The 2015 WatchPro Hot 100 was revealed tonight at a sparkling party attended by over 400 watch business VIPs.
The event, co-hosted by Principal Partner Swarovski, welcomed a glittering guest list representing the cream of retailers, wholesalers and brands from the British watch industry.
The WatchPro Hot 100, now in its third year, switched venue to The Roof Gardens, Kensington, and with the help of Swarovski, created a glamorous garden party atmosphere inside and outside the venue.
This year’s WatchPro Hot 100 once again reflects the incredible quality and diversity of the British watch industry. WatchPro magazine broadened its selection criteria to allow the inclusion stellar executives who are too rarely recognised for their impact on sales and profits for their companies.
Faye Soteri, Lisa Broun and Michelle Aherne, vital members of the buying team at Aurum Holdings, are a classic example. Their names will not be familiar outside the community of WatchPro readers, but collectively they are key contributors to the selection of watches for UK power retailers Watches of Switzerland, Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb.
Colin Lee, director of sales at Burton McCall, is another exceptional pick by the WatchPro team as a Brand Champion. Colin is charged with the future growth of the watch distributor that oversees the UK presence for prestigious Swiss brands Victorinox, Mondaine and Luminox.
“Everybody who has made it into the WatchPro Hot 100 in the past three years has given exceptional service to their businesses and to the industry, and this year is just the same. But I love that we have dug a little deeper to find executives that are driving success from the heart of their companies, not just from the very top,” explains James Buttery, editor of WatchPro.
Extraordinary British spirit was shown by guests to reach the party, which kicked off at the exact time the London Underground was brought to a standstill by striking rail workers.
“I want to thank our guests for the stoic effort to reach tonight’s WatchPro Hot 100 party, and I am delighted we could repay their efforts with such an amazing event,” said Buttery.
“The event would not have been half as successful without the generous support of our commercial partners and sponsors,” added Daniel Malins, event director for the Hot 100.
These partners also added to the importance of the Hot 100 event for the watch industry.
Principal Partner Swarovski used the night to introduce its autumn/winter watch collection and new creative campaign starring Miranda Kerr to the industry – and to make a statement that this is the year when its watch business is given equal footing with its jewellery and crystal operations.
Mondaine became the first Swiss watchmaker to launch its own smartwatch in the UK. The Helvetica 1 looks and behaves like a regular wristwatch, but hidden technology allows it to collect data through its case back, and communicate it back to a smartphone.
Anne Klein used the night to celebrate its hugely successful partnership with distributor TLKE, which has driven up sales for the fashion watch brand to unprecedented levels in the past two years thanks to the professionalism and hard work of a fast-growing network of retailers.
Bransom talked to guests about the latest improvements to its bsmart electronic point of sale system, including its Data Sharing Service, which enables watch suppliers to quickly and automatically distribute key product data such as descriptions, images and pricing, saving retailers many hours of data entry and protecting brand identity and integrity.