September 14, 2018
Around 18 months ago, we ventured into a whole new world for us and launched our first ever collaboration watch, the Camden x KPP. It was such a fun experience and such an interesting process for us, that this year, we decided to do it all over again.
So we're very excited to present our second collaboration watch, designed in partnership with ambassador Frank Rimer, the Camden x Thy Barber special edition. Along with Frank, we have worked tirelessly to create a watch that embraces the world of barbering without ever feeling phoned in or overworked. The result is a watch that embraces the barbering world, reflecting the laid-back barbershop vibes while keeping our signature Camden style.
We sat down with Frank, the man behind the watch, to talk all things inspiration, design, and of course, barbering.
My name is Frank Rimer, and I'm the proud owner of Thy Barber, a traditional barbershop set in the heart of East London.
The shop first opened its doors three years ago, offering classic wet shaves, sharp vintage style cuts, and luxury beard sculpting and maintenance.
I've been in the trade for fifteen years now. When I started out, I was a doing hair for both men and women and doing editorial work when I could to really engage my creative skills.
It was around ten years ago, when I first moved to the big city, that my love for hair started to move in an entirely different direction.
I was working at a salon in Soho, a cool, vibrant and fashionable part of central London. The great West End, home to all of the big blockbuster musicals, London's Broadway.
My clientele had started to move from being about 70% female to 80% male. The flamboyant Soho vibes had utterly switched my clientele upside down, and I was cutting classic shortcuts for the better part of my day. This is where I'd say my love for barbering began.
With the current state the world is at the moment, with all these different social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc…. I think people are forgetting that there is a world other than just looking down at a mini computer screen. No-one talks on the phone any more; it's all WhatsApp and iMessage and messenger. Face to face conversing is slowly dying. Keyboard warriors and fake social media celebrities and influencers.
The reason I love my job is that when a client is in the chair for half an hour, one is on the bench waiting, and the rest of the boys are all booked up, the camaraderie of the barbershop disconnects you from being stuck on the internet. We get to know our patrons on a one to one level. Making people laugh, sharing stories, drinking whisky (not the barbers of course) and just making people feel welcome.
We call it the “there's the fridge, help yourself” philosophy. Our Patrons aren't customers any more, they've become family.
I first stumbled across The Camden Watch Company when my wife and I were casually walking around Camden Market. I hadn't opened my shop at this point, so I was continually looking at other people's shop fits to gain inspiration. Then there was this one place that caught my eye, with old antiques in the window, solid wood floors, shiny old-timey watch faces in old glass domes, and the sounds of Billy Holiday playing in the background. I couldn't help myself; I had to go in.
This is where I met the guys who own the brand, and we got to talking, and it was just evident that I had to work with this brand in the future. I suggested stocking their watches when we opened six months later, little did I know I'd have my Brand Ambassador watch released with them three years down the line.
Designing a watch has been something quite out of the ordinary for me. I'm pretty OCD when it comes to detail, and as the guys know if I don't like something I'm not afraid to say it out loud.
But I have to say working with The Camden Watch Company has been super smooth and really easy, because we are all on the same wavelength, and the guys have known me for a few years now, so they know my likes and dislikes.
I am super happy with the way the watch has come out though with loads of tiny little details that people will only notice super up close. Like the rope finishing the inner circle on the face, The anchor representing Thy Barber, red and blue accents to serve for the barber pole, the pinstripe on the inner face to reflects the stitching on the blue chair in the shop, and the oxblood strap edition that mimics the colour of my other Emil J Paidar barber chair which was made in 1931.
I wanted something classy, sophisticated, and wearable for most occasions, and this is why we decided to release it with two strap options. It really is a conversation starter, and what I can only describe as timeless.
Take a closer look at our CAMDEN X THY BARBER special edition watch click here.
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Behind-the-scenes content and design inspiration from the founders of The Camden Watch Company.From Camden with love.