The World of Bespoke

• 3 min read

Introduction

Thanks for stopping by! Welcome to our first main journal posting. Here we’ll dive into more detail about what bespoke is, the varying elements that go into making a bespoke piece and key considerations as to why you might choose bespoke over an off the shelf product. Bespoke by its very nature isn’t a one size fits all offering, and there are many reasons why bespoke might (or might not) be for you. Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s explore a bit of background to the word itself.

Bespoke: No sharing allowed!

“Bespoke”, “Made to order”, “Customisation”, “Standard sizing”: You’ve probably become a bit seasick wrapping your head around these terms. So, where does the word actually come from? “Bespoke” simply means the item has been made for you and you only. Unlike chocolate, a bespoke item can’t be shared (sorry!). The item is made completely from scratch. There’s no existing design templates to work from. If you imagine it like this: Start off with sketches, then move to creating prototypes, measurements made on a per client basis to production. On average, a bespoke item from start to finish can take anywhere between 3-6 months. It’s not something to commit to if you need the item quickly.

Bespoke vs Made to Order

So, we’ve mentioned a lot about bespoke, but let’s for a second compare and contrast Made to order (MTO) vs Bespoke. In a nutshell, a MTO item is crafted from pre-existing design templates. Typically you’ll find there’s a more limited choice here in terms of material & colour selection. However, MTO is a very popular offering, and is ideal for those looking for something that just works. In comparison, opting for a bespoke item is a lengthier process, involving more of a collaboration between you and the craftspeople.

Why should I choose bespoke?

Aside from an item that looks - and feels - personal to you, one of the common reasons why you might opt for bespoke is the personalised advice. Being able to ask “Can you pull my idea off?” isn’t something that works with a standard, off the shelf product as it’s already made. Bespoke allows you to choose a style that works for you, and not the other way round. In the case of a bespoke watch strap, having a strap that allows the watch to both breathe and sing gives a dimension that just doesn’t exist in an off the shelf product.

Another reason as to why you might consider bespoke is if you’ve non-traditional measurements (ie: a slight larger/smaller wrist size than the traditional “normal” measurements). The last thing you want is an item that’s uncomfortable to wear or one that doesn’t align with your preferred style.

Material & Colour Choices

Choosing both the material & colour is the best part! The freedom of being able to say “I can do it because I can” is the most rewarding part of the experience. Brands will generally take the approach that whatever material & colours sell the best will be the only options on the table. On a business level, this makes sense but the choices available may not align with the style and occasion you’re looking to achieve. With us, we like to keep our offerings varied, having a mixture of popular options if you like to stick with the classic choices as well as offering combinations for those of you looking for something more eclectic.

Now to the not so fun part: measurements.

Measurements & Fitting

Stand back, Inspector Gadget - even you can’t handle this! From the complexities of Cartier to the riddles of Rolex, the measurements for many can be the most difficult - and frustrating - part of opting for bespoke. Finding the tools is a task in itself, and we’d not recommend you try this! Furthermore, it’s not just about ticking boxes in a configurator James Bond would be proud of, or filling in a form that makes you a quiz maestro, it’s about understanding what the measurements mean for you. In a consultation we take the stress, hassle and pain away from you.

Are you still on the fence? Think about it this way: you wouldn’t want your £250,000 Patek Philippe Grand Complication to be scratched, would you?. Leave the measurements and fitting to the experts.

Conclusion

Our key takeaway advice would be this: Consider whether you’re looking for an object that’s functional or focused on design. The beauty of bespoke is the ability to push the boundaries and bring closer the intersection of design & functionality to make something truly unique. Going bespoke is like perfecting that sponge cake you’ve always wanted to make: patience, perseverance and an open mind are the key ingredients.

Lastly, imagine making a product and stamping your own design DNA to it. Now, how does that sound?

Bibliography

Vocabulary.com. 2021. bespoke - Dictionary Definition. [online] Available at: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/bespoke [Accessed 27 October 2021].