Wildly different retail companies, selling predominately online, show the diversity of the watch business ecosystem in Britain today.
Richemont-owned Watchfinder, which has a growing empire of brick and mortar stores for its pre-owned watch business was only narrowly beaten into second place by Watchshop, which is owned by Apollo Global Management, the private equity group that recently took The Watches of Switzerland Group public.
GfK data shows ecommerce sales stalling in the UK, but will not be tracking the likes of Germany-based Chronext and Chrono24 or startup specialists like Chronohunter. These companies, operating in parallel to the authorised dealer networks, are adding a new dimension to the market.
Watchshop won the Award and, having spent time with the company’s chief executive Robin Phillips learning about the sophistication of its ecommerce and logistics platform, it is a worthy winner in a diverse category.
Niels Möller, CEO of category sponsor Mondaine, flew in for the ceremony to present the trophy to the Watchshop team along with Colin Lee, UK director of sales.
Executives at watch brands were asked in an invitation-only poll to give their views on the quality of retailers in a short list of finalists. A weighted score (shown in brackets alongside the retailers’ names) is given to each choice of ‘Very Good’, ‘Excellent’ and ‘Exceptional’ to decide the winner.