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HOT 100 TRAILBLAZERS: Jonathan Barker, director, The Watch Lab


Having spent 15 years building The Watch Lab and growing it into a national chain, co-founders Jonathan Barker and his brother Jeremy knew it was time to take the brand to a new level. Homing the business with Aurum Group became Jonathan’s greatest business achievement of the past year.

“After a 15-month sales process where investment companies, numerous large retail chains and even Swiss watch houses all signed NDAs, we knew the company had value and was unique. But with its size, market share and influence in the watch industry, we knew that Aurum would be the perfect home for The Watch Lab,” he explains.

Jonathan attributes his career achievements to ‘dogged determination’. Over the past year in particular, he has learned the importance of following and having faith in one’s dreams – but remaining humble in success.


“Selling a business doesn’t make you better than someone else; just different,” he points out. “After all, being in business is not easy and we have made our fair share of mistakes en-route. I think the key is to self-critique, listen to others, learn from your mistakes, continue to achieve what you set out to do and never to give up.”

For the years ahead, Jonathan is eager to continue to apply this logic to his role at The Watch Lab, under the new Aurum banner.

“My main goal is to help Aurum Group make The Watch Lab the biggest and most accessible watch repair business in the UK – and enjoy the journey too! I would also like to learn about and be involved in other parts of the business – for example, jewellery fascinates me. Bring it on!” he enthuses.

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