Morgan’s Chief Designer Makes Custom Watches
And they're affordable, too.
- Gear Up
Morgan Motor Company, maker of some of the world's oldest-fashion sports cars, is known for a very specific type of design. That is, WWII chic; Scottish Highlands style; wood-framed fashion. The 107-year-old company produces a range of fetching automobiles of which the Queen would approve. Leave the louvers to Mercedes, the scoops to BMW, and the active aerodynamics to Porsche—Morgan will be using its significant design chops to make sure the wire wheels, windscreens and quilted leather in its cars are just as they should be. Much of the credit for the cars’ good looks goes to designer Matthew Humphries, who joined the company in 2005 and turned out designs for the Aeromax, Plus 8 and our favorite racing tripod, the 3 Wheeler. All this, somehow, before turning 30.
Not that designing rare British sports cars could wear on a person, but Humphries has since taken on a second project. That would be watches, whose high-quality craftsmanship and groovy, analog vibes make them a wearable cousin to the Morgans. (In fact, many a Morgan dial would do well as wristwear given the necessary mechanical tuning.) Just as Morgan, as a niche brand, uses engines from established producers like BMW, Humphries decided to base his designs around existing mechanicals. For that, he turned to Seiko. In addition to providing a solid base for his designs, using Seiko gears also keeps prices down, from around $370 to $792.
Take a gander at the Instagram. As you might expect, all the Matt Humphries Design watches take cues from the minimalist machines Humphries works on in the day. That mean big, legible dials, vegetable-tanned leather and heavy metal fixtures. In an international homage, the specific font of many of MHD’s watches comes from Sixties Ferrari dials. Maybe the best way to think of these bespoke watches, solid Seiko’s with modified bezels, hands, and straps, is as the world’s neatest tuner machines. Or, in the parlance of the watch world, these timepieces are “modded.” That subtle hint at performance sounds about right for a watch shaped by the hands of a car designer.