Backes & Strauss builds team strengthening world-wide partner network

Inside Backes & Strauss's London boutique.
Nick Tolfree.

Nick Tolfree left his role as general manager of the Bucherer-owned Rolex boutique in London’s Knightsbridge in 2019, and is bringing that experience to historic jeweller and watchmaker Backes & Strauss as the company’s new business development manager.

The appointment comes as Backes & Strauss looks to strengthen its global network of retail partners.


Its watches are currently sold in the UK through its own Mayfair boutique and by Frost of London and around 30 other partner outlets world-wide.

Backes & Strauss can trace its history as a master jeweller, gemologist and diamond trader back to 1789 and opened its first London office in 1800.

Today it combines its expertise in diamonds with the watchmaking skills of the Franck Muller Group to produce striking contemporary timepieces.

Vartkess Knadjian.

“We wanted to combine mastery in diamond-cutting with mastery in watchmaking; two crafts requiring a high amount of skill, precision and attention to detail. While searching for a partner watchmaker, Backes & Strauss chose to work with the Franck Muller Group because of its revolutionary creative philosophy of combining tradition with modernity, an attribute Backes & Strauss shares,” explains the company’s chief executive Vartkess Knadjian.

The brand will remain exclusive and rare, and wants only to work with the world’s most prestigious jewellers.

“As an independent brand we have the ability to be creative and innovative with our collections providing our partners the opportunity to offer bespoke pieces to their clients and hosting unique events engaging clients anywhere in the world,” Mr Knadjian says.

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