Bob Oatley is a fifth generation Australian – a direct descendant of the convict, James Oatley, who was born in Warwickshire, England in 1770, the same year that Captain Cook discovered the east coast of Australia.
James Oatley grew up to become a clockmaker but along the way was a little errant in his ways - he was found guilty of stealing bed linen. His punishment was a life sentence, which meant being transported to Australia. He arrived in Sydney in 1815 just 27 years after the first fleet had sailed into Sydney Harbour. James Oatley’s talents as a clockmaker were quickly recognised in the colony and he soon became its most highly regarded clock and watch maker. Officially pardoned in 1821 he was appointed Keeper of the Town Hall Clock by Governer Macquarie.
The James Oatley TIC TOK label was designed by Bob’s grandson James, and features an arrow, representing both the hands of a clock and the British Empire’s symbol for Government Owned Property, stamped prominently on convict uniforms of the day.