Nick English’s dream dinner party would be attended by a round up of very British understated swashbucklers including David Attenborough, Sir Francis Chichester, Spitfire designer R J Mitchell, Douglas Bader, David Niven, and his father.
He would not be daunted by their company. He is a gracious award winner, a pilot and just a little bit cheeky (this year’s biggest regret? “Get my brother working a little more, perhaps?”). Certainly there is something of the Boys’ Own adventure about him.
But along with brother Giles English, the duo are intelligently understated, committing Bremont to the sort of steady growth more fizzy types might call organic.
He says they are very conscious about not over stretching themselves. Nonetheless, from their base in the distinguished locale of Henley-on-Thames the pair now export their brand of horological Englishness (and how serendipitous is their surname?) to more than 100 retail doors around the world, now including the US, Asia and Middle East.
And this year has seen a significant leap forward with the setting up of a new workshop facility in Henley, and there will be more developments in this direction. “For us now it will all be about movement and component manufacture and bringing more of this home to the UK,” says Nick. “The challenge we have as a brand is that we manufacture too many watches to adapt an artisan approach to watchmaking, and therefore any steps we take in movement manufacture, for example, have to be scalable and it is very easy to underestimate the sheer investment required to do it well.”
Watches manufactured in Britain by the English brothers, sprinkled with the duo’s spirit of adventure – surely that alone deserves a place in the WatchPro Hot 100? “It is a real honour,” says Nick. “There are some incredible very respectable watch brands out there, I believe there are over 700 Swiss Watch brands alone, so to be included in this list is fantastic.”
Fantastic and absolutely deserved.
Bremont founders Nick and Giles Englsih were Entrepreneurs in the WatchPro Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.