Just in time to celebrate its first 100 years of watchmaking Seiko can look back on a stonking 12 months, and it’s been all about the Astron. The GPS solar watches have launched to success and acclaim, selling more than twice as much as initial targets projected.
Nick Jackson has been the man at the helm. “It is something totally new for Seiko and the watch market as a whole so that has been brilliant,” he says, quickly adding that it has been just one of the high points of his very full year. Most recently was BaselWorld 2013. “The Seiko stand was completely reinvented this year and was loved by everyone that we welcomed there. It was a pleasure to be part of it.”
The other major highlight was raising more than £4,000 for Movember with his Seiko teammates.
While undoubtedly worthy, his charity work is far from the most impressive figure Nick and his team managed to post
He says that Seiko’s market share increased by 23.7% in volume and 13.1% in value, adding that this hike came in a market that declined in volume by 9% and only increased in value by 3.3%, which proves not just incredible growth but on Nick’s part an impressive handle on the market.
“I think that this shows the strength of the brand heritage, and that consumers are seeing the value in the product. Our ladies’ range saw particularly impressive growth in market share, in a year dominated by the fashion brands, or one in particular. Where competitor brands’ market share declined, as did the general market by 13.8%, we increased our share by 13.1%.” He credits a strong product offering, fantastic PoS and great retail support.
And the Astron, which was crucial to it all, will be a key part of the future. “We have a new collection available from July onwards. This includes stainless steel bracelets, ceramic inserts, and a special limited edition.” The limited edition is part of the brand’s 100 years of watchmaking celebrations and Nick says it “holds the original Seiko ‘S’ logo and our founder Kintaro Hattori’s motto ‘always one step ahead of the rest’.” It will be supported by new display, PoS and increased advertising investment, so we can expect to see much more of the Astron and the centenarian brand behind it this year.
Seiko UK national accounts sales manager Nick Jackson was a CMJ Brand Champion in the WatchPro Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.