Factor reviews: Elliot Brown’s Canford watch

Elliot Brown describes its Canford watch as “quietly handsome, for those who don’t want their watch to shout too loudly” and as having “the elegance of a classic pilot’s watch but with broader shoulders”.

I would describe the Canford as a watch on steroids, or a watch for people who think a Hummer truck is a practical city car.

It’s big, brash and brutish, and I have to say I’m a fan.


Images courtesy of Elliot Brown

Like anyone or anything on steroids, the Canford is overly concerned with strength.

For instance, the watch’s case is made from solid marine grade stainless steel that’s pressure tested twice during construction, then placed in a water-filled pressure vessel at 200m. Both of the watch’s crowns have triple seals and aggressive knurling for maximum grip, but Elliot Brown insist their smoothed edges  “won’t wreck the cuff of your favourite shirt or wetsuit”. The Canford’s case is bolted down, not threaded, for maximum shock absorption.

Perhaps the best way I can describe the Canford is to say that it’s essentially the Land Rover of watches. While you might see a Land Rover on suburban roads, really it wants to be roaming in the wilderness. The Canford is the same.

While Elliot Brown wants you to believe that this can be worn to the office and on your weekend rock-climbing expedition; the simple truth is it can’t. It’s heavy and slightly cumbersome, so it makes typing a more difficult task than it needs to be.

Image courtesy of Elliot Brown

Image courtesy of Elliot Brown

But why would you want to wear the Canford to the office anyway? Considering the watch was put through as stringent a training program as an actual marine, it was made with the adventurer and the adrenaline junkie in mind. And if you don’t feel that you fit into those categories then the Canford is big and tough enough to demand that you change to suit its needs.

There are a lot of things to dislike about the Canford, it’s big, it’s cumbersome and priced between £350 and £500 it’s not exactly cheap, but it is a watch that demands attention and will make even the smallest wearer feel like a powerlifter.


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