David Coleridge told WatchPro last year that he voted to remain in the European Union. But the chairman of The Watch Gallery could be forgiven thanking the 52% that voted to leave, because the Brexit vote’s impact on the value of the pound turned central London into the hottest market for luxury watches in the world.
In accounts published today by Companies House, The Watch Gallery recorded a rise in sales of 34% to £73.7 million for the 12 months ending January 28, 2017.
Profit almost trebled during the year, from £1.6 million in 2015 to £4.3 million last year.
Productivity soared for the business, with the number of employees actually falling year-on-year from 179 to 164.
The Watch Gallery sold the loss-making The Watch Hut in 2015, which will have accounted for some of the reduction in group headcount.
The group now runs The Wonder Room luxury watch space in London’s Selfridges, a monobrand Rolex boutique at One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, and a multibrand store under The Watch Gallery name in Covent Garden.
The Watch Gallery also runs some watch concessions in John Lewis; and runs the online watch offerings for both John Lewis and Asos.com.
Overall staff costs for The Watch Gallery (including wages, social security and pensions) rose 10% year-on-year from £6.2 million to £6.8 million. The remuneration to the highest paid director was ££307,800. The company approved a dividend payment to shareholders of £4 million.
The golden year for The Watch Gallery was achieved despite discussions on the sale of the business reaching their conclusion.
Europe’s biggest luxury watch retailer Bucherer bought The Watch Gallery in March this year for an undisclosed sum.
Mr Coleridge called Bucherer the “perfect partner” for the company.
“With the backing of one the world’s leading watch retailers, The Watch Gallery’s customers, business partners and employees will benefit from their tremendous experience, innovation, improved product selection and services,” he said.
Bucherer says it intends to continue to employ all staff of The Watch Gallery and will eventually integrate each boutique under its own brand name.
There have been no further announcements from The Watch Gallery or Bucherer about future plans since March.