Richard is appearing in the WatchPro Hot 100 for a second consecutive year. In 2014, it was Hoptroff’s technical and creative excellence that secured him a berth when he unveiled the world’s first atomic wristwatch among other inventions.
This year, the London brand has been making waves for its business success. “You could point to our technical achievements, but for me the real progress has been on the business side, starting to get retail traction in the UK and France, and the fact that other watchmakers are starting to design our movements into their watches,” Richard tells us.
The question of what makes a watch brand British is evoking fierce debate right now, but there is no doubt Hoptroff is among the closest to delivering just that. “We want to shift the centre of gravity away from Switzerland and towards London. Not just the branding, but the engineering leadership,” Richard explains.
That requires a huge investment in people, and considerable talent at blending the skills of those people into a successful company. “The biggest thing is the team culture; the devotion to excellence in all aspects from technical innovation to aesthetics. It’s not so much driven through as nurtured,” Richard describes.
That team, which includes his wife as a partner in the business, is determined to restore London’s historic reputation as a centre of watchmaking excellence. “London is the town I love, and where our timepieces are made; the seat of democracy, without which none of this would be possible,” he concludes.