An emerging watch brand, created in the boom town of Dubai, is expanding across Europe and heading for the UK, according to its managing director Feras Al Hussni.
The B360 watch company launched its first collection in 2010, but is already present in 20 stores world-wide including several countries in the Middle East and the Czech Republic.
This year, B360 will open branded stores in Berlin and Toronto, and the UK is on the company’s radar as part of a Western Europe expansion plan.
B360’s strategy is to open its own stores that fully represent all aspects of the brand. Some are owned by the company, others are opened with partners.
“We must open our own store in London,” Al Hussni tells WatchPro when we met at Baselworld. “It is a key market for us and part of our European expansion plan.”
Like many great entrepreneurial stories, B360 benefited as much from luck as judgement in its early days. Al Hussni decided he was going to make a watch to celebrate National Day in the United Arab Emirates, so he designed a £30 wristwatch that featured the UAE national flag.
He hired a temporary stand in one of Dubai’s glittering shopping malls and started selling the single design. “In 12 days, we sold 5000 watches. My mother, by brother, my wife were all helping out because the watches were selling so fast,” he recalls.
From that explosive start, B360 has expanded its portfolio to several collections. Many flags around the world feature on its B-Proud collection. A capsule collection of watches featuring messages of love, called B-Mine, were created for Valentine’s Day.
The focus at Baselworld is on a collection called B-Unique, which are watches with individually hand-painted faces. “Each watch is a one-off, so customers know that there will never be another one like it in the world,” Al Hussni explains.