International stores, movie appearances, sponsorship of the Americas Cup: it’s little wonder that Bremont’s Nick and Giles English find themselves in the ‘Power Players’ category of this year’s Hot 100.
Henley-on-Thames is where the company’s watch-makers assemble its beautiful mechanical timepieces that have catapulted the brand to international stardom, but Silverstone is where it makes the parts and so, as the brothers take their places in front of their manufacturing kit for their Hot 100 photo, it is only natural that they reflect on what the facility means to them.
Nick regards the continued delivery of watch parts from the site as a huge statement about its business. “It is no small undertaking deciding to make your watch cases and some movement parts in the UK,” he says. “It takes a huge amount of time and energy, and I am immensely proud of the team there. Other notable achievements over the last year included being asked to be the Timing Partner – the first British one since 1851 – for sailing’s Americas Cup, and the continued building of a great management team at Bremont capable of helping take the company to the next level.”
Fostering a healthy UK retail distribution network of top retailers and the ongoing growth of its global military business have also been a cause for celebration, according to Giles, who cites the pace of change that the internet is having on business as a major industry trend that it must keep abreast of. “We are in a rapidly changing world and you have to keep ahead of the game,” he says.
Great growth brings great challenges and if there is one lesson the duo has learned as the business has expanded it’s that systems become important. “When you are a smaller company you can get away with a lot but, as you grow, visibility and control over every single aspect of the business remains critical, and proper systems are required to achieve it,” says Nick. “It sounds boring, but you can never introduce these things early enough – it gets more expensive the longer you leave it!”
It would be easy for the pair to light up the cigars, sit back and reflect on the progress that Bremont has made, but the English brother are not ones to rest on their laurels. They are set on conquering the US, however long it takes them and, closer to home, are determined to be the poster boys for UK watch parts manufacturing. “Britain lost a huge amount of manufacturing capability for watch making over the past 100 years and as a company we are utterly focused on bringing part of it back to these shores,” declares Nick.