A few months ago, while exploring the Oxo Tower, I came across Mr Jones Watches store. Mr Jones Watches is an original (and you will see how much in this article :)) automatic watch brand that as founded in 2007 by Crispin Jones. I got really intrigued by the watches design which really stand out from the usual things you can see in the watch industry! It feels like a game to try to decipher the time on each of their models 🙂 For example, on “The Last Laugh”, one of my favourite designs, the time can be read on the teeth of the skeleton. I also really like “The Time Traveller” which simultaneously indicates the time of 16 big cities thanks to hands shaped like one of these cities iconic building. I therefore decided to get in touch with Crispin to meet him in his London workshop where he spends most of his time with his team and he kindly accepted! I therefore got the opportunity to ask him a couple of questions and also to take some pictures of his workshop. I also popped by the store to take a couple of pictures 🙂
Mr Jones Watches
Oxo Tower Wharf Barge House Street
SE1 9PH London
What is your background? How did you start the Mr Jones adventure?
After an undergraduate degree in sculpture, I did a master in Computer Related Design. Following that, I worked for a couple of years on one-off production projects. And one day, I got to create a series of watches for an exhibition. I was interested in this accessory as the technology behind it is still completely relevant even after so many years. On top of that, watches are not only purely functional objects but also have an aesthetic value. While checking out more closely the market, I noticed that there isn’t much choice in terms of originale and affordable watches. And that is how the Mr Jones adventure started!
How do you design your watches? Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration sources are very varied and it is really difficult for me to clearly tell you how a new design idea starts to develop. We are working with automatic movements and the idea is to try to leverage all their possibilities to create fun and uniques designs.
How would you describe Mr Jones Watches in three words?
Surprising, playful and distinctive
How and where are your watches made?
The prototypes are made here in our London workshop. At the beginning, I was working with a Chinese factory, however the timings to rework a design were too long. This is why I opened this workshop! Once the prototypes are finalised, we are producing a first batch of one hundred numbered pieces in our workshop. If the model is a success, we are working with our Chinese partner to produce higher quantities. For the limited editions, we are decorating and assembling everything in here, as it allows us more flexibility especially on the decoration. For example, the Chatterbox watch, that was created in collaboration with the Brazilian artist Fernando Volken Togni, is made here. Every dial is decorated by hand using several tampo printing steps, precision and meticulosity are then key as the different colours must be perfectly positioned one relative to another. The different dial layers are then assembled with the movements that are coming from Japan, the protective glass layer and off course the bracelet.
What are your upcoming plans?
We are always working on new models. The last ones to date launching being the “King” and “Queen”. It doesn’t look like it but these models were a challenge! In the end we had to place the winding crown on the left side instead of the usual right one to manage to get all the mechanic to work well.
Have a nice day!