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It’s All About Us!

Sharing…our Chip dog
Sharing…Marianna working hard on our stand at the recent Luxury Travel Fair

I’ve just spent far more time than I anticipated re-writing the ‘About Us’ page for our website. The impetus to get on with it has come from a need to finally produce a glossy booklet. I figured it was a good idea to design our new watch boxes (yes, new stuff is coming!) with a cunning compartment for the warranty card and another for a lovely, glossy book. Silly me! The boxes are mid-ship and I haven’t got anything to fill the gaping hole designed to hold a carefully crafted manual. 

In the middle of the ‘getting on with it’, however, it struck me that I have no idea how much we actually share. The way we communicate about us and our company has always been as honest and open as possible. From the off, we tried hard not to fall into the trap of corporate language or flowery sales talk. It’s simply not what we’re about.

Maybe the odd blog post has limbered me up, or maybe 5 years of chatting to so many of you has helped. Whatever the reason, this time, although it took an age (and I’m still struggling for the right words on the last line) I think I’ve said what we meant to say all along. I realise we don’t share that many photos either, so I’ve included a couple here that didn’t make the final cut. Best stop now or I’ll be in danger of oversharing and that won’t do at all.

Do have a look at the re-write and let us know what you think. I’ve got to print that booklet soon, so all amendments must be made before I put it in 200gsm high gloss for posterity!

 

It’s who you know.

On our recent trip to visit Ned’s parents in Cornwall, we found ourselves driving past Jamaica Inn. Ned & I haven’t been there since we met 20 years ago, so we popped in to show our two girls the famous, spooky hostelry. They, unfortunately, have only heard it mentioned during our discussions about the recent-ish TV adaptation and the ensuing ‘mumblegate’. For those of you who missed this piece of fascinating recent history, the BBC adaptation, starring Jessica Findlay Brown (she of Downton, series 1, died after she married the chauffer), was roundly criticised for being largely incomprehensible due to the actors mumbling their lines through thick, west country accents.

Ned and Marianna at Jamaica Inn Summer ’17

Since its recent takeover, the Inn has clearly undergone a deep cleanse and a new gift / farm shop has been added, much to the delight of our two pre-teens. I knew the curios room had gone years before but was still sad to see the reality of its demise. It really was the strangest room to explore and definitely added to the otherworldly nature of the place. It was macabre and disturbing with jars full of preserved body parts, stuffed animals and the like. Seriously odd.

Being back at Jamaica Inn brought to mind one of my favourite customer experiences from a few years ago. A couple from Canada visited the UK and did the Du Maurier bit while they were here, including a night at Jamaica Inn. They got in touch about buying watches for each other and I’m sure the lovely lady in question won’t mind if I repeat a few of her anecdotal comments:

She wrote: ‘When I found your website, we were on our holiday in England, racing by train across the countryside. One of our stops on our rambling excursion was the Jamaica Inn… Although he’s (her husband) unfamiliar with anything Daphne du Maurier wrote, he knows how much she and her work means to me, and that part of the trip was especially dear. (I must have 100 pictures of her writing desk from the little museum there…) ‘.

She went on to say of her stay at Jamaica Inn, ‘I loved the Jamaica Inn. We actually stayed there overnight and, as luck would have it, I believe we got “the room” as described in the book! It was creaky and crooked and a bit creepy…A distinctly remote feeling settles over that place at sunset, and it was completely socked in with mist the whole time. It was just perfect to what I had imagined. The colourful innkeeper let us know at check-in that there had been murders in our room and to expect “visitors” throughout the night and whatnot. A bit touristy, but exactly what I wanted it to be.’

I loved having these e-chats with this Canadian couple, and have had so many more since, with all sorts of fascinating and fabulous people. I do not exaggerate in the slightest when I tell you how wonderful it is to be able to connect with so many amazing people from all corners of the world.

