Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
When my boyfriend asked me what I was after for my birthday this year (see this post for what my 25th birthday haul says about me) I ummed and ahhed for a while, before settling on the idea of a nice new watch. Unsure if I wanted a vintage watch which might be problematic due to upkeep but pretty uninspired by the majority of other watches that don’t cost the earth, I was a bit stumped.
It was on ASOS one day this summer, as I absent-mindedly scrolled through their new accessories, that I saw them. Five or six simply beautiful designs from a new independent watch designer, Olivia Burton. My eyes instantly clamped on the ‘Big Dial’ range of watches though they are all absolutely lovely and that was it. The search was off. Apart from a few non-commital perusals on other watch sites I began to feel like I was cheating on the watch I so coveted: an Olivia Burton it would have to be.
Olivia Burton is the creation of not one person named Olivia Burton, but two designers, neither of whose names contain either Olivia or Burton. They are in fact called Lesa Bennett and Jemma Fennings, who met on their first day at London College of Fashion and dreamed of setting up a business together, according to an interview with Kakao by K. Fed up of not being able to find the kind of watch that fit their style, Lesa and Jemma created Olivia Burton: the name is taken from Lesa’s great-aunt whose style they admire. If that’s not cool enough for you, the designers also wanted to make the watches of the highest design quality, but affordable too. These women are cool.
Here are some of their watches. They are lush.
The website also has designs such as Woodland and Wonderland, both of which are equally as beautiful and suit a range of styles and budgets. For me, I was looking for a watch that was noticeable but also understated; vintage yet modern; chic yet playful. In the Olivia Burton big dial, I had found it all. The watches are proving incredibly popular, with many designs currently sold out on the website, but also available from ASOS, John Lewis, Harvey Nichols, JOY and Anthropologie, many of which have exclusive watches so have a look around, as well as a number of independent retailers. There’s a comprehensive list of stockists on the Olivia Burton website.
Rather than ordering online, I wanted to have a chance to look at as many designs in person as possible. I am a researcher by trade after all. There’s a Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh and a few stockists near us, but since we had a trip planned at the start of September, when better to make the boy traipse over London with me to find my ideal watch? And that’s just what we did, but the popularity of the watches is clear, and it proved pretty tricky to find all the designs I was thinking about in one place!
One Harvey Nichols, two Anthropologies and three JOYs later, we headed to a small designer shop not far from the London College of Fashion itself, Aida on Shoreditch High Street, which has many, many lovely things, but there was only one stand I was interested in…OLIVIA BURTON, in case you hadn’t guessed. You probably had. If not, you’re clearly just scan-reading. I don’t blame you, I’m particularly verbose today.
Yes yes that’s all very well, but what about the process of your colour choice, Julie, I hear you cry? Well of course, I’m getting to that, patience, for pity’s sake, patience. Before arriving, I was swithering between the Big Dial Black and Gold, the Big Dial Navy & Rose Gold and the Big Dial Mid Brown and Rose Gold, and in the end opted for the Mid Brown and Rose Gold, as the perfect contrast between classic and modern, and I’m yet to find an outfit that doesn’t suit it not that this is a particular concern of mine!
So apart from a bit of a treasure hunt to find the watches in one place, the Olivia Burton shopping experience was a complete success. I then got to enjoy my watch and lived happily ever after. WRONG. There was a bump in the road of my love story: I still had to wait SIX WEEKS until my birthday over a week ago now, how time flies, which was torture. But that dark time is over, and the watch of my dreams has been in my life for a week now and I am CHUFFED, people. Good things really do come to those who wait.