HOT 100 2014: Stuart McDowell, Hamilton & Inches

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It should be the most joyful year of his life for Stuart McDowell. He is planning his wedding to his girlfriend Sarah in summer next year, and his two children, Amy (10) and James (5) will be bridesmaid and best man.

Hamilton & Inches is having a landmark year – opening a spectacularly opulent Rolex room, and snagging an agreement to stock Tudor watches later this year.

“We are always looking to increase sales and customer service targets, but this year we should hopefully see a pretty dramatic rise due to the new Rolex space, the continuing development of the dedicated luxury Patek Philippe area and the new brands joining us,” Stuart predicts.

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But this stellar year in and out of work was violently interrupted on June 6th when knife-wielding robbers stormed the Edinburgh store, threatened staff and escaped with £1.3 million worth of jewellery and watches. Thankfully, nobody was hurt.

Stuart has already bounced back, and will continue putting customer satisfaction at the heart of his work, and devoting himself to his passion to bring luxury watches to the widest possible audience. “I would like to see a group of younger people who are excited by fine watch making and collecting. That group must still have visibility of the more aspirational brands like Patek Philippe and Rolex obviously; but ultimately, I want them to see that high quality and innovative watch making still exists in brands like Nomos, Tudor and Bremont, but at a more accessible price,” he says.

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