick Regulator MK II: A British Revolution
by Martin Green
Becoming the victim of your own success is an interesting situation. This occurred to me when talking with David Brailsford, who, together with Simon Michlmayr founded the British brand Garrick. Brailsford expressed his concern about the extended time for his clients between ordering and taking delivery.
Although I got the impression that most of his clients understand the situation, and are more than happy to wait, I also understand his point. When you take pride in making watches primarily by hand, you know it takes time, as do your clients, but at some point, the wait becomes uncomfortable and somewhat of a burden nagging at the back of your mind.
Speeding up production is nearly impossible without cutting corners, which is something Garrick will not do as they take pride in having been able to make an increasing number of components themselves. Expanding production is challenging as the skills needed to craft a Garrick are not a dime a dozen. So carefully watching the order book and managing expectations is all that can be done.
Why a new watch?
It then might seem a bit peculiar that Garrick just launched a new model, the Regulator MK II, which will likely only increase David’s troubles about keeping up with demand rather than soothing it. For this, it is essential to understand that watchmaking is a creative endeavor. In the mind of a watchmaker, evolution is inevitable.
Garrick might very well keep its order book completely full for the next decade just making its current collection, but especially in independent watchmaking, the timepieces represent the souls of those who make them. And creators want to build on past experience to reach new levels.
For Garrick, that new level is the Regulator MK II.
Regulator watches, in which the hours, minutes, and seconds, are each displayed separately, either with a centrally mounted hand, or its own subdial, are an important part of Garrick’s legacy. Garrick launched their first regulator watch in 2016, in a limited edition of just 15 pieces. It proved to be popular, and two years later returned for another run.
What set these watches apart was both the spectacular backdrop for the dial and that no hand was centrally mounted, which is somewhat of a niche in a niche. Also, the balance wheel, visible on the dial side, was quite a statement. It was part of the heavily modified Unitas 6497 movement that Garrick used as a base caliber for this watch.
Fast forward to 2023, with the Regulator MK II, which is quite a different animal. In this watch, you can see the development that Garrick has been through in just five short years. Regulator MK II is not an evolution but a revolution!
This starts with the movement, which is no longer based on the Unitas 6497. Instead, Garrick worked with esteemed independent watchmaker of rock star status, Andreas Strehler, and his company UhrTeil AG, in creating a beautiful manual wound caliber named UT-G02.
Garrick knew how to turn the Unitas 6497 into a treat, but this new caliber is mouth-watering and exquisite. Strehler supplies some of the base parts and Garrick crafts many components in-house, enabling customization and adding a generous dose of Garrick DNA.
One of these aspects is visible on the dial side, where its signature Trinity free-sprung balance resides at six o’clock. Secured by a full bridge, its constant oscillations are mesmerizing. The full bridge provides a sporty touch, which is well-merited by both the robust construction of the case and movement, and because the Regulator MK II is water resistant to 10 ATM/100 meters.
In fact, you could quite easily call the Regulator MK II a bonafide sports watch. It is also interesting to note that Garrick opted for 904L stainless steel for the case over the more commonly used 316L alloy. The reason is that 904L steel can be polished to a higher degree of brilliance and is more corrosion resistant.
Did Garrick just hint that you can take the Regulator MK II for a dive?
A lot of effort is put into the dial, which Garrick makes up from scratch in its workshop. The layout is quite different from the previous Regulator. The minute hand is now centrally mounted, with a subdial for the hours at three o’clock and one for the seconds at ten o’clock. This makes the Regulator MK II look pleasantly quirky, underscoring its unique nature.
The 42mm case, with a relatively small bezel, is well-proportioned because its overall height of 10mm is relatively slim.
Garrick offers the movement in either pink gold or silver frosted, with a similar finish in different colors available for the dial. Garrick achieves this effect on the dial by carefully hammering them. Additionally, you can also get the dial with a luscious engine-turned motif.
My traditionally inclined nature immediately gravitated to these dials, which Garrick offers in colors including burgundy red and jeans blue. The hammered, frosty dials underscore the craftsmanship that goes into making these watches in a subtle and understated way, and that is quite a rarity for a watch that can be called a British Revolution.
For more information, please visit https://garrick.co.uk/shop/watches/regulator-mk-2/
Quick Facts Garrick Regulator MK II
Case: 42 x 10 mm, 904L stainless steel, 10 ATM water-resistant
Movement: manually wound Caliber UT-G02, 46 hours power reserve, Trinity free-sprung balance, 18,000 VpH
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds
Price: From £9,995 (frosted dial) to £10,995 (guilloche dial) without VAT
Limited production of 10 pieces per year
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