It may come as a surprise, but dollar for dollar, some of the most beautiful watches in the world are currently being made not in Switzerland but entirely in-house in a trendy suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne Watch Company was born of a successful Kickstarter campaign just four years ago in 2013. Since that time the brand has grown both in size and stature. Their first watch was the Flinders, and while developing it the brand took the wise precaution of sounding out watch forums, including Watchuseek, to ensure the project was exactly right for their core market of dedicated watch collectors. The positive feedback encouraged the brand to create a wider range of designs, and to date, nine collections have been successfully released, none lovelier in this writer’s opinion than the Portsea and the cushion shaped Carlton.

MWC assembles its watches entirely in-house

MWC watch designs are inspired by Melbourne's diverse culture - from the bustling CBD to the laneway cafe scene to the relaxed bayside and coast, and unmistakably in the case of Portsea, some of Carlton’s rich Victorian heritage.

Online success has enabled MWC to continue their journey, but where many Kickstarter brands embrace a purely online business model for outsourcing and selling, MWC has reverted to old school bricks and mortar by creating both a workshop and showroom, which opened for business in Carlton, Melbourne in December of last year. So, while orders can still be made online, customers can now also visit MWC by appointment to meet with the team and see the full array of collections.

The Portsea: One of the best looking affordable watches money can buy

To ensure quality control, every watch the brand makes is now assembled, tested in-house by MWC technicians and sold either online or via the showroom. Melbourne Watch Company is in essence a made in Australia brand, and there are not many brands in any consumer goods sector these days that can make that claim.

The next phase of the journey for MWC over the next year is to phase out the use of Japanese automatic movements and start to introduce Swiss movements. And the plan is to increase their full-time watch technicians to four.

Carlton Gardens: Melbourne has been voted most liveable city in the world 7 years in a row

Cynics might say, and believe it or not, there are one or two on Watchuseek, ‘yeah but it’s not exactly La Chaux de Fonds, is it?’ And they’d be right, for Melbourne has been voted the world’s most liveable city for 7 years in a row by the Economist Intelligence Unit .

Perhaps that’s why the brand is proudly called the Melbourne Watch Company.

Visit Melbourne Watch Company