Since setting up its own UK subsidiary in 2014 in the aftermath of the collapse of distributor Nuval, Graham has gone from strength to strength on these shores. Pietro Tomajer, the infectiously energetic managing director of the UK subsidiary in Leicester, took some time to answer some questions from WatchPro regarding the announcement of its most recent stockist – Rox.
WatchPro: What makes Rox a suitable retailer for Graham?
Pietro Tomajer: Rox have established themselves as a quality, pro-active and progressive premium retailer, in Scotland and England. Graham sits perfectly in an already extraordinary array of luxury brands, comprising of some of the most exciting names in indie and non-indie watchmaking. It is an honour for Graham to associate our name with Rox of Scotland.
WP: What does this latest news say about Graham’s progress in the UK market?
PT: Graham is steadily becoming a strong option for the discerning watch lover. Retailers around the UK are recognising that, as the brand overall sell-out performance and product appeal has been constantly raising. The British clientele is currently the main part of our sales, since the brand has developed its presence in Asia and Middle East.
WP: How important is it to have a good personal relationship with someone like Kyron when you work with a new retailer?
PT: Kyron, and the whole of Rox’s team, are knowledgeable, keen and passionate watch insiders, as well as sharp business entrepreneurs. They hold the power of not only perfectly showcasing high-end premium brands, but influencing their clientele of collectors towards the new exciting brands that they introduce.
WP: How did Graham perform in the UK in 2016?
PT: 2016 was our best year since we established our subsidiary, Graham 1695 UK Ltd, in Glenfield, Leicester in the heart of England. Sales were boosted by renewed support from our loyal retailers (William & Son, CW Sellors, Frost, Galio, DC Leake, Andrew Michaels and The Limited Edition). The sales on Geo.Graham’s haute horlogerie also massively helped in both boosting the turnover and creating the luxury perception around the brand.
WP: How have your Baselworld launches been received by retailers and press?
PT: The return was great, both from the aesthetic as well as the commercial point of view. Of course, the market will decide which models will be the 2017 successes, but the new lines all reinforce our product offer at the £3,000 – £7,000 price mark, which is where most of our sales come from. In terms of creativity, Graham did not fail to impress retailers, customers and the press.
WP: More generally, what did you think of the new ‘Les Ateliers’ section in Hall 1.2 in Baselworld?
PT: Les Ateliers was a pleasant discovery. Baselworld 2017 got it absolutely spot on by uniting all the independent watchmakers under the same roof, in a perfect chilled out lounge atmosphere. The overall result was to put everyone at perfect ease and create a relaxed environment, which definitely contributed to the success of the event.
WP: How many more Graham retailers across the UK would you like to announce by the end of the year?
PT: We hope three. We have 10 points of sales at the moment and we are aiming at 15 – 18 maximum across the next two years. Graham is, and will remain, a niche watchmaker, Swiss-British owned, producing Swiss Made premium quality timepieces. The future looks bright indeed.