Ratner agonistes



Honouring both the aircraft and the airmen and women that flew them, the collection of AVI-8 watches draws on the greatest materials and resources to produce cutting edge timepieces to perfectly capture the emotion and excitement of the flying machines they are inspired by. From the most intricate of details worked into the beautifully crafted dials, to the stamped casebacks designed with the look of the impressive jet engines, the AVI-8 collection mirrors these pieces of rich history, combining their style with superb functionality and comfort. Find your piece of history online at H.Samuel now.



In the evanescent world of the spoken, printed and broadcast word, nothing endures like a really good faux pas. More than a quarter century since Gerald Ratner told the Institute of Directors his company’s product was “total crap”, there’s no sign of the speech fading from memory.

The event is usually represented as a Tourette’s-style meltdown, but that’s unnecessarily reductive. Ratner, after all, had cut his teeth among high street businesses which supplied solid, long-lived, second-rate jewellery and cutlery — the stuff you see week after week on Cash in the Attic and Bargain Hunt.

Might he have felt uncomfortable in the ‘crap’ era, in essence an accommodation with new kinds of trend- and brand-consciousness which ignored the fundamentals of his industry? And, if so, mightn’t we interpret the IoD outburst as that of an honest trader struggling with changing circumstance?

The issue remains live, as this week’s example shows. Both the original text and our rewrite demonstrate the truth of the old music biz dictum which says you can’t polish a turd. Still, it’s important to make the effort, even if all you’ve got to write about is a bog-standard watch line claiming to be ‘inspired by’ famous military aircraft.


“AVI-8 Timepieces. Permission to land?”

“AVI-8 from Tower. You are cleared to land.”

The British passion for aviation has always expressed itself in detail: the elegant turn of a nacelle; the thrusting upcurve of a radio antenna; the precise regulation blue of a roundel. Now this rich tradition informs the timepieces of the AVI-8 collection.

AVI-8 watches pay tribute to iconic British warplanes, with faces that echo details of controls and instrumentation, rugged cases that are built with the tough functionality of combat engineering, and precision-machined backs evoking the excitement of jet turbines and radial engines.

Find your own piece of flight history with AVI-8 at H.Samuel.