HIGHLY COMMENDED: WatchPro’s Watches to Watch, William L. 1985

William L. is the creation of entrepreneur Guillame Laidet, who began his horological career at Zenith before moving to Jaeger LeCoultre and then leaving to launch his own company.

A round of crowdfunding last year raised €192,000 in a month and caught the eye of a Paris-based angel investor who pumped in an additional €1 million.

The investment and support allowed Mr Laidet to put 40 SKUs of a debut collection into production and start speaking to distributors, which led to a partnership with AFH Distribution in the UK.

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The watches are inspired Mr Laidet’s love of a 1950s vintage chronograph, and led him to create a modern chronograph collection based on the vintage design.

They compete in the sub-£199 market, and appeal to people looking for retro design watches at bargain price points.

Models include two sizes of chronographs, a vintage calendar and a vintage chronograph.

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