First published: 22-04-2016
It’s the Roaring Twenties and a train with an indistinguishable name – LNER Class A3 4472 – leaves the factory for the very first time. Better known as the Flying Scotsman, and as the first steam engine to reach the blazing speed of 100 miles per hour, it is today considered one of the greatest feats of British engineering.
To celebrate its restoration and display at the British Railway Museum throughout the month of April, we’ve rounded up some suggestions for you to channel your inner 20 years, not in transport, but in a secular way.
The skeleton look
Showcasing the intricate workings of a timepiece is just as popular today as it was almost 100 years ago. There is something about the spinning cogs and the ticking of the mechanisms that continues to mesmerize every generation that watches it.
With operation taking pride of place at the heart of this Rotary Vintage Automatic Watch, wearing a skeleton watch on your wrist is one of the best ways to celebrate the fashion of the decade that brought us works such as Gatsby the magnificent, as well as the flourishing of the Art Deco movement.
Showing off the pieces that make it vibrate is just one of the vintage elements of this piece, with its gorgeous brown leather strap and Roman numerals all working together to transport you back to the interwar years.
While 1920s fashion is best known for its straight and bold lines, watches frequently come in circular and oval shapes as well. Going back to the previous era, the flowing lines of an oval watch find their roots in the Art Nouveau movement of the 1890s, still popular in the Roaring Twenties.
The fluid nature of this Frederique Constant Art Deco watch is evident from top to bottom. The face is rounded to perfection, working in tandem with the oversized Roman numerals which are just as bold as one would expect from a piece that represents the style of the era.
It’s also a slim, traditionally feminine piece, while it closes with a metallic strap that’s just as beautiful as the face itself. Each link is curved and rounded to fit the face, with each part of the watch complementing the rest.
The bold lines for which the Art Deco era has since become famous are representative of the fashion of the 1920s. Naturally, a timepiece with a square or tonneau dial is reminiscent of that era and arguably represents the decade as a whole better than any. something else.
This Esprit Art Déco 1925 watch by Michel Herbelin does exactly what it says on pewter – it is deeply inspired by the era of the same name. The face is beautifully and boldly rectangular, framed by a shiny silver case.
With the white face and the black strap, there is a real contrast between the colors of the piece, allowing it to stand out against any background you choose to pair it with. Roman numerals were chosen over batons or numbers, giving an additional nod to 1920s fashion.
An artistic touch
As the Art Deco movement was so popular, designers took more inspiration from the trend, with jewelry and watches themselves becoming works of art in design.
While some watches may be inspired by the era, other modern watches could be mistaken for genuine antiques, perfectly synonymous with the design era.
This Sekonda ladies watch is a prime example. The case is tonneau shaped and is complemented by a very minimalist watch face. With slender hands matched with slender batons, the focal point of the piece is actually its unique and beautiful bracelet.
The bracelet is as bold as it looks: lines of sparkling stones leading to a shimmering silver band. And while the shape can be bold, it also has slender and feminine qualities that are indicative of the styles of ladies’ watches of the 1920s – it’s a real whim.
For the true fan of the 20s
What could be better than a pocket watch to represent the era of train travel and steam? Nothing, what is it.
Sparkling early 20th century footagee gentlemen of the century with suave suits and matching accessories, a pocket watch can still be the jewel of an outfit in the 2010s.
This pocket watch is made by renowned watchmakers Royal London and features a host of elements inspired by the 1920s. Take the bold numbers on its face for example, which are even more Art Deco than the tried and true Roman numerals.
It is also a skeleton watch, showing its operation for all to see. And with hands so slender on her face, you can see her mechanics as clear as daylight. Pair it with a gold chain to match its equally golden face, and you’ll look right at home on the Flying Scotsman itself.
With the fashions and triumphs of the 1920s on the agenda more than ever, thanks to the Scottish restoration and display at the National Railway Museum, what better time is there to celebrate all the best? things of the time? Go ahead and inspire your style with the best designs of the interwar years.