The favoured watch brand of the Russian Airforce is following President Putin with its own foray into Eastern Europe.
In a month that saw the reclamation of Crimea, Russia’s Nesterov brand was in Basel plotting its own global expansion.
Nesterov is at Baselworld, alongside RFS watches, both of which are owned by a large Russian retail group.
Nesterov produces around 20,000 watches per year, while it’s more fashion-led stablemate, RFS, has an output of 50,000 pieces.
The company hopes Basel will give it a springboard into Western Europe, including the UK, WatchPro was told. Nesterov is already at an advanced stage with plans to go on sale in Italy this year. The country will join the USA and Japan, which already have Nesterov distributors.
"We know the UK will be tough for a brand like ours to break into but, with the right partner, we hope it will be possible soon," a spokesman said.