When biochemistry isn’t your thing, what do you turn to? For Manchester’s Andrew Kilgour, it took some time to figure that out, and now he’s making something that will forever stand the test of time, the Argentum Luna, a beautiful British-made clock.

‘I graduated from Manchester University with a degree in biochemistry but I knew even while studying I didn’t want a career in the subject,’ Andrew says. ‘Instead, I joined a graduate management training scheme with Enterprise Car Club, where I learned how to run a business, and then I went travelling.

‘One of the friends I travelled with in Australia wanted to start his own business, so we looked into a few ideas and then the opportunity to buy a pub came up. It wasn’t on our list of things to do, but we decided to go for it and ten years later we had a successful family pub and restaurant. By this point I was starting a family, and those two lives don’t really work very well – it was difficult having a young baby at home and working those long hours, so I decided it was time for a change.’

Great British Life: Andrew Kilgour, biochemist, turned pub landlord, turned clockmakerAndrew Kilgour, biochemist, turned pub landlord, turned clockmaker

Andrew’s business partner bought him out, and Andrew set about thinking about what he might do next.

‘It took me a while, and I’m not sure where the idea came from, but I knew I wanted to make a product, something high end and low volume. It was a gradual thing; I wanted to focus on a product that would be very high quality and sit comfortably within the luxury market and I realised there weren’t any really contemporary, high quality wall clocks available.

‘I love Swiss watches, I love the idea of how they work, that people collect them and there’s a fascination with them, and that you buy not just for yourself but for the next generation, and it grew from there. I researched the market and any really high quality pieces were really quite old fashioned in style, even modern ones were based on antique clocks and they didn’t suit contemporary houses. That started me on my journey to make the very best clock I possibly could.’

Great British Life: Andrew's clock is designed to suit modern homesAndrew's clock is designed to suit modern homes

Determined his clocks would be made in England, he started to search for the finest artisan designers and makers to help him achieve his aim.

Andrew worked with a product designer and renowned Yorkshire clockmaker Sinclair Harding who agreed to make a specially-adapted movement for his clocks that would move the bigger contemporary hands around the clockface and keep time.

'When I started out, I had wondered why there wasn’t a contemporary, luxury wall clock – and now I know,’ he says.

Great British Life: The stylish pearlescent clockface The stylish pearlescent clockface

The solid silver numbers were created by 200-year-old Birmingham jewellery business Thomas Fattorini and the clockface was made to Andrew’s exacting specifications by a Midlands engineering firm more used to making car parts.

The final piece in Andrew’s luxury puzzle is the hand-made, custom-designed case for housing the clock when it's not mounted on a wall, which is made to order by Peter Toaig at his Fellside Wood Studio in the northern Lake District.

‘It’s taken five years to bring this to fruition and I will only be having twelve made, and each one will be made to order. This means the customer can make changes, if they choose. Now I have undertaken this project, and found this amazing team of artisans, I can create a whole new piece, working with the end-buyer or an interior designer; a complete one-off, unique clock.’

The only element of the final piece not made in England is the glass, which comes from an artisan maker in Italy. Once it’s assembled, the finished piece – called Argentum Luna, or silver moon – sits on a computer for two weeks, which makes sure it keeps perfect time, or no worse than losing one second every month.

Great British Life: The clock features a specially-adapted mechaniskThe clock features a specially-adapted mechanisk

It needs winding every eight days – there's a small door in the base of the clock, which when opened allows a small ‘crown’ to drop down, which is used to both wind the mechanism and adjust the hands, when the clocks change in spring and autumn.

'It has a lifetime warranty – not for the life of the owner, but the life of the clock, as it’s a piece to pass to future generations,’ Andrew says.

‘It’s been a good journey to get to this point. I found an amazing team and we have created something truly beautiful – and named the business after my two eldest sons, Thomas and James. I can’t wait to start designing the next one.’

Perhaps that will be named after his third son, Harry, who arrived recently, and surely needs an heirloom piece of his own to give his name to?