The British seaside may seem an unlikely source of inspiration for a watch brand, but Shore Projects makes something remarkably covetable out of the often gloomily cold UK coastline.
Founded by a group of friends disillusioned by the lack of affordable, expertly engineered and stylish timepieces on the market, Shore Projects first shook up the watch sector this time last year.
Launching with Project 1, a selection of styles taking their names from some of the co-founders’ favourite seaside spots (Poole, Whitstable, Portland and St Ives), the brand has swiftly gained itself an enthusiastic fan base over the past twelve months.
It’s hardly surprising. Timelessly stylish and smartly manufactured from the finest materials – including 316L marine grade stainless steel cases, Italian leather straps and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass – Shore Projects provides affordable alternatives to luxury timepieces that often cost the earth.
The watches are straightforward in their aesthetic, each with a clean, minimal feel that makes for a timepiece that’s much more versatile than the garish, heavily branded pieces on offer from other ‘designer’ labels.
Although inspired by classic, vintage models, Shore Projects’ watches are unquestionably modern in construction. Using precision manufacturing processes, each style is waterproofed to 100m, meaning you can even wear them for a dip in the deep blue – a fitting advantage for a brand that’s endlessly inspired by the beauty of the seaside.
This week, building on the success of last year’s debut, the brand has released Project 2. A slick, luxe update on Project 1, watches in the new collection feature brushed stainless steel and metallic Milanese mesh straps, as well as a high-grade Miyota quartz movement.
Available in gold, black PVD, rose gold and brushed silver, the timepieces – in keeping with the watchmakers’ soft spot for the British coastal spots – are named after Abersoch, Falmouth, Salcombe and Cowes, respectively:
While both Project 1 and Project 2’s styles are minimal enough to slot seamlessly into both casual and smart looks, the latter’s line-up offers a sense of sophistication and elegance that makes them ideal for any formal engagement.
Whether you pair the gold Abersoch design with a navy blue three-piece or the black Falmouth watch with a light grey single-breasted suit, Project 2’s selection is made for looking sharp.
Arguably the watches’ key feature is the innovative strap mechanism. Simple yet superbly effective, this neat addition allows you to easily switch straps on your watch, so you can quickly change the look and feel of your timepiece without having to splurge on a completely new design.
Confused? You needn’t be. The illustration below (pulled from the brand’s website) shows exactly how it’s done.
Simply grab the watch face, and then pull the handle back. With the handle held back, place the strap into the holes, and finally release the handle to secure the strap. Easy.
Shore Projects Gift Box
Also worth checking out is Shore Projects’ superb starter kit.
Although labelled as a ‘Gift Box’ (and undoubtedly an ideal gift for a loved-one), the brand’s offer of one watch and three straps for £170 is such brilliant value for money that you’d be silly not to take advantage of it yourself.
Shore Projects aren’t just good watchmakers. They’re decent people, too. In partnership with the Marine Conservation Society, the label donates £1 to MCS for every watch sold.
Championing the need for marine wildlife protection, sustainable fisheries and clean seas and beaches, the MCS campaigns to improve the conditions of the UK’s seas and coastlines. So, you’re not only saving your style, you’re working to save some of the UK’s most beloved sea spots as well.
Project 2 watches are available for pre-order now at shoreprojects.com, priced at £135.