Swedish watch winder manufacturer Wolf is making a return to the UK market this week with an appearance at trade exhibition Jewellery & Watch Birmingham.
The business has been steadily building in the US and Asia, where it has more than 3,500 stockists, and offers watch winders retailing from £300 to £1,860. Its star product this year is the Viceroy Collection of winders for automatic watches that have new cuff designs that lock into the winder drum to accommodate heavier and bigger watches.
We speak to Wolf director Simon Wolf about the brand’s return and plans for growth in the UK and beyond.
WatchPro: What prompted Wolf to return to the UK?
Simon Wolf: Wolf is now entrenched in the American market. We are the go-to brand for retailers and consumers alike. The UK is consistently in the top 10 countries importing automatics from Switzerland. We make a winder and watch box that pound for pound is the best product and best value on the market
WP: Why did your company drop out of the UK market?
SW: I was in the USA and my father retired, so I invested all my time developing this market.
WP: Is the UK’s return to economic growth a factor, or do Wolf’s plans pre-date the banking crash and worldwide recession?
SW: It certainly helped the decision-making process.
WP: What specific growth areas within the market is Wolf targeting?
SW: Our appeal is broad, from the watch collector just getting started to a seasoned collector with 10s of watches. Our focus is to provide a quality watch winder that is technically advanced but easy to use – something that a consumer is hard-pressed to find in UK now.
WP: To what do you attribute Wolf’s success in the US and other markets, and are there similarities between these and the UK market?
SW: For the last 25 years we have concentrated on being relevant to our customer. You have to make a product that people aspire to, want, need or as is often the case has a function that makes their life easier, more ordered. We never lose sight of our relevance to our customer.
WP: Do you have plans to expand into Europe once established in the UK?
SW: Yes, we are already working to set up a network of distributors.