When you tell people that they have been nominated into a list of the top 100 people in their industry, they mostly react in the same way. It’s a surprise, an honour, they say. And that’s good. It’s the right way to respond. But when Paul Thurlow says it, it simply rings just that little bit truer.
“If I am honest this whole thing has come as quite a surprise, although a very pleasant one,” he says. “Here at Oris we don’t really do the award thing, and just get on with our work, so it is great to hear that your hard work hasn’t gone unrecognised.”
And that’s true. Oris – and Paul – do just get on with it. No fuss, just simple honest, earnest hard work. Thurlow has been with Oris since 1999 and he’s still grateful to them for giving him a chance. He had started his career in the watch and jewellery business back in 1976 with a trainee managership at H Samuel in Stockton-on-Tees and progressed through several management roles at high street jewellers.
He says he would have liked to get into the watch side of the trade much earlier but no-one had been willing to take a chance on employing someone from retail in a wholesale role. Until Oris. He says he hasn’t looked back since.
“It is quite a different way of life compared to the retailing side of our business but I believe the rules are the same. We must endeavour to provide our customers with the best quality service and support.”
With all that shopfloor experience he certainly understands retail and he has been instrumental in establishing the brand as a household name here.
He politely shrugs off the compliment, choosing instead to highlight the work of his UK team, including the “more than capable” Darren Smith. “We have split the country in half. Darren takes the top and I have the bottom.” And he is also keen to remind us that Oris has had a presence in the UK since well before the First World War.
And what does the future hold? “I think more of the same. I am very happy in the Oris family and look forward to the future. We are only 109 years old, but there is so much more that we have to achieve.”
Oris UK sales manager Paul Thurlow 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.