Five minutes with: Watches of Switzerland

Which are the most important new watches this year? That’s the question we asked one of the most powerful men in the British watch industry, Brian Duffy, chief executive of Watches of Switzerland, part of Aurum Holdings, the country’s leading luxury watch retailer.

Gentleman’s Journal spoke to him at Watches of Switzerland’s magnificent 155 Regent Street showroom, Europe’s largest store devoted to luxury watches, and asked him for his pick of the two big spring watch fairs, as well as what’s currently shaping the watch landscape.

As well as picks from Rolex, Patek Philippe and Jaeger-LeCoultre, he also talked about the resurgence of Tudor and its zeitgeisty Black Bay Bronze, and Breitling’s innovative Avenger Hurricane, made of a new material called Breitlight.

‘The two fairs were fantastic and our team came away spending more money than they had in previous years, which is always a good sign,’ says Mr Duffy in the interview.

The watch retail landscape has changed significantly over the last 10 years – it’s been a battle of the brands to secure Mayfair retail space for their own boutiques. Beautiful though these are, there’s no escaping the fact they don’t offer a choice of brands. One of the great advantages of Watches of Switzerland is that it offers a wide range of brands and independent, impartial advice, something it’s been doing since 1924 when it was founded in London.

It also offers a full suite of servicing and repairs. In fact, drop into 155 Regent Street store and you’ll find a number of on-site watchmakers who can talk you through what’s involved in a service, or help diagnose a fault in person, where most jewelers will simply send it away to a service centre.

Anyway, for now, enjoy the film, gorge on some of the world’s most beautiful new timepieces, and then visit your nearest Watches of Switzerland showroom to try them out for size.

Join Watches of Switzerland for the Basel & Geneva Exhibition at 155 Regent Street on 28-31 July.


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