December 30, 2016

THE CAFE RACER

The Cafe Racer sub-culture is born from an aesthetic and identity that borrows from the American Greaser and the Rockabilly era, the British Rocker and of late a new version of aficionado that has come to appreciate the quality and mechanical style born from these custom bikes.

Originally the Cafe Racer was a stripped down predominantly English or hybrid English bike that had been modified to remove extraneous elements to create a performance bike that was almost minimal and utterly stripped of the superfluous. The resulting bikes were of themselves clean, mean and almost streamlined in outlook.

Their mechanics, and outer refashioning began to resemble moving engineered statues.

As the scene evolved the modifications became more personal and blended the aesthetic and functional like never before. Sub-cultures within the sub-culture began to emerge as the movement and appreciation for these deeply individual machines began to appear.

At McCabe we are proud to work with several cafe racers, custom modifiers and bike owners. Each of them either works with or appreciates the deep seated understanding and dedication needed across varying disciplines to produce these superb machines.

The Belfast Automatic in particular is our tribute to the Cafe Racers of past and present and with the new Cafe Racer series – a new timepiece has been born through a precise level of engineering and design to create altogether something new, compelling to echo this most industrial and mobile of artistic disciplines.
December 30, 2016

WHO WAS JAMES MCCABE?

The James McCabe name and the House of McCabe is part of a watchmaking dynasty that lasted for over a century and furnished luminaries with timepieces that are now enshrined in the annals of history

James McCabe was born in 1748, in the town of Lurgan, County Armagh, Ireland. McCabe was born into a watchmaking family of 4 brothers. His father Patrick McCabe was himself a watchmaker and supplied clocks and instruments to the community.

The McCabe family became known for their commercial interests and their involvement in local politics.

Thomas McCabe in particular became a noted watchmaker, industrialist and anti-slavery activist remembered for his opposition to the slave trade in Belfast.

Moving to Belfast, James McCabe apprenticed under his brother before setting shop in London in 1775, where he set up his own business in Bells Building, Fleet Street.

James McCabe and his descendants would continue to produce timepieces becoming one of Britain’s most prolific watchmakers with over 50,000 watches, 7000 clocks and 500 marine chronometers produced in its 100 year history.

Among notable owners of McCabe timepieces were Lord Horatio Nelson, and the first President of the United States – George Washington who purchased his McCabe pocket watch in Philadelphia in 1793.

The House of McCabe was renowned for the sheer variety of its designs and the creativity and prestige of their manufacture was celebrated and revered by owners worldwide. These pieces remain highly collectable today and fetch increasingly higher prices at auction houses worldwide.
December 30, 2016

WHY A WATCH?

In an era of digital instantaneous and accurate timekeeping, it is often asked of us– why even wear a watch ?

This is a good question. And while we don't wish to shoot ourselves in the foot, we can see how a watch can be annoying, cumbersome and redundant.

We also know that the modern millennial choses perhaps to wear a timepiece accidentally or as part of a wardrobe or look that they are trying to complete. These watches are not complicated and dare we say “disposable” in terms of quality and faddish style.

When one picks up a timepiece that such as the Heritage Automatic – JM 1022, we believe that they are in fact doing more than wearing a instrument that tells time. We believe that you are in fact paying an appreciation for an art of mechanics, material and workmanship that goes to the heart of what makes man great himself.

It is this ingenuity that has created a quite amazing combination of springs, screws and plates so that a reckoning of time is delivered automatically powered by nothing but the wearers own motions and activities.

Added to this, the workmanship such as that found in the Heritage Automatic JM 1022 demonstrates truly a handmade effort of polishing, cutting, application and assembly.

Leather straps, hands, dials, lenses and other parts too small to identify all assemble into one piece of man made mastery that works in tandem and with style and function on the wearers wrist.

And of course nothing completes the male wardrobe than the most pronounced if subtle accessories. A beautifully functional leather strapped timepiece completes fine tailoring, casual wear better than a plastic diagnostic device can.

With this in mind, is the question not why would you wear a watch, but perhaps why aren't you wearing one from James McCabe?
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