An Australian Watchmaker Creates His Own Path

In 2017 Reuben Schoots spotted his friend’s Seiko SKX007 dive watch and became fascinated with how it was made. He had no idea that seven years later he would be creating his own watches in the garage-turned-atelier of his home in Canberra, Australia.

“As I was leaving school, I really felt that I wanted to do something for myself,” Mr. Schoots said. He tried a few short-lived business ideas, including running an online vintage men’s wear shop for a year, but nothing lasted until the watch idea came along.

Mr. Schoots started his namesake business in 2018, and now is working on Series Two, a seven-piece limited-edition iteration of the watch that he debuted as Series One in May 2023.

That initial 41.5-millimeter stainless steel watch was made from a combination of parts he purchased, pieces he made and a Swiss manual-wind movement that he modified. The one element from Australia was the kangaroo leather strap in oxblood, a burgundy shade that he felt would match the purple-blue hands he had made.

Eric Ku, the co-founder of the online auction house Loupe This, said the time-only Series One had a simple movement but “the finishing of it is really beautiful,” referring to the engravings on the movement and “the dial execution with that meteorite-looking pattern in the center and then having that two-tone effect.”

Mr. Schoots’s Series One watch featured a kangaroo leather strap in oxblood. He plans to offer more interchangeable leather straps from Australia, including one made of soft emu leather.Credit…Rachel Kara Ashton for The New York Times
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