Q&A with Tom Clark, founder of Philip Ashton

Philip Ashton debut collection

Philip Ashton debut collection: DayHatch I, DayHatch II and the Dayhatch Sport

In April, a new British brand, Philip Ashton will use Kickstarter to raise funds for their debut collection, called DayHatch. They will be offering three models, a simple dressy three hands and date watch and two chronographs, all powered by Swiss ETA quartz movements.

One of the founders, Tom Clark, has approached me by email to present me the brand before the crowdfunding campaign is launched. Here is a Q&A based on the emails we exchanged:

What will be your price range and what is the goal that you would like to reach on Kickstarter?

We have worked very hard to ensure that as a brand we can provide both high quality and most importantly affordable watches. We’ve managed to do this by knocking off pennies here and there repeatedly without sacrificing quality. This results in highly price competitive watches boasting a five year warranty! Our prices for our Dayhatch collection during our Kickstarter range from £152 – £195. This is a large reduction from our retail prices of £200-£250. We really want to reward our Kickstarter backers for supporting us. Dayhatch I – £152 (RRP £200), Dayhatch II – £185 (RRP £240), Dayhatch Sport – £195 (RRP £250).

Our goal is £50,000. This allows us to absorb a lot of costs that enable us to keep our Swiss watches affordable. This also means our we can offer a lot more interesting stretch goals at a lower target, instead of “quoting” potentially unrealistic stretch goal targets that may not be reached.

About Philip Ashton, what make you decide to embark on the journey of starting your own brand?

Philip Ashton has been an ambition and dream for quite some time. Watches have always been our passion from a very young age. The tracking of time and its understanding is something we take for granted everyday. Its important that when a timepiece is constructed it is both of perfect construction and striking style – so why not combine our British heritage and inspiration with the best Swiss watchmaking practices known, to market and set it all at an affordable price. We really feel that there is a need in the world of watches for a British brand to really come into the market and show the world that Swiss watches and affordability do appear in the same sentence! By offering unique designs and twists on existing ones, with luxury rivalry quality and at a price point accessible to all, we hold the ambition to make a difference.

Where does your brand name comes from?

When coming up with a name we wanted something that represented our heritage both from Bristol and culture. Ashton is the most commonly used name of specific areas and roads in and around Bristol. Philip was utilised to represent our style and brand culture. We wanted a name that displayed how we inspire our designs, something that combined to be stylish yet powerful.

What are your sources of inspiration?

We were inspired by the cultural architecture that sweeps across the whole of Bristol; from its industrial past and intriguing antiquity to its contrasting, modernistic design. It demonstrates how two opposites can create a balance of how we perceive and appreciate something. We believe a beautiful timepiece should have that balance, it should keep its originality but bring something new and innovative that appeals for that need for something contemporary especially in the alternating market that is the fashion of today.

After Kickstarter what will be next for Philip Ashton?

We plan to continue to develop our designs bringing innovation to the next level. This would involve re-assessing what makes a gorgeous timepiece and also what the public expect out of a watch. By combining those two factors, we plan to make products that consistently stand out in the watch industry compared to all the others. We also hope to expand our market all across the world, being inspired by different cultures and building a community within our brand bringing our consumers closer and creating authenticity to the meaning of The World of Philip Ashton.


The Philip Ashton Kickstarter campaign is now live until Thursday, May 21 2015:

As a graphic designer, I'm fascinated by the crossroads between technology and aesthetics. Horology is one of these crafts, where art and engineering come together to produce mechanical wonders that grace the eye. WatchPaper was born from the desire to create an online tool where I can share my passion for watches.