One lady in question is Dr Laura Varnham who is a Lecturer in English at University College, Oxford. She is a regular contributor to the du Maurier events at the Fowey Festival (and to our somewhat less cerebral facebook and twitter posts!) and is currently writing a book on Daphne du Maurier, which we are looking forward to enormously. I have come across her name a lot, but finally got to introduce myself when she wrote a review on the recent ‘My Cousin Rachel’ film – the one with Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin. Do see it, it’s very good!

Tatiana de Rosnay’s Manderley Forever

 

Another amazing lady is French author Tatiana de Rosnay. Already a bestselling author of books, such as Sarah’s Key, she has just released ‘Manderley Forever’, a biography of Daphne, which Kits (Ned’s dad and Daphne’s son) has praised as possibly the most accurate account to date. She very kindly sent Ned a copy with a lovely message written inside the front cover. We were both very touched and read it straight away (rude not to in those circumstances!). Again, thoroughly recommend if you fancy a read.

Ned’s currently rather taken with a different du Maurier biographer who recently commented on a previous blog that he’s ‘quite handsome’ so he’s perfectly happy with that!

‘We’re on in 5’ by Anna Mazzotta

A quick final mention goes to Anna Mazzotta, who we got to meet through a watch / work thing. She’s a stunning, petite woman who creates enormous, vibrant pieces which are also very funny indeed…brings to mind a modern day Beryl Cook for me but she may not agree and I have no intention of causing insult, so I’ll just say it’s brilliant and well worth a look.

I realise this blog could turn into a name check of lovely people, but I think you probably get the idea, so I’ll stop there. I hope, in time, my girls may take their children to Jamaica Inn and tell them about the time they visited with us all those years ago. And how mummy wouldn’t let them buy anything from the gift shop and they weren’t even allowed a glass of coke but had to have boring water with lunch…happy days!

Musings on a dog walk…and our new jewellery!

Soggy Mr Chip!

Every time I walk the dog, I have ideas for this blog. I think of the interesting stuff I could tell you: stories about how we started our business, the weird and wonderful things we’ve found out about Ned’s family in the process, how our kids are doing at school (maybe not – that would be short & possibly very dull for anyone apart from me), the difficulty in finding anything new to feed people for breakfast…as you can see, the ideas come thick and fast. As you are already suspecting, the ideas are gone by the time I kick of my wellies, towel dry the dog and sit hopefully in front of a blank Word document.

Today, however, I am determined to retain my ideas, and get something down on paper. The thought process goes something like this…

It’s another horribly mizzly day, made so much worse by the memory of the lovely 30 degree heat we were enjoying last week. The warm summer days started for the Brownings (that’s us) with the whole weekend on the beach, including many picnics & swimming in the sea. Without a wetsuit. Lovely, I thought, here we go Summer, bring it on! Or not, as the case is a mere week later.

Walking the dog this morning was a soggy, grey affair, but I did find myself taking a huge amount of pleasure in my surroundings. We’re extremely lucky to have an office in the grounds of Forde Abbey, which is the most beautiful house & gardens on the Somerset / Dorset border. I got my walk in early this morning before the gardens opened to the public and played my usual game of ‘I live here’. That one never lasts long as I clearly don’t live here, nor ever will, so I amused myself by taking photos of dog’n’gardens, given how lovely they look. The pics are a bit like a dog version of ‘Where’s Wally’ now I look at them.

At the time, however, I felt a little like I was channelling my good friend, Amy, who is a horticulturalist and takes lots of plant pics every time we dog walk together. She also runs a blog for visitors to the Jurassic Coast which is well written, witty and intelligent. Clearly channelling her on all levels today!!

This put me in mind of other local business friends we are lucky enough to know. In fact, our new jewellery collection has sprung out of one such friendship. A conversation about how I’d love to expand our website with some jewellery, and what if I designed some pieces that our jewellery friends could make for us…and, voila, wild ideas have now been turned into shiny, sparkly, reality. Our first collection is necessarily small (mainly to see if you all like it!) but we are really delighted with it.

