Disclaimer: I am particularly fond of independent brands and British watchmaking, and when it comes to Garrick’s watches, these are temptingly combined. The Norfolk-based brand produces a particular line of timepieces that makes those two qualities particularly visible, even worn on its watchmakers’ sleeves. So excuse me if I view the new Garrick S2 Deadbeat Seconds through a slightly subjective lens.

My being torn on the entire concept of deadbeat seconds might offset this. I know this complication adds another layer of accuracy to a hand-built mechanical movement, but I still love the smoothness of a high-beat caliber. We will see if Garrick can win me over with a stopping seconds hand in a mechanical watch. Honestly, though, writing this down, I feel myself drawn to this detail, so I might well be swayed.

The New Garrick S2 Deadbeat Seconds

Garrick Watchmakers

As a small brand founded by David Brailsford and Simon Michlmayr in 2015, Garrick’s portfolio has a singular focus. For me, there’s an inherent quality and vision in these watches that far exceeds their years in production. This is reflected in packed order books, meaning you will not see a watch until next year at the earliest, sent out from the brand’s Norfolk, England workshop. Garrick will only make 10 S2s yearly, but every detail seems worth the wait, especially since David and his watchmakers will allow a rare level of personalization. I enjoy the purity of the monochrome version of the new S2, but your choices are wide regarding dial configurations and details.

The New Garrick S2 Deadbeat Seconds

The S2 Deadbeat Seconds — familiar yet different

This is fine watchmaking in which the caliber is equally important as the suave dial. Let’s talk about the hand-wound DB-G06 movement. Featuring frosted bridges and your choice of rhodium, pink gold, or black gold finishes, it has a pure design that allows British watchmaking traditions to shine through. You might recognize the large balance bridge and free-sprung Trinity balance from the 2019 S2 Central Seconds model. Like that one, this watch also has a central seconds hand, but there’s a difference. It doesn’t sweep like we’re used to; it jumps. Let’s look through the case back’s wide sapphire crystal.

The Norfolk-assembled movement is regulated in-house to a variance of +3 seconds. And in this new iteration, it has a reversing wheel. This is next to the center seconds wheel, suspended by the finger bridge. This will allow a deadbeat spring mechanism connecting the two to perform a controlled jumping motion. Even with an untrained eye, the firmness with which a deadbeat seconds hand stops exactly on its designated marker is fascinating. And compared to the juddering inaccuracy of quartz, it is a different world altogether.

Monochrome or exhuberant? Take your pick

Even with the regular order time for an S2, you might lose weeks in delightful “choice limbo.” Any Garrick piece offers a wealth of choices. To start, you have one of two dial options. The MK1 and MK2 have two distinct looks. The MK1 dial is exuberant, featuring vibrant guilloché and a thermally blued skeletonized chapter ring. Meanwhile, the MK2 has a suave look with a dot-engraved lacquer-filled chapter ring. But with four colors, three movement-decoration choices, and two hand designs to choose from, be patient. The choices in themselves and the time spent are part of the allure. Add Garrick’s further bespoke options, and your imagination is the only thing limiting you. Well, that and a starting price of £19,000 before taxes. But that will only seem hefty until you closely examine the details. When choosing the S2 Deadbeat Seconds, you are commissioning a built-to-order watch. You’re not picking out a factory-assembled timepiece, which in itself might inspire a bout of consolidating.

The New Garrick S2 Deadbeat Seconds

An investment in the craft

Yes, at more than €20K, this is an investment, but with the options available, you stand the chance of having a unique watch. Added to the time and dedication that go into assembling and finishing the S2 Deadbeat Seconds by hand, that’s a pretty big draw. The big-crown design of the 42 × 10mm 904L steel case is quite modern, so how would I spec it? This time, I would go against my preferences, even though I do love a colored dial. The clean-cut polished lancet handset with the minimal MK2 chapter ring and a dark dial would be a favorite. It seems to distill Garrick’s mechanical craftsmanship, highlighting the smallest detail with a big, moving reason at 6 o’clock.

The free-sprung Trinity balance was also seen in Garrick’s collaboration with Fears a while back. The delicately finished angle on the horizontal bridge and even the small details of the polished screw heads deserve pride of place on the dial. And with the calm of a matte, dark dial, the balance is near perfect. I would, however, be tempted to go for a rose-gold-plated movement to further draw the eyes to the enticing window at 6 o’clock. But this creative thought process is where the magic lies. It does not give you that instant on-wrist satisfaction, that’s true. But the result is far removed from pointing out a watch to be pulled out from an AD’s glass-fronted cabinet.

What about you, dear Fratelli? Would you have the patience to wait for the Garrick S2 Deadbeat Seconds? Do you appreciate its style and traditionally British take on watchmaking, or are you more of a tool-watch devotee? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Watch specifications

S2 Deadbeat Seconds
A choice of MK1 or MK2 configurations with color and hand-design choices
Case Material
904L stainless steel
Case Dimensions
42mm (diameter) × 10mm (thickness)
Sapphire with antireflective coating
Case Back
904L steel and sapphire crystal
Garrick DB-G06 — exclusive caliber, manual winding, 18,000vph frequency, 21 jewels, 45-hour power reserve, in-house-produced free-sprung balance, adjusted to ensure daily variance of within +3 seconds per day
Water Resistance
Handmade alligator, calf leather, buffalo, or ostrich
Time only (hours, minutes, central deadbeat seconds)
Starting at £19,000 (ex. VAT)