There are two good reasons why Colin Lee chose to have his Hot 100 photoshoot take place at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
The first is that his father was stationed at the air base in 1970 so the location has a very personal place in his heart, and the second is that his time in the watch industry has afford him the opportunity to spend time with pilots and engineers who are extremely passionate about their jobs.
“These ‘typhoon’ jets cost around £100m and are on constant call ready to escort (or shoot down) any plane entering UK airspace deemed to be a security threat,” says Colin, surveying his surroundings. “They are also involved in so many things globally that you just can’t help but be inspired. I spent my early years as a family in the RAF, so it’s fitting that I could take this amazing photo connecting inspirational people such as my father and the pilots at Coningsby.”
As it happens, Burton McCall has been on the sort of upwards trajectory that an adrenaline-fuelled fighter pilot would be proud of, picking up new distributorships to strengthen its impressive Swiss-led portfolio, including Wenger at the beginning of this year. “It was important for Wenger to find a suitable successful UK partner as they have made a huge investment in re-launching the brand and our achievements with our other brands made us the perfect match in their eyes,” reflects the director of sales for timepieces.
Mondaine SBB also continues to thrive off the back of another record year in turnover and units under Burton McCall’s stewardship. “The UK is a hugely important strategic market for the brand and each year it is a head-to-head competition with Switzerland for the number one market,” he says.
Given all this, it’s little surprise that other brands hungry for a slice of the UK market have approached the firm with a view to tying up an agreement. Colin likes to regard such moves as a reflection of how the company does business. “I always like my team to be seen as ‘professional nice guys’ and we pride ourselves on the close relationships we have with all of our retail customers. I see this as a great complement and a great business achievement.”
So what’s next for the business? Well, the number one objective remains unchanged: deliver yearly sustainable growth while widening the availability of its brands to consumers. “We will do this by working with quality retailers and offer usual enthusiastic professional approach alongside quality POS and marketing campaign,” states Colin. “We will continue to carry ourselves in a manner that will further enhance our reputation as a key player in the UK Swiss-made watch distribution.”