Rachel Earrings with Rose Quartz and Garnets

It features the Rachel Collection, inspired by the wonderful novel, My Cousin Rachel, which was recently made into a film with Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin. Ned tootled off to the premier a couple of weeks ago and had a lovely time, while I held the fort here and tried to be pleased for him. I don’t know why I feel hard done by, there was no fizz’n’canapes but he did get in free & see famous people from a distance. There is that.

Celeste Gold Necklace

We also have the Sylvia Collection named for a woman who I find utterly fascinating, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. She was George du Maurier’s daughter, so Daphne du Maurier’s aunt. Long story short: she and Arthur Llewelyn Davies had five boys. She met author, John Barrie at a dinner party and they and her boys became very close, especially after Arthur’s death. The five boys inspired the lost boys in Barrie’s most famous work, Peter Pan. You can find it all on Wikipedia but it’s a bit dry. The film ‘Finding Neverland’ starring Kate Winslet as Sylvia is a far more entertaining way to go about it, but make sure you have a box of Kleenexes finest to hand!

The final collection, the Celeste Collection, unusually for us, wasn’t named before design. It’s a lovely mix of metals and stones and looks quite celestial. Also our Daisy daughter’s best friend is a gorgeous girl called Celeste, so it was decided.

It’s all on our website now so have a look if you like and all feedback will be greatly appreciated! We are doing the newsletters and the requisite song & dance number tomorrow, so this is like a quick heads up if you want to get in first.

Alternatively, I can post more soggy dog pictures so you can play along with ‘Where’s Wally / Mr Chip’. Do let me know!

 

 

 

Let’s hear it for the girls!

Since today, the 8th March 2017 is International Women’s Day, I thought I’d write something wise, witty & insightful to celebrate. I will do this because I am a strong, independent working woman bringing up two beautiful little girls in a world where they need to learn to be tough but fair and jolly hardworking.

That’s my version of events anyway! Were you momentarily impressed? Oh go on, say you were. In reality, I’m not as strong as I’d like – Ned just phoned to ask how much I cried watching a film last night and our daughters regularly run me ragged. I’m also not as independent as I’d like – I can’t change a tire or work the lawn mower…actually I’d like to think I could if I tried, but have never felt these things fall in to my remit so shan’t add them now.

I was inspired to write something on the Women’s Day theme, not only by the BBC banging on about it while I was shouting ‘teeth’ and ‘shoes’ this morning, but also when I had a peek at Facebook a little later.

The first post up was a Daphne du Maurier book cover design that has won an award at this year’s Academy of British Cover Design Awards. Yes, there is such a thing and it’s pretty fab when you have a look. ‘The Birds and Other Stories’ has inspired designer Jamie Keenan (boy designer, not girl designer…just to clarify, as you could be mislead, what with the nature of this post so far) to design the most fantastic book cover for Virago’s 2016 reissue of this classic. Daphne du Maurier is still influencing from beyond the grave with her amazing works – quite extraordinary!

Second up: today there are a raft of fantastic women shouting from the rooftops about their businesses. I can’t mention them all as they are individually fabulous but a list on a blog wouldn’t be. It would be dull.

Diddi Dance Franchisees

Of particular note though, is a lady I worked with years ago who started a company called Diddi Dance, which she has turned into a successful franchise. The franchisees are, as far as I know, all women who, in turn, are all now enabled, supported and running their own successful ventures.

Oh, did I mention that this lady who is wife & mother to two small children, also runs a unique children’s activity centre in Greenwich, London called Under One Roof? I won’t go on about it but, if you have smallish children & are in London, do check it out. You’ll be amazed. (I should mention, Under One Roof is owned and run by two others as well…no-one’s actually really superwoman!). Inspired? Read on…

Post 3: Our local women’s business group, Lyme Bay Ladies, has announced today that they have reached 1200 members. Lyme Regis is really quite small and that’s 1200 women here, on our doorstep, being creative, imaginative, working their socks off to make their small businesses successful. And all supported by their female peers. If that’s happening all over the country we may yet build another Empire…Brexit or no Brexit. (Incidentally, and this is sooo off topic, we call it the Bellybutton Bill in our house as you can be an inney or an outey. Now you know.)

