Watson Bros. guns are made almost entirely by hand insuring individuality and attention to detail, which no machine can equal.
At Watson Bros Gunmakers our objective is to create our mixture of art with our extensive knowledge of gunmaking to bring you this special blend of craftsmanship that you can admire in the field and gunroom. We specialise in innovation and design, manufacturing all our guns in our Tower of London premises where we train the best craftsmen to hand make the very best styled guns. From our unique double barrel four bore sidelock ejector to our registered design roundbody over and under, featured in an exhibition at the V&A museum.
All Watson Bros. shotguns and rifles are man made in the City of London by craftsmen, all personally trained by proprietor, Michael Louca. We also carry a varied selection of fine shotguns and accessories for sale in our online store.
A Tradition of Excellence
Thomas Watson was the son-in-law of the renowned gun and revolver maker William Tranter. In 1875 Thomas Watson acquired the company and premises of Durs Egg at 4 Colonnade, Pall Mall. Durs Egg was a gunmaker of Swiss origin who established his business in London in 1772 and subsequently became gunmaker to George IV in 1820.
The company was famous for arms of the highest quality and Thomas Watson continued and enhanced this reputation, in particular as a maker of the finest small bore shotguns, a reputation the company still maintains today.
In 1885 Thomas Watson’s son, Arthur and Thomas succeeded to the firm as the eponymous Watson Brothers, continuing the gunmaking traditions established by their father. Today Watson Bros. remains a privately owned and managed business making guns and rifles of exceptional quality.
When Arthur and Thomas Watson took over from Thomas senior back in 1885 they decided to actively create and promote a small bore market, this became so successful that any lady or young gent about town would visit us at 29 Old Bond St London W1.
As W.B reputation grew so did their client base attracting royal warrants from such exotic lands as Turkey and Persia. With demand high over a 100 year period W.B built 17,000 guns of which all the records are still held, specialising in all varied forms of fine sidelock ejectors.
Always an ambitious gunmaker and keen to experiment, Michael Louca was not satisfied to just copy the rest of the trade.
As the ideas flowed, soon off the production line was a new racy roundbody side by side with a distinct coffin shape taper on the back of the action.
Before long clients were asking if a similar style in over and under was available, not quite so easy as now Michael had to design and make a new ejector system featuring all the key elements of a best London gun. After two years the roundbody over and under was on the market. Proud of the fact we can produce an over and under at the same weight as a side by side this was a revelation to hit the gun trade.
I shall always remember showing our new guns at the safari show in Las Vegas where we were the only gunmakers with these roundbody guns. Two years later, other makers were sporting their version. Upset? – No. I took it as a compliment, for too long everybody was selling the equivalent of a 1930’s motor car. We still have a very healthy market for traditional style guns today but it is nice for clients to have a choice.
Indeed today Watson Bros., still under the guidance of Michael Louca, continues to be creative with a modern sidelock ejector, self cocking hammergun and big bores as well as over and unders and side by sides, all made in our workshop in the City of London.
With such accolades as being invited to exhibit in the Victoria and Albert museum ‘Power of Making’ exhibition, we are proud of the reception our guns have received.