What does British culture and art mean to you? Perhaps the painted portraits and landscapes of tradition, gold-framed in eminent museums or beautiful age-old mansions whose eccentric inhabitants are the descendants of the faces and views in the pictures. Or maybe it is the vibrant, multi-cultural life of modern artistic London, where creative sparks from across the globe flourish in an atmosphere of endless possibility, from which exciting new musicians, fashion designers, artists and industrial talents continually emerge.

Of course both are right, representing the two sides of a place whose long and rich heritage helped create the freethinking buzz of the city today. This unique combination attracts like-minded and innovative spirits, adding further to London's reputation as a powerhouse of cultural and artistic ideas.
So it is hardly surprising that an independent, innovative new watch brand should take London's arts world spirit as its inspiration. Fitzroy has a noble and ancient name yet its approach is thoroughly modern. Every model encloses a good Swiss automatic movement but its quirky, individual, modern and yet classic look is unmistakably British. It has all the heritage and hand-crafted care one would expect of the best-made watches yet this particular quality product transcends old-style age and social divisions and even the gender gap, reflecting a profound change in people's attitudes.

Even the name has a slightly risqué panache that appeals to the brand's individualist clientele. Fitzroy comes originally from old Norman, meaning "son of the king". It was traditionally given to the natural sons of the English kings by their various mistresses and was first used for Henry VIII's son Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond. These sons could not inherit but they often became wealthy and influential and the name still has an aristocratic resonance today. For the Fitzroy brand it reflects the bravado and expansionist confidence of this most famous of English monarchs, who first used the term.The double F logo, in ancient and modern script, captures an appropriate blend of traditional heritage and adventurous modernism.

The Fitzroy range could only have grown out of this uniquely British mix of ancient tradition and adventurous spirit, creating a fascinating contrast between timeless elegance and freethinking modernity. All the watches are a classic round shape, in a slightly elongated, oval case, and all are stainless steel. There are two basic models - a chronograph and an automatic with small seconds dial - but over a hundred variants, so each owner feels his watch is individual to his own personality. Each watch comes in a stylish black leather carrying case lined in purple Alcantara - a multifunctional item which reflects Fitzroy's commitment to making useful products of lasting value.

Fitzroy watches have a myriad personalities. Some are elegantly traditional; others are effortlessly sporty, with innovative materials and the key use of bold colour - black steel and Fitzroy's signature green anodised aluminium. Fitzroy's customer wears colour confidently. A regal purple and that soft moss green are the chosen shades. There are also straps in feminine shades of white and denim blue, and delicious sprinklings of diamonds on bezel, dial or a full pavé case. If the Fitzroy man has confidence in his individuality and style, the woman who dares to wear the brand is at least his match.