Everyone needs a place to call home and for us here at Zero West, it’s along the scenic banks of the Slipper Mill Pond in Emsworth, the painfully picturesque village along England’s idyllic South Coast is where you can find our studio steeped in engineering history. It’s not some vast atelier in the Jura mountains or swanky mahogany-clad boutique along Bond Street. We’re not a factory with hundreds of watchmaking benches, nor are we a storefront with nothing behind it. Our converted boathouse studio is, to all intents and purposes, Zero West. We appreciate every customer that comes to visit us in this little waterfront haven, so we’ve endeavoured to make the Studio as welcoming and comfortable as possible. If you’re lucky we’ll even throw in a solid cup of tea or a Zero West cocktail. But for the mechanically minded, there are perhaps a few more reasons to visit than the prospect of a biscuit or umbrella!

Spitfire engine table in studio
Sofa and pictures on the wall in the studio

It will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with our unique brand of watchmaking, that we love all things historical and mechanical. We just can’t help ourselves. If we see some cool combination of pistons, pipes and metal, working or otherwise, we have to have it. At the moment that includes a custom, British-built motorbike courtesy of Foundry Motorcycles and a complete salvaged MkIX Spitfire Merlin engine doubling as a table.  These are more than just window dressing. They are the kinds of things from which we at Zero West draw inspiration. Through black and white photographs ringing the studio, you can get a feel for the aircraft, bikes and cars that have directly lent their aesthetic DNA to our timepieces. Better yet, you can get hands-on with the watches themselves.

S4 blackout watch on black leather strap on map
Watches on display in studio

It almost goes without saying that we have a full set of our current collection on display, along with photos of and objects from the particular piece of mechanical history that directly inspired it, whether it’s the vintage motorsport bullhead chronograph or the new Hurricane H2 with its tribute to a very specific, historically important aircraft. There’s simply no clearer representation of what we do and why we do it.

Yet it’s also worth bearing in mind that the Studio is just that, a working studio. It’s where we design the watches, create the website and marketing campaigns, build the prototypes, make the leather straps and carry out the final meticulous checks before they go out to our customers, so that we can personally ensure they’re up to our standards.

Motorbike photographed from inside the studio looking out of the window
Caps on display with tshirts hanging below
Leather strap being stitched
Man looking through microscope

In short, this little boathouse in Emsworth isn’t just where we’ve registered our name. It’s our shipping depot, R&D lab, customer service centre and design studio. It’s where we love to be and where we’d love you to visit us. It’s our home and the petrol-pumping heart of Zero West Watches.

Bottle of Hurricane vodka and bottle of Spitfire gin alongside aircraft dials

Emsworth is known for many things, but its connection to land-speed records and iconic engineering has recently been rediscovered at our studio, The Old Boathouse . This one-time garage has a very special past!

The boathouse was formerly owned by George Gray, a panelling expert from London who worked on Malcolm Campbell legendary Bluebird land-speed vehicles and the record breaking Railton Mobil Special, as well as creating the bodywork for the first Vanwall racing cars back in the 1950s. George’s talents also won him a contract to build Spitfire fuselages after the bombing of the factory in Southampton during World War Two, which he did at one of the many shadow factories set up along the south coast.

spitfire fuselage
George Grays Emsworth
Bluebird land speed vehicle restored in Emsworth
BRM body work built at George Grays Emsworth, now the Zero West design studio

His notoriety continued and in 1972, all three land-speed vehicles were brought to Emsworth at the request of the Beaulieu Car Museum for restoration at George Gray’s garage, now run by Roy Parsons – the only remaining member of the original workshop team.

“I’ve seen the future and its coming fast!”

George Gray – 1927

Illustration of vanwall car

All of our watches display coordinates and date codes that references iconic moments in history and are styled and engineered from that era. Our first designs connect firmly with the boathouse, and we’d like to think George would be thrilled that his engineering achievements have not been forgotten and inspired our journey though time…

There’s a time and place for everything!

Sunbeam land speed vehicle restoration, Emsworth. Home of Zero West watches
BRM car body work built in Emsworth at the now Zero West design studio
Bluebird land speed vehicle restored in Emsworth