Anneke Short is a watch, jewellery and accessories designer. In 2014, she founded The Camden Watch Company along with her husband Jerome Robert, and they now have two stores, one in Camden Market and one in Greenwich Market, as well as an online store. They’ve recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their next all Swiss Automatic and Swiss Quartz timepieces.
These are a few of Anneke Short’s favourite things…
I absolutely love games. I’m talking board games, card games, puzzle games, charades; you name it. Anything that reunites a group around a table to spend quality time together. From old-school classics such as Pictionary and Trivial Pursuits to more modern Escape Room-style games such as Unlock, if it’s got dice, cards, or a sand-timer, then count me in. Although a word of warning, I’m a stickler for the rules, cheating is a massive bugbear of mine, but I like to think I’m gracious in defeat and humble in victory. My family, however, might disagree.
When we were children staying with our grandparents over the holidays, our Dutch grandmother would take us on brisk walks to “blow away the cobwebs” every single day, come rain or shine, and it’s a habit that has stuck. Time spent outdoors is never wasted; if I’m ever stuck for inspiration or suffering from creative block, I put on my shoes and go outside. It doesn’t matter where I go, whether it’s meandering around the side streets of London or heading into nature, but it always helps. I truly believe in the restorative power of the outdoors, and that it’s something that is often overlooked in today’s world. Put a group of people around a campfire, with marshmallows to toast and flasks of hot chocolate to drink, and just watch their troubles melt away.
I’m completely fascinated by folklore: fables, mythology, old traditions, fairytales, anything of that ilk. I like exploring the meanings and origins behind traditions, why some have stood the test of time whilst others have been all but forgotten. I recently learned about the tradition of Wassailing and completely fell in love with it. We even held our own wassailing ceremony in our garden this year, with hot spiced cider for the adults and apple juice for the minors. It’s not about the belief — I don’t actually believe that we’re blessing the harvest of our two meagre courgette plants and a handful of tomato vines — it’s about the theatre of it, the magic and the fun in suspending your disbelief. This links into an interest in symbolism and sentimentality too, how things like talismans, family heirlooms and even everyday items can be imbued with a meaning that is totally unrelated to the actual object.
When I was around 12 or 13, my school put on a musical, Cabaret, performed in our assembly hall on a very small budget. From the very opening note, I was hooked. Since then, I’ve honed my love of old-school classics featuring Doris Day and Fred Astaire. I love the absolute joy of a great ensemble number and the heartbreaking sadness of the protagonist solo. Musicals transport me altogether, to another place, time and moment. I like musical films, but above all, I adore the West End. In fact, I’d like to think that if I weren’t a designer, that would be my home. Not on stage, but helping to create the illusion, working as part of the backstage team — a set designer perhaps?
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Be it winter or summer, I love the Olympic and Paralympic games. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed, but my true passion for the games was cemented by the London 2012 games. Watching athletes at the absolute top of their game perform the most outstanding physical feats is always so humbling. I have a particular penchant for Athletics, and it’s the only area I tend to follow outside of the official games. The grit and determination showed by the athletes, some of whom are very young and some who have had to overcome major obstacles to get to where they are, is truly something to admire. I can’t help but wish these were the people we were looking up to instead of the latest contestants of Love Island or whatever the latest reality show may be.