Christopher Ward was the only British watch company to be named in the inaugural BT Business SME Export Track 100, published in The Sunday Times yesterday.
Christopher Ward London placed in 77th place in the new league table which ranks Britain’s top 100 private SMEs by fastest-growing international sales over the last two years.
The watch brand, which sells direct to the public via its website, made international sales of more than £2.1million in 2014, which represents a three-fold increase in international sales in three years.
The US is Christopher Ward’s largest single export market, and the business states that it sells more mechanical watches than any other UK-based brand. In November 2014 Christopher Ward also opened its first overseas showroom in Nashua, New Hampshire USA, to further serve the market.
The brand, founded by Mike France, Peter Ellis and Chris Ward in 2004, selected a direct sales business model from the outset; balancing quality, value and pricing in a way that gained a legion of loyal customers.
France said: “Right from the start, we’ve attracted an international following and, today, our watches are shipped to over 100 countries around the world. A key driver of our success is our unprecedented blend of high quality and value, backed by the most comprehensive customer satisfaction guarantees we can find in the industry. Across the globe, increasing numbers of customers have responded to that ethos and, by keeping that focus pinpointed on the customer, we are determined to continue to grow our business.”
Last year, coinciding for the brand’s 10th anniversary, Christopher Ward merged with its Swiss watchmaking partner Synergies Horologères and announced its first in-house mechanical movement, the SH21.
Co-founder Peter Ellis, commented: "The momentum of international sales growth has continued into the first quarter of 2015 with sales growing by 45% and Calibre SH21 opens opportunities for further growth of the brand as it effectively secures a robust supply chain in a market where the availability of components is largely controlled by a handful of the largest manufacturers in Swiss watchmaking."
Now all design work is carried out at the company’s headquarters in Maidenhead while production is carried out at its Swiss atelier in Biel, Switzerland under the direction of Jorg Bader and their own master watchmaker Johannes Jahnke.