A Timeless & Continuing Journey
13th February 2019 Paul Andrews
Nick English, one half of the sibling partnership that followed a dream and created a luxury, global watch brand, will share their timeless journey at The Great British Family Business Conference in March.
The co-founder of the British luxury watch brand, Bremont, Nick English is a keynote speaker with not only an impressive business knowledge and a real passion for entrepreneurship and manufacturing in the UK, but with an emotive backstory that makes all sit up and listen.
Having been told it could never be done on British shores, and without a 100 year history behind the brand, Nick and his brother Giles battled the odds to set-up and grow a mechanical watch brand to become one of the most sought after in the industry.
Nick talks with immense passion about the role Great Britain has played in watch-making over the centuries, and how we had it all and then lost it during the inter-war years., and more importantly, about the journey Bremont has played in the reinvigoration of this once large industry in Britain.
Extraordinarily, Bremont has managed to do this in a sea of Swiss luxury watch giants, by manufacturing its own components to microns in tolerance, to training a new workforce in watch making, to the marketing of a new brand which has won countless awards around the world. How did Bremont beat the odds? The answer is Bremont told a story.
Nick is not a great one for relaxation and he certainly lives the brand. When he is not full throttle with Bremont he can be found flying and displaying historic wartime aircraft, riding motorbikes across Africa, restoring cars in his workshop or just loving spending time with his wife Catherine and their three children in Oxfordshire.
Nick English (48), born and raised in Cambridge, graduated with a First in Geography from Manchester University in 1993. Nick and his brother Giles grew up spending countless hours with their father Euan in his workshop restoring and making things, from planes, cars, boats and clocks. During his teen years he also spent many hours flying and displaying historic aircraft with his father and brother, and he also flew with the RAF as an under-graduate.
Nick qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 1996 and then went on to work at a Corporate Finance boutique in the City.
These years were interrupted by a horrific vintage plane crash in 1995 whilst practicing for an air-display in which his father, Euan, died and Nick broke over 30 bones. Nick was in intensive care for weeks whilst Giles, three years younger, held the family together. This was really a tipping point in Nick and his brother’s lives and they left the City in 1997 to restore and maintain historic aircraft.
Life was suddenly short. Whilst surrounded by these historic aircraft, with their insatiable entrepreneurial spirit, Nick and Giles set up a secure digital media distribution business in 1999 called Virtue Broadcasting Plc, which they took public in 2001. Streaming video as pioneers in an industry in its infancy.
It was in 2002, after they sold the business, that the brothers decided to follow one of their true main passions in life – mechanical watches. Fully appreciative of the role Great Britain had played in the evolution of horology over the centuries, they embarked on the bold decision to set up a work-shop and start developing mechanical watches and The Bremont Watch Company was born. The watches, all of which are chronometers tested, took five years of design, development and testing to get to the stage where the brothers were happy to launch, and it was in July 2007 when the first Bremont time pieces were sold in the UK.
With their extensive knowledge of digital content distribution, the brothers set to in telling their remarkable backstory through not only the traditional media channels, but the new social media outlets still shunned by the watch luxury giants.
Bremont has done something that nobody thought was possible. A brand that finds Jaguar, Boeing and the Ministry of Defence as exclusive partners, a brand that saw it become the first Timing Partner of The Americas Cup since 1861, a brand that is worn by the biggest of film stars. It is a story worth listening to.
The time pieces are now sold all over the world through high-end jewelers and several of Bremont’s own boutiques. The brand has won numerous awards and prides itself on manufacturing the watches on British shores, and is worn by the likes of Tom Cruise, Orlando Bloom and Tom Hardy. Bremont is an engineering company, a watch maker, a retailer and marketing organization.
Want to find out more and hear the rest of the story, join us in London for The Great British Family Business Conference 2019. Find out more here