How Timothy ‘Tim’ Hawking Is Preserving His Dad Stephen’s Legacy Through Watches

The youngest son of Stephen Hawking, Timothy, didn't have a happy childhood due to Stephen's ALS battle, but the father-son duo made the most out of it.

By RahulPublished on: May 6, 2024 Updated on: May 9, 2024
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Timothy ‘Tim’ Hawking, born in April 1979, is the youngest son of the famed late physicist Stephen Hawking and his ex-wife, Jane Hawking. His father passed away on March 14th, 2018, at the age of 76.

Many people wonder if Tim is really Stephen’s biological son, as there are rumors that he might be Jonathan Jones’ child instead. However, Jane has clearly stated that Tim is indeed her and Stephen’s biological son.

Growing up, Timothy’s childhood wasn’t as happy as that of his older siblings, Robert George and Lucy Catherine. His dad’s health issues and trouble speaking really affected those early years.

When he was really young, Timothy, 45, struggled to understand his father’s rapidly deteriorating speech. Looking back, he said,

My dad was able to speak with his own, natural voice for those first years, but it was incredibly difficult to understand what he was saying—particularly for me at such a young age.

In a twist of fate, the period when Stephen lost his natural speaking ability turned out to be a defining moment in their relationship. Timothy recalls that it was the advent of Stephen’s voice synthesizer that finally allowed them to bond.

He shared,

It was only when he got his voice synthesizer that I was actually able to start having conversations with him. It’s kind of ironic that Dad losing his voice was actually the start of us being able to form a relationship.

Despite the rocky start, the father-son duo eventually found common ground. Their relationship blossomed into one filled with both depth and mischief.

Tim Hawking with his father Stephen Hawking
Tim and Stephen sharing a fun moment. Source: DailyMail

In a candid BBC documentary, Timothy shared how he used to add a bit of cheeky humor into their daily life by programming swear words into Stephen’s speech machine. He also talked about the fun times when he’d use his father’s wheelchair as a makeshift go-kart.

Here’s everything we know about Tim. Find out how he is continuing on in his late pop’s legacy.

He Is Keeping His Father’s Spirit Alive Through the Hawking Watch Collection

Tim is on a mission to preserve his father’s legacy through the Bremont Hawking watch collection. This series of timepieces pays homage to the late physicist by thoughtfully incorporating his signature themes and achievements.

One unique detail is the wood used from the late Prof Hawking’s own desk. Tim ensured only wood from an old drawer was used, leaving the iconic desk intact. The spiral pattern on the watch face hints at black holes, one of Hawking’s famous theories, while the retrograde seconds hand adds a playful twist, “jumping back in time.”

Bremont Watch Stephen Hawking Limited Edition
One of Bremont’s Stephen Hawking limited edition watches. Source: Cambridge Independent

As the guardian of his Professor Stephen’s legacy and estate, Tim maintains a balance in how his father’s name and ideas are shared with the world. Moreover, he believes in “brand expression, not brand extension.”

Partnering with Nick and Giles English at Bremont, who shared a connection with Stephen Hawking, made the collaboration feel authentic.

For Tim, the watch collection isn’t just a tribute to his father but also an invitation for people to explore the possibilities that Stephen envisioned.

Timothy Hawking sitting in a chair wearing a suit
Tim works closely with everything or anyone who wants to continue his late father’s legacy. Source: A Blog to Watch

Additionally, Bremont is generously assisting the Stephen Hawking Foundation to reach its goals of “facilitating research into theoretical physics, along with research into motor neurone disease and those affected by it.”

He Works For His Dad’s Estate and Foundation

Timothy Hawking, much like his siblings, chose a path distinct from their pop’s renowned scientific career. Instead of diving into the world of physics, Timothy pursued his passion for branding.

He earned his degree in languages from Exeter University and Birmingham University.

So what does he do for a living currently? Since January 2019, Timothy has been channeling his expertise into a very personal project as a Brand Development Specialist for the Hawking Estate.

In addition to that, he also works for the Stephen Hawking Foundation.

Timothy Hawking with his family
Timothy with his mother, late dad, and sister Lucy.

Previously, Tim worked for the LEGO Group for around a decade. He started his professional journey as an account manager at Cogent Elliott in 2006 before moving to the toy company. For around a decade, he rose through the ranks, from a Loyalty Executive to a Brand Development Manager. After a successful stint at LEGO, he made a significant career shift.

He Still Remembers His Dad’s Advice and Follows It By Heart

In one of the parts of the BBC1 documentary of Stephen Hawking, his youngest son, Tim disclosed some interesting facts about his late dad.

When Tim was just 12 years old, he received a piece of advice from his father that has stuck with him ever since. It started with a question that Tim, at the time, thought might be a bit silly. He was curious about whether there were lots of other tiny universes scattered around like ours.

Timothy Hawking in an airplane
Timothy riding in an airplane.

His dad took the question seriously and answered it. But more importantly, he told him never to hesitate to throw out an idea, no matter how outlandish it might seem.

“He gave me the answer and then he told me never to be afraid to come up with an idea or a hypothesis no matter how daft it might seem,” Tim recalls. Stephen emphasized the importance of having the confidence to explore those ideas further.

He said that the most important thing was to have the confidence to follow it through, and I think that has been a great lesson for me.

That advice has guided Tim through many decisions in life, teaching him the value of curiosity and the courage to pursue even the most out-there ideas.

He Used to Duke It Out With His Late Dad Over Chess

In the same BBC documentary, the English native revealed that the father-son shared a love for board games, and their matches were nothing short of legendary.

“There was no compassion at all,” Tim remembers, smiling at the memory. He describes his father as fiercely competitive, a trait that made playing any game with him a serious challenge, especially chess.

Timothy Hawking playing chess with the late Stephen Hawking
Timothy Hawking and Stephen going head to head.

Their games were more than just pastime; they were intense battles of wits. Stephen, despite his physical limitations, never let up or went easy on Tim. This competitive spirit made each game an intense affair, but it also brought them closer, sharing moments of challenge and triumph.

He Became Particularly Emotional After Watching The Theory of Everything

Timothy had an intensely emotional reaction to The Theory of Everything. Having never seen his dad able-bodied, Tim was deeply moved by Eddie Redmayne‘s portrayal.

“It was very emotional, a lot more than I thought it would be,” Tim said, reflecting on the experience. “Seeing him as a young man was one of the really lovely things about the film for me.” For Tim, the movie offered a rare visual insight into his father’s early life—a life filled with vitality and promise before ALS took its toll.

Take a look at the full documentary.

He Inherited A Portion of Stephen’s Fortune

Stephen Hawking was worth $20 million from his books and science awards, at the time of his death. Following his death in 2018, his three children received a certain portion of his fortune, and Tim was one of them.

Tim Doesn’t Like Sharing His Personal Life

Unlike his older bro and sis, Tim has a knack for keeping things close to the chest. Maybe that’s why, he has not revealed anything about his marital status.

FAQ

Was Tim Also Born with the Neuron disease?

There’s no evidence that suggests he suffered from the same health issue as his father.

About Author: Rahul

Rahul has been diving into the world of entertainment in niches like celebrity, anime, and health articles since 2016. As a passionate writer, he combines personal experiences with thorough research to create content that's not only informative but also relatable and engaging.