Gavin Crilly-McKean kicked off this year by swapping the Netherlands for the southeast of England, moving his family back to England after time spent living in The Hague, working for Timex.
As his beat covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where he lays his hat is less important than a have-passport-will-travel attitude. However being based in the UK again will help with Timex’s plans to have a “laser focus” on the watch market here.
While they might get less cycling time in Windsor –“living in the Netherlands, cycling becomes part of your every day life” – the Crilly-McKeans have turned their outdoors attentions to walking, which is why we find ourselves shooting at The Long Walk, a two-mile tree-lined trek between the gates of Windsor Castle and the Bronze Horse monument.
“I like the obvious metaphor of seeing your goal in the distance and getting there,” says Crilly-McKean. “We are very lucky to live near such a fabulous place and thoroughly enjoy it.”
When it comes to professional goals, the UK features very heavily for Timex after a period of what Crilly-McKean describes as “tremendous growth”.
“We will make the UK a key long-term investment market to really increase on our early successes, developing key partnerships with independent multiple and digital retailers that can accelerate our growth,” he says, listing the Heritage, Trend and Expedition collections as particularly strong lines over the past year. “We have completed a global segmentation strategy for the business to really give a greater focus, ensuring the right product is in the right retail at the right time, creating more sales, less diffusion and greater ROI for our partners, and it’s working.”
The next few months will be all about “investing aggressively in the UK and accelerating our distribution growth plans”. With that will come an all-encompassing workload for Crilly-McKean, but if it all gets too stressful he’ll simply retreat to family life for some essential grounding, and perhaps a stroll round the castle.