There are so many women out there doing their best to manage homes, children, their myriad social commitments (the children’s that is, I don’t know about too many others but I don’t get out much!), as well as successfully hold down a job. I am constantly inspired by these amazing women and wish I knew where they get their energy from, as I’d like some. To them all, I salute you ladies!

 

From Miss Ireland to Perfect Mother-in Law

Miss Ireland and Miss Universe semi-finalist Olive White (right) with Mickey Mouse, Disneyland 1961

Ned’s sister posted a fantastic picture on Facebook the other day of their mother with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland in 1961. Olive White was Miss Ireland in 1961 / 1962 and reached the final 15 in that year’s Miss Universe. The finalists visited Disneyland where the picture was taken. Asked about it, Olive said ‘I remember it like it was yesterday’. Shortly afterwards, she met Ned’s father, Kits, and they married in 1964.

Failing to get any anecdotal help from Ned to make this a bit more interesting, I spent some time trawling through the archives to find a picture or two to pop alongside these musings. Stumbling across a piece in the Chicago Tribune on January 26th 1964 about the wedding, the headline got my attention immediately:

‘TV fans in riot at wedding of ex-Miss Ireland’

Really?? How exciting! The article went on to explain: ‘Police battled for half an hour with TV fans outside a Dublin church today when a former Miss Ireland married the son of Daphne du Maurier…the crowd was so heavy that the police formed a flying wedge to escort the couple from the church but it took half an hour to reach their car after the wedding.’

Newly engaged Olive White & Kits Browning

It goes on to mention that a woman was rushed off to hospital with a ‘possible fractured leg’ and others sustained ‘minor injuries’. Good grief! When Ned & I got married, the Tunbridge Wells police remained wholly undisturbed, which, upon reflection, can only be a good thing.

Given that Du Maurier Watches has its roots firmly in the du Maurier / Browning side of the family, I thought it important to give the White side a well-deserved mention. The Browning / White wedding may have been mobbed in part because Kits is Daphne du Maurier’s son, but the wedding was in Dublin, and Olive White was a very famous name in Ireland at the time. When interviewed for the Irish Times in 2014, a journalist told her that she was ‘our Kate Moss’.

The only other written reference to Olive that I can find in the public domain, is a quote from that 2014 interview. The writer of the article, Alison Jameson, was doing a piece on mothers-in-law. The coincidence that I intended to write our next blog post about my mother-in-law, obviously didn’t escape me. I won’t quote the whole thing but it begins:

Listening to an interview with former Miss Ireland Olive White about her life and her husband’s mother, Daphne du Maurier, I was a bit disappointed to hear the writer described as “the most perfect mother-in-law”. The piece goes on to say that this description as ‘perfect’ is hard to believe due to Daphne du Maurier’s well documented eccentricities. I am paraphrasing somewhat but do have a full read if you like: http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/mother-in-law-day-a-good-time-to-cut-them-some-slack-1.1740677

It must be extremely hard to find a diplomatic answer to a question about your mother-in-law at the best of times, but especially when the lady in question is Daphne du Maurier. Too full of praise simply doesn’t ring true yet criticism can’t be a good line to take. I can surmise from experience, however, that if the former Miss Ireland took any hints and tips from her own mother-in-law, then, whilst not necessarily ‘perfect’, she must have been rather good at the job!

Hold the front page for 100 years!

With everything going on in the world at the moment, my mind’s been all over the place and I’ve been suffering from blog-writers block. Inspiration has not been forthcoming. The almost surreal, current world of politics may be stunting my writing growth, but it’s certainly keeping the press busy. Regardless of what recent events mean for us all in the long run, there can be no better time than now to be a journalist!

