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Jim talks watch prototypes and inventions for the MI5, with Saffron Alexander.

Written by Saffron Alexander
Photographs by John Lawrence

JIm and Chloe, founders of Newgate Clocks, at home.

We live in a Georgian townhouse in a Shropshire town with our three children (12, 10, seven) and Badger, our dog. We’ve only lived in the house for a year and spent the year before that restoring it.

This is our drawing room. It opens out into our kitchen. We entertain, dine, watch films and design products here. The dining table often gets cluttered with watch prototypes and models and piles of books and design papers. We designed the drawing room so we can change it around easily. We’re constantly moving pictures and furniture.

The house is great inspiration for our watches. Varying our surrounding helps trigger new thoughts and ideas.

Some interesting pieces of furniture from the Read household


Jim’s grandfather was an inventor for MI5. This barograph was one of his pieces of kit, he tended to it daily when he was at home.


We found this in an antique shop in Machynlleth in Wales and couldn’t believe we’d found a genuine old watch cabinet. It’s packed full of Jim’s collection of watches.

Dog triptych

A friend bought this for us years ago. We move it around a lot, we like having pictures and art leaning against walls so we can change them often. It’s not a painting of our dog, but you would swear it was Badger.

Spanish flamenco lamp

We found this lamp in Spitalfields Market in London. She really brightens up the room

Spanish flamenco lamp

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