HOT 100 2013: Julian Pollock, Lulu Guinness

Julian Pollock, director of IBB London and co-founder of its watch division, has been in the watch industry for 25 years and has no real need to shout about any of his achievements.

He is graciously modest about his inclusion in the inaugural WatchPro Hot 100. “We tend to keep a low profile so it is not about recognition, it is more about being part of a watch family, many of whom have known each other for a long time,” he says.
And yet, he deserves the recognition. As the man who left Swatch Group and formed a partnership with jewellery manufacturer IBB London to take them into the watch trade he has brought a heavyweight Hatton Garden force into the industry and introduced a series of serious branded players into the watch business.

Most recently – and just in time for Christmas trading – was new brand Lulu Guinness, which Julian and more than a few retailers say is proving to be really exciting.

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After launching “quite a few” brands over the years, he still clearly gets fired up by the whole sales experience. He says the best part about his job is creating and selling watches and believes that while new brands may have a higher risk profile, they are more rewarding.

He remains tight lipped on the details but when quizzed about the future for IBB London’s watch offer he says teasingly “more brands”.

Which ones? “Exciting ones.” And the future in general? That’s simple. “I see the market growing, becoming even more brand focused – if that is possible.” It is. And when it does, Pollock will be there waiting, with the next big brand launch up his sleeve.

Lulu Guinness watch director Julian Pollock was a CMJ Brand Champion 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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