So, given that the journalistic pool of juicy news to wax lyrical about is overflowing, we at Du Maurier Watches are extremely grateful to a local journalist, the lovely Joanna Davis at the Dorset Echo, for taking the time to write a very nice piece about us.

We are proud to be a Dorset business and love living in this area, so our inclusion in this week’s Dorset Echo weekend magazine is something we are very excited about. I’ll be honest with you, I do think Ned is slightly more photogenic than Donald Trump (do I have to insert the word ‘allegedly’ here?!) but the orange one is definitely grabbing more headlines right now, so we’re grateful for ours, thank you Joanna.Maxim Black II black strap lifestyle

Coincidentally, while we’re talking about headlines, yesterday Ned showed me an old Tatler front cover image he’d found. It’s of Gerald du Maurier (Daphne’s father) in a 1916 issue. Given that, 100 years later, we currently advertise regularly in 2016’s Tatler, this image really made me think. gerald-du-maurier-tatler-1916-blog-picture

One hundred years ago Tatler published this issue with famous actor, Gerald du Maurier, as its cover star. This was against the backdrop of WW1, in the same year as the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Somme. With Remembrance Sunday only yesterday, these facts are swift to my fingertips, but a quick google to apprise myself of other world events in 1916 shows a vast historical landscape we can only now imagine.

Here are a couple of 1916 headlines I found which make you think: Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the US, and Jeanette Rankin was elected in Montana to become the first woman to serve in the US congress. I’ll leave those two snippets with you.

So that puts current events into perspective somewhat, doesn’t it? I’m now slightly ashamed to have been caught moaning about world events giving me writer’s block. How very trite recent events seem now in light of the world our relatives lived in 100 years ago. It’s done the trick though & I’m all fired up for a few more blog posts and I’m still really chuffed we got a piece in the Echo in 2016!

How far would you travel to buy a watch?

We had a call the other day from our local retailer, the very fabulous Jordans Jewellers in Dorchester, who had just sold a Rebecca watch on a blue strap. Now, there’s nothing particularly unusual about that in itself, however, it turns out the customer in question had driven all the way from Plymouth just to try on the watch. rebecca ladies watch blue strap

For those of you not familiar with the south Dorset / Devon roads, that’s a good two hour drive, not accounting for traffic, roadworks or any of the other many & varied road irritants available to the average motorist during the school summer holidays. Anyway, I digress. She’d seen one of our ads in a magazine, loved the look of the watch and tracked down the only place in the country where she could try it on. Yup, the only place in the country.

Here at Du Maurier Watches, we often debate whether we should give getting representation in British retailers another pop. When we started out, we, rather naively, assumed we could have a meeting or two and, bingo, we might bag some shelf space here & there. So confident were we in our lovely new designs that we would offer sale or return on our watches so there would be no risk to the retailer. What a winner!

In the real world, however, we quickly discovered that the vast majority of British retailers will not entertain new, small, family brands regardless of how ‘risk free’ their offerings. Don’t get me wrong, they were all utterly lovely and we had wonderful feedback across the board on our designs, the build quality and the unique Du Maurier story behind the brand. Unfortunately, there were sticking points: our collection was too small and our brand unknown in the watch market. Unless we were an established name with a much larger collection of models, it was a ‘thanks but no thanks’. We were sent away with a cheery and helpful reminder to call again when we’d made a success of it all. Well that’s a bit chicken and egg, we thought.jordans

One local independent retailer, however, did show an interest and has now been selling our watches very successfully for nearly three years. Sandy and her team at Jordans remain the only place in the UK where you can try on a Du Maurier watch. So, whilst we have sent our watches to customers all over the world and sell successfully online, the watch that really struck a cord with me was sold to the lovely lady who drove all the way from Plymouth to try it on. She saw it, loved it and, dear reader, she bought it!

And the winner is…

Our competition to win a Rebecca ladies watch has just closed. It’s always lovely announcing the winner and knowing that you’ve just made someone’s day. I reckon everyone likes that bit! 

