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HOT 100 BRAND CHAMPIONS: WOLF CEO Simon Wolf

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Practicality married with superior design: this is the modus operandi of WOLF, purveyor of watch winders and cases since 1834.

It is also the personal mantra of current chief executive Simon Wolf, who is an accomplished woodworker and can often be found in his home workshop making a useful wooden item for his own home.

As Simon likes to say: “Only make it if it makes sense.”

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This is a sentiment he will be carrying into his next set of designs launching in the second half of this year.

“The WOLF brand is synonymous with superlative design that isn’t just ‘a nice thing’ but technically does something incredibly useful,” he says.

This could be a watch winder that counts turns per day to ensure accuracy, or winders with lock-in cuffs that keep timepieces safe and secure.

Simon runs his fifth-generation business from Sussex in the United Kingdom, and grew up in the British countryside, but has spent much time in the United States, emigrating to Chicago in 1988 at the age of 23, and later moving to Los Angeles.

“I hadn’t a clue what I was doing,” he remembers.

“I picked up my sample bags, tucked my head down and started traveling North America. No opportunity was too small, no customer not worth visiting.”

WOLF now has a thriving business in the US, supported by a team of like-minded people.

“To be able to sustain the meteoric growth that we have experienced has meant each department has had to step up and step up again,” says Simon.

“Without fail, they all have. It’s the team that I have built that is my best achievement.”

Building such a strong team means that Simon has now been able to move back to to the UK without it compromising the continued growth of Wolf in the US.

“I am finally home, surrounded by nature and wildlife,” he says. “I love to garden; we grow much of our own vegetables and fruit. I spend hours in my workshop with tools, wood and Brian, our cat.”

That being said, Simon isn’t quite ready to quit the watch scene altogether for the good life: “Spending time with as many customers, face to face, is top of our list [in the year to come]. Meeting and being together, there’s simply no substitute.”

Click here to find out more about WOLF.

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