AFH to take Paul Smith watches wholesale in August

Paul Smith watches will be wholesaled in the UK in August for the first time in several years after Swico was granted the licence for the UK and Europe.

Watches from the globally-renowned British fashion label were wholesaled around ten years ago before being reduced in scale as boutique exclusives. Now Swico chief executive officer Keith Sheppard has set up AFH Distribution to handle the business in the UK.

The new collection of 38 Paul Smith watches, priced between £169 and £299, will launch in the UK in August, starting with the label’s 14 boutiques in the UK and 34 in Europe. After that AFW Distribution will focus on growing the brand through a mixture of multiples and independent retails, focusing on retail jewellers rather than fashion outlets.

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The collection boasts eight styles with vintage-look chronographs, three-hands with a rotating colour wheel, 39mm cushion-shaped cases and clean, minimalist designs. Each watch features Paul Smith’s signature flurry of colour.

Mark Ryder, brand manager of Paul Smith watches, told WatchPro.com that the aim was to have 50 doors in place by the end of 2015 and 100 within 12 months of launch.

The collection was due to launch in July but was postponed for a month when the decision was taken to use serial numbers.

The Paul Smith brand, launched by Paul Smith in Nottingham in 1970, is huge in Japan with 200 stores. The new UK and Europe collection is completely separate from Paul Smith watches in Japan, which are produced under license by Citizen.

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