You may have noticed that we don’t make a habit of giving our watches away, in fact, I think we’ve only given four of them away in total. A couple were magazine competitions and one was a facebook competition for the last limited edition Maxim Black II, and that was well over a year ago. Given that we clearly don’t make a habit of this, when it does happen, it generally needs to be for a good cause and we are pretty happy that this was one of the best.  

I’ll back-track briefly: last autumn Ned’s dad, Kits, called to ask if we’d like to take over administration of the official Daphne du Maurier website, www.dumaurier.org. Long story short, we didn’t feel that we had the time to do it justice, so were obliged to decline. It was lucky for everyone that we did, as rescue was on its way in the shape of the lovely Ann and David Willmore who run the brilliant Bookends of Fowey. bookends-of-foweyThey bravely stepped up and have taken the project on with an enthusiasm born of true passion for their subject. If you visit their shop you’ll see what I mean. Do go and have a browse and say hello to them if you’re in Fowey, it’s well worth a visit. 

At the beginning of it all, we met Ann and David over coffee and cakes in Pinky Murphy’s in Fowey to have a look at their plans and fill them in on our website redesign. (The cakes were great by the way, another place you must try if you haven’t already!) rebecca ladies watch mother of pearl rose gold diamonds du maurierWhilst inhaling huge slabs of something deeply sticky and calorific, we agreed to help them get their new site and Facebook page established by offering a Rebecca watch as a competition prize. The idea was to get as many visitors to the new Daphne du Maurier website as possible and to get a good batch of Facebook ‘likes’ underway. 

Cut to present day: the competition closed at the end of last week, the winner was announced yesterday and the prize is winging its way as I write. Ann and David’s Facebook page is happily established and visitors to their lovely new website are increasing day by day. I’d say that constitutes a successful outcome for a good cause!

 

Photos and Brunch at Burton Bradstock

One of the perks of this job is getting out and about in the beautiful West Dorset countryside. This time it was for our most recent lifestyle photoshoot which we chose to do at Hive beach, Burton Bradstock.

Like most things, it sounds a lot more glamorous than it actually is, but we’re talking perks here and a driving factor for choosing this location is the fantastic Hive Beach Café. Since we moved to Dorset over 10 years ago, we have been coming here for brunch (at the hour we rock up you really can’t call it breakfast!) which has always featured the best of Dorset’s produce cooked to perfection. I know they do a great lunch and all sorts of baking loveliness at the Hive, but brunch has always been our family’s thing. I urge you to try it if you are ever in the area.

Boat at Burton web

So, it was a very well fed crew that stumbled onto the beach that day. We were concentrating on our new coloured straps for the Rebecca ladies watch, which are proving very popular this summer. It’s a particularly tricky watch to photograph due to the variety of colours and textures of the dial, but we persevered and got some really lovely shots. Some of them are on our gallery page as well as the product galleries on the watch pages so please do have a look.

rebecca hot pink strap 2 web

The other main feature of the day was a new tan strap for our men’s watches. It’s a particularly fabulous strap which gives both the Commodore and Maxim men’s watches a fresh new look. It’s definitely our current favourite and we can’t wait to get it out there. I’ve put one of the pics up to give you a sneaky preview, but I’m afraid you’ll have to be patient for a short while as it’s not due to land on our doorstep for another couple of weeks.

Commodore tan strap

With the lure of food included in the proposition, we managed to persuade the lovely Toby Ralph at Obsideo Images to take these stunning pictures and, if you look closely at the gallery pictures, you may recognise the male model as our very own Ned…he’ll do anything for a decent breakfast!

