We’ve driven an 1962 E-Type to Switzerland to launch our GMT collection, journeyed to Yarmouth to put the Aqua Compressors through their paces on a Fairey Huntsman power boat, it was now time for our next adventure.
To launch our new Hand-Wound collection we wanted to travel to a place in celebration of the very best in mechanical engineering. Taking some time out to appreciate the beauty of our world beyond technology. Where trains are powered by steam, cars by engines and of course, watches are wound by hand.
So jumping in a 1969 Aston Martin
Straight 6 DBS we headed to the West Highlands of Scotland in search of the Jacobite Steam train. Not a short drive, we past Glasgow, ran along Loch Lomond, cut through the beautiful Glencoe (an apt place for an Aston Martin, following in the footsteps of Bond himself in Skyfall) and then up to Fort William, in the shadow of Ben Nevis.
The further we drove the better it got. Quiet roads weaving their way around the calm waters of the lochs and sitting amongst the epic landscape allowed us to open up the Straight 6. We passed the Glenfinnan Viaduct at dusk, made famous by Harry Potter, and finally onto our destination - Arisaig House.
Steeped in history, Arisaig House was built in 1863 by a wealthy Industrialist from the Midlands called FDP Astley. He commissioned Philip Webb, the ‘Father of the Arts and Crafts movement’, to build a shooting lodge amid the spectacular West Highland scenery. Yet it was during the Second World War, when the house became the headquarters to the Special Operations Executive to prepare special agents for missions in Occupied Europe, that made Arisaig so special.
Today, it’s family owned and run by Sarah our very kind host. She cleared the garage for the DBS before pouring the drinks and showing us the best places to film in the morning.
Our mission for the trip was to capture the Jacobite steam train crossing one of the amazing viaducts on the coastline, as the DBS drove beneath. Not only did we have the challenge of finding a good spot away from the crowds, we also had to time everything to perfectly coincide with a steam train that doesn’t appear to have a formal timetable. What’s more, we had just one take to get it right.
We set up for the shot in beautiful Scottish morning sunshine. The Aston was ready, all we needed was the train. After 90 minutes waiting somewhat impatiently, we finally caught sight of the steam of the engine. In a matter of seconds, it flashed past but not before we could follow it perfectly with the drone, simultaneously speeding under the viaduct in the Aston - capturing the most amazing shot. With a lot of planning and a little bit of luck, it was well worth the wait.
We spent the rest of the day exploring the coastline and the mountain passes before heading back to the house for a brilliant dinner and, of course, some local whisky. A huge thanks to Sarah for looking after us and of course our photographer Amy Shore and filmmaker Mackie.