WATCH IT ALL ABOUT?

Man wearing Etiqus Sport Pro timepiece

Watch Blogger and social golfer Joshua Clare-Flagg gives his reasons why he's fallen in love with ETIQUS watches.

I first discovered ETIQUS in January 2015. As a watch blogger focusing on affordable watches, I was surprised that ETIQUS had slipped through my beady gaze of this sector of the watch industry.

My name is Joshua Clare-Flagg, editor-in-chief and owner of the watch blog Watch It All About (WIAA). WIAA is now just over two years old, and boy I did not expect it to become so popular so fast. Receiving nearly 30,000 visits a month (at the time of writing), it's become a valuable site for those who feel the same way I do - wanting to get the best quality watches at an affordable price.

Initially I was merely addicted to watches, buying and selling them as I saw fit but the more experience I gained, the more I wanted to share what I discovered. As a website developer, there was one thing I could do - set up my own blog. Simple. As WIAA's traction and popularity grew, it became apparent that people valued my reviews (which I honestly couldn't believe) and eventually watch brands started loaning me watches to review, which was a massive step. My obsession had become self-sufficient. What could be better?!

Anyway, when I discovered ETIQUS, I quickly realised that they had been reviewed in golfing magazines, but not by an actual watch enthusiast... let alone one who plays golf! So I promptly got in contact with Gary, had a pleasant phone call and numerous conversations over email and recently met up with him in my home town of Rugby. Having a pleasant founder is not the only reason why I like ETIQUS as a watch brand. There’s a number of reasons. Let’s go through them.

Firstly, the watches. I immediately liked ETIQUS not because they’re golf themed (more about that later), but rather, because of the specification of their timepieces and the price. Every ETIQUS boasts a Swiss Movement - only the best (it’s a Ronda, for those who care). Of course, it had to be quartz due to the amount of strain it would go under with every 300 yard drive you’d inevitably be making (I wish). Then there’s the sapphire crystal, second only to diamond in the mohs scale of hardness which is a must for a high-quality watch. Finally, the case, bracelets and leather strap are all made to a very high standard.  Every aspect on the watch is completely custom made. There’s nothing stock about them (bar the movement), very impressive when you think of the price being around £300.

The design immediately caught my eye - especially on their flagship model, the Sport Pro. There’s so many little details that Gary has painstakingly thought over. The bezel is a masterpiece of maths to be able to work the way it does. It has a golf ball sitting proudly on a tee to signify your tee off time. 9 and 18 are in red, mimicking the colour of a birdie. The size of the watch is derived from the size of a golf ball, not forgetting the 3D dimples on the dial itself. The second hand is a red flag pointing left, which is a nod to the emblem of a major golfing tournament.

The presentation box and packaging is something that is so often overlooked by watch manufacturers. As soon as I opened the outer cardboard box, I knew there was something special about it all. I really love when a watch brand go through extra special effort with their boxes and papers. It shows you that not only do they care about your first impressions as you open the box, but also that they have a high level of attention to detail. There's a box within a box, with flapping parts here and there, which is frankly a refreshing opening procedure. What especially impressed me was the inclusion of a ball marker for when you're on the green. The idea is that it would be a talking point whilst on the course, would increase awareness of the brand, and it's a nice little extra gift that feels just as solidly made as the watches.

Being one of the only British watch review sites out there, I feel it is my duty to review and represent British brands - especially affordable ones! ETIQUS are blatantly and unequivocally British, which I love, and I deem it a pleasure to get to know a brand which is headquartered only a couple of hours drive away from my home.

I’m a member of Rugby Golf Club (who are enjoying there 125th anniversary next year). I’m more of a “casual” golfer than a serious one, but I’ve been around my fair share of golfers which means I get the peer group identity ETIQUS watches are aimed at - maybe more so than other watch bloggers who don’t play. The watches therefore mean more to me than someone who has never swung a club before. It’s also honourable how ETIQUS is supporting the Golf Foundation by making a donation of £5 for every watch they sell - and they openly asks others to consider making a donation too.

My background as a web developer means that I appreciate the work gone in behind the online business. As soon as I looked at the source code of the ETIQUS site, I could tell what platform it was built on, and the amount of effort that’s been put into it. Their web designers did a great job.

In our meeting, Gary instilled upon me that honesty really is key for him. He just wants to have a great, well made, line of watches for honest prices. He’s completely open, and doesn’t hold anything back. The name ETIQUS is derived from being 'etiquette-ous' (full of the qualities of etiquette), which is a fitting name. Indeed, he’s tried to encapsulate the “spirit of the game” within these timepieces and I think he’s succeeded in that.

He said to me that when he started this watch brand, he wanted a distinctive, quality but affordable option for the golfer. I couldn’t agree more that this is what he’s attained. “You know they’re a golfer by the watch they wear” is the motto. Such a simple thought, yet one hard to achieve - but he has done so ... brilliantly!

Joshua Clare-Flagg, www.watchitallabout.com

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