Cousins UK wants watch and jewellery servicing to be simple, quick and painless for retailers and their customers.
For 45 years, the company has been supplying the trade with millions of component parts for watch and clock brands, along with tools, equipment, consumables and jewellery findings.
The company will be promoting its nationwide products and services at this year’s London Watch Show, and aims to educate trade professionals about how to profit from a well run watch and jewellery workshop.
Cousins UK’s appearance at the London Watch Show comes at a crucial time for watch brands, and the retailers that service their timepieces.
Anthony Cousins, managing director of Cousins UK says Swatch Group will start restricting the supply of Omega watch parts to unauthorised service centres at the end of next year, which may force customers to send their watches away to get them repaired. This situation, Cousins argues, is unnecessarily complicated and time consuming.
Cousins says the company will use the London Watch Show to meet existing and new customers, and to “raise awareness of the increasing Swiss watch part unavailability and the recent Swatch Group announcement of no more Omega parts post December 2015.”
“It is unacceptable that when an owner of a Swiss watch requires a service, repair or just a battery replacement they are faced with having to go through the brand agent (the retail jeweller selling the brand) resulting in them having to wait months and face a disproportionate financial charge due to the watch having to be sent back to the watch brand. It has never been more important to communicate and network and to prevent the gross underestimation of the very high level of service the independent wholesalers and repairers provide in support of their brands,” Cousins argues.
The difficulties facing watch customers are particularly extreme in the UK because there are not enough qualified horologists being trained in this country, despite the efforts of the British School of Watchmakers, Cousins asserts. “The school is not designed and will never address the wider shortage issue that the whole trade suffers from,” he says.
Cousins hopes that the London Watch Show will stimulate this debate, and lead to a more open discussion about the challenges facing the British watch industry.
The London Watch Show takes place at Freemasons’ Hall on July 6-7. Over 50 exhibitors will present their latest watch collections. There will also be a lively seminar programme where watch professionals can meet and discuss their challenges.