Newgate is a modern British fashion and lifestyle brand loved by creative people the world over.
We are passionate about designing affordable, collectable and iconic pieces in our famous British studios which end up on millions of walls and wrists globally.
The movement of people that collect our watches and clocks are those that get high on architecture, fashion, lifestyle and interiors, as do British Newgate designer owners Jim & Chloe Read. They combine their experienced eye with intelligent material selection and construction with seductive dials and finishes, to create watches that are exciting to wear and clocks that are the heartbeat to a home.
Jim (the “dreamer”) an artist, graphic and product designer expelled from art college, founded Newgate along with wife Chloe (the “sorter”) a business school dropout, when they were teenagers. From making clocks themselves in the spare room of their flat, their continued dedication to iconic British design has created the worldwide following they dreamt of together as teenagers.
“It all started when we were just teenagers and were set up on a blind date. Jim had dropped out of art school, I dropped out of college where I was studying business and we instantly hit it off. Both of us had antique dealing parents and knew we could make money somehow, Jim was brimming with ideas. So he sold his blue Mini Moke and we bought a picture framing machine from Manchester; the original plan was to frame Jim’s paintings and sell them. Then an experiment in trying to add more value with a clock movement in a frame, plus encouragement from Jim’s brother led to our first show at Alexandra Palace. Teenagers flogging clocks! And as fate would have it, people genuinely loved them. They were different and creative and we picked up Harrod’s as one of our first stores.
We made those first clocks ourselves in the spare bedroom of our flat which overlooked an old town gate...Newgate. Hand painting frames and using an ancient photocopier for the dials. Even in our first Newgate building we were hands on with the production, dragging in family members when there were big orders to go out.
Although we didn’t set out to make clocks, Jim’s natural passion for design meant that he strived to make clocks which no-one had ever seen before, using materials never before used in clocks, and also re-inventing lost icons of the past so difficult to manufacture.
Before Newgate, the market for decorative wall clocks just didn’t really exist. We created the market as it is today from almost nothing. It’s funny, people often assume Jim’s designs have been around years and years because they are so iconic and familiar. And where we have pioneered, so many have followed, expanding the market to where it is now.
We started Newgate together so we could travel the world and Jim could use his passion for design, and me my passion for business. Our aim was always to create stylish, iconic, affordable designs inspired by the places we visited and using the best possible materials we could find, and these are the values which Newgate as a company still lives by today.
It’s hard to believe now, thinking back to our old flat, that we’ve made and sold millions of clocks which now hang on walls all over the world.
Along the way it was hard not to become obsessed with the thing with which we were entwined - time. That elusive, yet prevalent force in everyone’s lives that connects everyone no matter who or where they are. We really cared about how time was measured, so it was inevitable that Jim became desperate to design watches. Using the same core principals of Newgate, creating stylish, affordable designs inspired by our surroundings and using the best quality materials we could find.
We are proud to be a British company still designing and marketing everything in-house and selling globally. After 26 years, we still love what we do, and Jim will never stop designing and innovating. There’s definitely more to come.”
Chloe Read, co-founder of Newgate, and wife to Jim.