British watchmakers Craig and Rebecca Struthers unveiled the prototype of their first in-house movement for London Craft Week in May. Calling the calibre “Project 248”, the Struthers say that the name refers to the movement being designed and made by “two minds, four hands and an 8mm lathe”.
Having only opened their first workshop in 2012, the couple has already received much recognition, Rebecca earning a doctorate in horology and acquiring the honour of “Woman of the Year” in the 2016 Women In Watches Awards. The inspiration for creating their first movement came from a chronometer maker who served as Craig’s mentor after he finished training at the School of Jewellery, Birmingham in 2007. He told Craig, “there is no reason you can’t make a watch movement on an 8mm lathe,” which the Struthers have now set out to prove.
“Craig and I trained to be watchmakers and if you want to truly call yourself a watchmaker you have to make a watch,” Rebecca says. “For us, this has only ever been about putting everything we have learned into practice and proving our abilities in our own discipline.” Returning to the old ways is the only path the two could have chosen.
Now husband and wife, the pair met as student watch restorers at the School of Jewellery, Birmingham, where Rebecca recently became the first watchmaker in British history to earn a PhD in horology. Both are scholars of the history of watchmaking, Craig noting that they are most fascinated by the period 1850-1950, citing Swedish-born, London-domiciled clock- and watchmaker Victor Kullberg, Frodsham, Waltham and Hamilton, and their efforts during an era when watchmakers were moving toward mass production.