Boy Browning and Uncle Monty

It’s only lunch time &, amongst other things, I’ve already locked myself out of our house, had a lovely chat with a chap from Escape to the Country & received the most fantastic photo through the post. In case you are wondering, a rank amateur (I refer to myself, of course) cannot break into our house, the Escape to the Country people are very nice indeed & the photo was sent by my lovely father-in-law, Kits. It is of one of the two men we designed the Commodore in honour of and two other distinguished chaps that are connected to Ned’s family, photographed with the King & Queen in 1950. This really is turning into one of those ‘I-wasn’t-expecting-that’ days!

Boy Browning and Uncle Monty with His Majesty King George VI

The three men in the photograph are Boy Browning (Ned’s Grandfather) who is the one of the three who inspired our Commodore design, Sir General Peter Leng and “Monty” aka Field Marshall Montgomery, both related by marriage to Ned’s Aunts.

We do have the full story of the inspiration behind the design of the Commodore watch on our website if you’d like to explore further which concerns a different “Monty” all together.

Commodore Soldier GreenI know Kits would be able to tell me much more about this picture but, in his absence, I have done a little detective work of my own. The date is 19th July, 1950, the location, Aldershot. A quick google search confirms the event as the presentation of the Parachute Regiment’s first colours by His Majesty King George VI on The Queen’s Parade.

I found most of my information on www.paradata.org.uk which is well worth a visit being extremely informative & quite entertaining in parts. There are some other fantastic pictures of the day in question too. I also discovered their page on Frederick (Boy) Browning which has a couple of fantastic facts to discover, such as this:

“He spent a while as Adjutant at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, where he was the first Adjutant, during the Sovereign’s Parade of 1926, to ride his horse ‘The Vicar’ up the steps of Old College and to dismount in the Grand Entrance. There is no satisfactory explanation for why he did it, but it is a tradition which endures to this day. (A ramp has to be provided for the horse to return, since horses are incapable of going down steps).”

I found this extremely funny but possibly only because I am married to a Browning who shares similarly quirky traits!

Anyway, I digress. I am busy packing up some Commodore orders to send out today & this picture really served the purpose of reminding me exactly where the roots of our business lie. I would love to send a copy of it with each of today’s watches in an attempt to share the story of the Du Maurier / Browning families & the legacy behind our designs. I am sorely tempted to do this but time is not on my side & I, unfortunately, still have the thorny issue of a locked house to deal with. Wish me luck!

 

New website, new blog

View from our new offices at Du Maurier Watches

As I write this, I am fighting the urge to grab a coffee & drink it outside in the sun. The rain has finally stopped &, the sun is doing its best to burn off the mist. This Spring feels like it has been a long time coming & I have that very British urge to embrace the sun with a desperation born of enduring months of grey sogginess. I, however, have a blog to write so the coffee & spring sunshine will have to wait for a while.

Here goes…

For those of you who have already discovered us, you will know that we are a watch brand with a difference. We are a family business making a product we love. My husband, Ned, & I started the company in 2012 & we keep it pretty straightforward. We design watches that we would love to wear ourselves, using top quality materials which will endure over the years and, most importantly, offered at a sensible price.  This, coupled with the best customer experience we can offer, is the company in a nutshell.

The Du Maurier name comes from Ned who is Daphne du Maurier’s grandson. He is the one who is obsessively passionate about watches &, for many years, has longed to start his own business doing something he loves. I’ll be honest, it was watches or guitars. We felt his strumming skills were never going to rival Clapton but, I do concede, he does have a mean eye for design!

Over the course of these missives Ned & I will fill in the details but if there is anything you would particularly like us to write about, just contact us & let us know.

At the moment my time is taken up with the new website which I do hope you like! There will be a lot more to add to it over the next few weeks but I do hope the new, smart look will make it a pleasure to browse through. Do let us know what you think.

The other big change is our new office. We have migrated to a lovely spot down the road where there is a lot more space, so this will hopefully be the end of stubbed toes & bruised shins. It also helps that we are on the lovely Forde Abbey estate, so I can’t complain about the view either. I can, however, complain about the lack of a kettle as I’d love to have a quick coffee outside. I’ll get it on the to-do list!