Britain’s biggest watchmaker, Bremont, will focus its energies on the United States and the United Kingdom for the next three years, ending a period of global expansion that has seen it sign authorised retailers in 20 countries around the world.
The company currently makes around 6000 watches per year at its UK factories in Silverstone and Henley-on-Thames, and aims to increase this to 20,000 or more.
However, that growth in production will not be accompanied by a similar expansion in the number of retailers it works with, even in the UK.
“We really care about our retailers. I go and see them. Why would we go into another country, spend a load of my time travelling, when I get to help my retailer in Oxford to double sales over the next two years. To me it’s a no brainer. This is central to our strategy over the next two years: to make our core markets really work,” Giles English, co-founder of Bremont, told WatchPro.
The strategic decision to focus on its two biggest markets is also behind Bremont’s plans to stop exhibiting at Baselworld this year, and instead launch its 2017 collections in London this month.
The company is taking over a townhouse in Central London from February 27 – March 3, and will invite press and retail partners from the UK and US to the exhibition, and also to tours of its Silverstone and Henley-on-Thames facilities.
“Our retailers have not been going to Basel in the past few years; the US retailers have not been going. So from the two key markets, which are 85% of our revenue, the retailers are not there now,” Mr English says.
Bremont’s three year plan kicked-off in 2016, the year when the company appointed Gareth Morris as its first chief executive. Mr Morris has previously run Dunhill, Hackett and Links of London in the UK.
He has close ties to John Ayton, co-founder of Links of London, who was an early seed investor and is now chairman of Bremont.