HOT 100 2013: Daniel Malins, London Watch Show

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Daniel Malins has been in a Hot 100 publication before. But then he wasn’t one of the feted centurions, just a friendly face at the back of the book where we introduced him as our sales executive.

Yes, he is one of us. But 12 months on from that debut appearance in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 here he is, justifiably described as one of the watch industry’s key players and a Hot 100 member himself.

The reason is the London Watch Show, which Daniel has steered to debut using his own unique cocktail of charm, resilience, optimism and – he freely admits – the occasional moment of stinging realism. “It has not been easy but we knew we were on to an extraordinary idea,” he says. “After all there’s never been a watch-dedicated trade show in the UK.”

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And that – set against a backdrop of established shows doing their best to lure watch brands to them – makes Daniel’s conjuring act all the more impressive. It’s been emotional, he confesses semi-cheekily. “You end up carrying it to bed with you every night. It’s a huge amount of stress, but a stress that I think is quite healthy 90% of the time.”

His proudest moment came when the first stand was booked. “It was Daniel Ozel from Festina who took the stand, and I will not forget it. To have sufficiently persuaded someone to invest real money into, what was back then, just a concept, gave me great satisfaction. My thought was: if someone’s willing to buy into this without dates, a venue or any other exhibitors, then we must be onto a good thing.”

How right he was. With the Freemasons’ Hall packed with exhibitors and visitors safely through the door, the London Watch Show was a real moment of UK watch history. And Daniel is already on to next year’s edition (he’s looking at 75 stands for that one) and beyond.

“It makes complete sense for the London Watch Show to become an international event,” he says. “BaselWorld is the blueprint for any other aspiring watch exhibition, and London is certainly a more practical and desirable city than Basel, so it does give me hope.”

He’s not joking. Well, not entirely. Daniel is ambitious both for himself and the London Watch Show. “I am determined to turn the London Watch Show into a staple and crucial part of the watch calendar in the UK, and I fully intend to be the man to see this vision through in the next few years.”

London Watch Show event director Daniel Malins was an Innovator in the WatchPro Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.

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