Elliot Brown Canford 202-002 review

Here at Total 911, when we’re not perusing over the latest and greatest Zuffenhausen automobiles, we can often be found checking out the best timepieces for the discerning gentleman.

Like Porsche 911s, there are watches to suit every budget. And, like 911s, it doesn’t always have to cost the earth to get your hands on some clever engineering and elegant design. Elliot Brown’s offerings are a case in point.

Formed just a few years ago by Ian Elliot and Alex Brown, the duo set out to create watches because there wasn’t a timepiece on the market that met their needs. That sounds very familiar to the foundation of Porsche itself.

Dial details are simple yet you'll find yourself staring for longer than necessary.
Dial details are simple yet you’ll find yourself staring for longer than necessary.

Elliot Brown’s current range ‘only’ includes two styles – the Bloxworth chronograph and the Canford chronometer. However, there are a huge number of strap, face and casing combinations for each model, leaving their catalogue with an impressive 17 choices.

For the last two months, we’ve been testing out the Canford 202-002 variant, a black-on-black design with tan dial accents, a metal bracelet-style strap and a host of neat design features all for just £500.

Based in Poole, Dorset (just a stone’s throw away from Total 911), Elliot Brown set out to build timepieces that blended form and function seamlessly. The Canford is no exception to this rule, despite its elegant pilot-style appearance.

Solid bracelet links together with the bars between them  provide an incredibly strong strap.
Solid bracelet links together with the bars between them provide an incredibly strong strap.

From cold and wet photoshoots to being shoved inside the wheel arches of various cars while playing as mechanics, our Elliot Brown Canford has not skipped a beat or shown any signs of wear (despite the numerous accidental attempts to test its durability).

The Swiss-made battery movement is supported in a machined steel carrier inside the Canford’s 44mm marine-grade steel case. With a rubber damper sitting between the two, shocks to any Elliot Brown are coped with easily. In fact, pre-sale testing exerts a 5000g impact on each watch!

Alongside the triple case sealing system (which allows you to fully submerge the Canford, or Bloxworth, with the crown pulled out) and the bolt-down case back, it’s clear the Canford is built to last. And last. And last.

Extra adjustment from the tapered buttons is a clever touch for maintaining comfort at all times.
Extra adjustment from the tapered buttons is a clever touch for maintaining comfort at all times.

Yet, despite this focus on hardiness, the Canford 202-002 isn’t without elegance or visual appeal. The face design is simple, clear yet full of detail. We especially love the concentric groves which play with light, creating a mesmerising shimmer.

The black-and-tan colour combination is modern enough for the 21st Century yet retains a classic aesthetic that means this is a true do-it-all timepiece, suitable for the board room, the dinner table and the underside of your Porsche 911.

Despite its solid engineering, the hefty weight of the Canford disappears moments after slipping it onto your wrist, while the excellent adjustability in the strap means that it is sure to fit anyone. The clasp even has some micro-adjustment to cater for your wrist’s expansion throughout the day.

Elliot Brown's engineering is beautiful. The Canford's internal bezel movement is silky smooth.
Elliot Brown’s engineering is beautiful. The Canford’s internal bezel movement is silky smooth.

The bracelet’s clasp itself does have slightly sharp edges however, Elliot Brown has already moved to rectify this, producing new clasps with rounded corners designed to be slightly more fabric friendly.

Ultimately, the Elliot Brown Canford is the true 911 of the watch world. Understated, at a sensible price point yet packed with ingenious design, clever engineering and timeless appeal. With plenty of other visual options to suit all styles, it should be a must for your wrist this Christmas.

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Bolt-down case back maintains even pressure on the triple-seal system, while stamped logo just looks cool.
Bolt-down case back maintains even pressure on the triple-seal system, while stamped logo just looks cool.

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