HOT 100 2014: Nick Wiseman, Ball Watches

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Nick Wiseman’s CV reads like a line from an offbeat comedy – not unsurprising for a former film student – with “lumberjack in New Zealand” and “pot washer in a Macedonian restaurant” leaping off the page. What is clear is that Nick likes an adventure, and his most recent CV addition has given him just that.

Nick has worked his way up steadily in the watch business. He started out in the antiques trade, specialising in watches, and became an associate dealer at Sotheby’s as well as penning a few articles on the side for Miller’s Antiques & Collectibles, iW and QP (he’s also since documented life on the road as a watch rep for WatchPro). He then managed a high-end watch retail store and acted as an agent for brands Ellicott, Fortis and Locman.

His latest venture, and the one that has won him a place in this year’s Hot 100, has been to take on the role of UK brand manager for Ball Watches. The American railroad watch brand is still relatively new in the UK but over the past 12 months it has achieved 35% growth, and Nick is gunning for more.

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“There’s still a long way to go but the aim is to try and match last year’s growth again,” he says. “Ball is still a new and emerging brand in the UK, with a solid platform of over 40 doors. The aim is to increase this in a substantial way so that it reflects the very established markets of the US and Asia, where Ball is challenging the big commercial brands.”

Trying to hit his target of 80 to 100 UK doors for Ball has left Nick little time for himself this year but he says that if things continue to go as successfully as the past year then he will indulge his neglected wanderlust with “a few weeks somewhere where there is no phone signal or wifi”.

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