It seems like a bit of a leap, in the world of watchmaking. For horological history, you need to go to Switzerland, right? Lancashire hasn’t much to speak of besides the Satanic Mills and the fact that Gandhi visited back in the 30’s, neither of which are very horological. Gandhi didn’t even wear a watch.
But in 1889, the Lancashire Watch Company was established in the town of Prescot. It was one of the first English factories to combine every aspect of the manufacturing of a watch under one roof, after most individual workshops in the town had been forced to close.
The company produced a massive range of watches, from high-quality gold-cased ladies’ watches, to cheaper metal pocket watches. Unfortunately, the range of movements they produced was too varied to be cost effective, and the company closed in 1911. During its 21 years, an estimated 400,000 watches were produced there.
If there’s one thing to be learned from the Lancashire Watch Company, it’s that the most important thing for a watchmaker is to be able to cover everything yourself.
Ian Walsh has been a qualified watchmaker for over 30 years. He began studying horology as an apprentice at the age of 13, eventually training at the iconic Manchester School of Horology to receive a British Horological Institute qualification. After eight years of working at TAG Heuer, Ian established himself as a name in the watch industry, setting up a repair and service business before founding IWI Watches in 2006.
In 2016, Ian established Watches of Lancashire; to focus on the vintage watch market. Watches of Lancashire has a range of vintage luxury timepieces for sale online, or via jewellers in the North West and also exhibit at events nationally. Ian uses his decades of experience to ensure that each watch up for sale is properly serviced and kept to the highest possible standard.
At the forefront of the industry, we can offer advice about investment watches and also provide maintenance for your existing timepieces. You can do this over the phone, via the website or you can organise a private consultation appointment at our high street workshop based in Darwen Lancashire.
Ian started out his career at the age of 13 working as a clockmakers apprentice. From there he went on to graduate from Manchester’s’ School of Horology.
Fresh from college Ian started working at Tag Heuer where he specialised in vintage chronographs and complications. It’s while here Ian developed his passion for vintage timepieces.
After leaving Tag Heuer to set up his own watchmaking business Ian went on to develop his own watch brand IWI which he then went on to sell in 2012. Since then Ian has focussed all his energy in the procurement and restoration of vintage timepieces and is one of the leading stockists of vintage Omega wristwatches.
Having completed work experience at Tag Heuer Daniel had found his vocation in watchmaking and once he finished school he started his apprenticeship at Watches of Lancashire.
Since then Daniel has acquired a great deal of knowledge and shares Ian’s passion for all things vintage. He also plays an active role in watch sourcing and has a great eye for rare and unusual pieces.