Meet the friends who have started a new firm through their love of luxury watches

Zero West's Spitfire collection. Picture by:  Malcolm Wells (190410-6597)
Zero West's Spitfire collection. Picture by: Malcolm Wells (190410-6597)
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TWO friends who share a love of watches and British engineering have joined forces to start a unique luxury watch brand. 

Zero West in Emsworth was launched by Graham Collins and Andrew Brabyn. 

Zero West in Emsworth. Co-founder Andrew Brabyn with a con rod and piston from a Rolls Royce Merlin engine, the engine that powered the legendary Spitfire in WW11 and has now inspired Andrew and fellow Co-founder Graham Collins to produce timepieces with a 'Spitfire' theme. 'Picture by:  Malcolm Wells (190410-6656)

Zero West in Emsworth. Co-founder Andrew Brabyn with a con rod and piston from a Rolls Royce Merlin engine, the engine that powered the legendary Spitfire in WW11 and has now inspired Andrew and fellow Co-founder Graham Collins to produce timepieces with a 'Spitfire' theme. 'Picture by: Malcolm Wells (190410-6656)

They’ve spent two years perfecting their products, producing multiple rounds of prototypes to verify the designs and quality, and they have now launched their first range of watches.

Andrew said: ‘From the outset, we wanted to bring together in-house design with the very best of British and European engineering, which we have achieved by uniting Swiss movements with clearly-defined, attractive dials and distinctively sculpted, instrument-made cases’.

Graham said: ‘This has been a long exacting process, but we feel the journey has definitely been worthwhile.’ 

When Graham, a mechanical engineer who had spent many years designing for the military in miniaturised black-ops equipment, suffered health problems in 2014, it gave him time to rethink his priorities. He realised that he wanted to use his skills to do something of his own.

Zero West Co-founder Andrew Brabyn. Picture by:  Malcolm Wells (190410-6694)

Zero West Co-founder Andrew Brabyn. Picture by: Malcolm Wells (190410-6694)

One of the projects he embarked upon was to research and explore his love for classic watches. 

Graham said: ‘My love of watches and all things mechanical started at an early age as I cut my teeth on my father’s 1958 Omega Pie Pan Constellation. Then before my teens I attempted to strip-down my first prized boyhood mechanical chronograph. It was a spectacular failure with parts of the movement whizzing past my ear, never to be refitted, but my love of watches, their movements and design had always fascinated me.’ 

Graham had the vision of a creating new British brand, meeting the demand for innovative, robust, classically-engineered watches; a vision that he shared with his friend, Andrew.

Andrew, who has a background in graphic design and digital marketing, came onboard and they set up Zero West.  

Zero West. Picture by:  Malcolm Wells (190410-8870)

Zero West. Picture by: Malcolm Wells (190410-8870)

Their tag line is ‘There’s a time and place for everything’, with each model in the range recognising a significant event in British history through period styling and coordinates. In the range are four solo-sweep automatics and two chronographs.

And with designs on the drawing board for many future models, the two friends have ambitions to develop the Zero West brand further.