Giles English, the co-founder of Bremont Watch Company was in Sydney last week to meet with the British luxury brand’s first Australian stockist, Gregory Jewellers, and customers as well as fashion and lifestyle press.
Speaking to Jewellery World, English said the brand, which he founded with his brother Nick in 2002, was gradually establishing an international reputation for its quality timepieces.
The brand, which manufactures around 7000 mechanical watches from its base in Henley on Thames, is currently stocked in 40 stores in the UK as well as in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and China.
English said he was pleased with the brand’s gradual growth as “we are not a fashion watch, we are not an aspirational brand.”
“Our brand is a long-term proposition for our retailers and our end-customers.
“The brand’s typical customer is generally a male who has purchased at least one luxury watch – it is not for someone trying to have an aspirational brand to say ‘I’ve made it’.”
He said that although the brand “lacks the history” of some watchmakers, it did benefit from England’s reputation as the home of quality luxury brands such as Jaguar as well at its own quality/background story and credibility with military squadrons around the world.
“Our watches appeal to those who have passion for, and appreciation of, the innovation and mastery behind a beautiful mechanical wristwatch.
“In addition the lack of shackles to history means we can be innovative in our marketing and don’t just have to rely on history and a celebrity to promote the brand.
“For example many pilots are doing a brilliant job promoting the brand by posting photos of their watch at high altitudes on social media.”
English said that when he and his brother decided to pursue their dream of being a watch manufacturer they had the option to buy an established English brand but chose not to.
“Although it seems more risky to start our own brand we decided that if we took on an existing heritage brand we would be living a slight lie – we wanted to manufacture and sell something that we designed and created.”
Bremont watches were launched into Gregory Jewellers’ flagship store in Sydney’s Castlereagh Street in October and will be soon be launched in Perth’s yet-to-be-opened The Horologist.
English said Bremont has received a great deal of interest from Australians since its launch.
“Australia is consistently one of the highest countries in terms of volume of web traffic to Bremont.com,” he said.
“I think the classical style and rugged design of our mechanical watches have a strong appeal to the Australian man.
English concluded that he was confident Bremont would continue to grow in the UK and internationally as it had already “made a substantial impact in the watch industry in a very short time”.
In 2008 Bremont was named the Best British Emerging Luxury Brand’ by Walpole and recently won the ‘Watch Brand of 2013’ at the UK Jewellery Awards.