Bremont has launched a new watchmaking facility in Henley-on-Thames, South Oxfordshire, taking a further step towards moving its production to the UK.
The custom built space, housed in an oak-framed building in the heart of the Chiltern Valley, marks the first stage in the company's plan to bring further manufacturing capabilities to the country, with sights set on building a complete movement on a commercial level in the near future.
"Building watches is very complex both in terms of engineering and in terms of stock, and building a new headquarters enables us to streamline and make our business considerably more efficient than a split Swiss/UK relationship," explains Bremont's co-founder Giles English. "We can also install British working practices that we have more control over. The new HQ will allow us to grow at a level we can control production wise."
For now, Bremont has created a setting that will nurture homegrown expertise, whilst still maintaining ties with Switzerland. The new base will welcome a selection of experienced watchmakers and trainees to work on assembling and finishing cases, movements and complete watches.
"All the watchmakers are from the UK and have built up their experience working for some of the major watch companies. We are offering the ability for watchmakers to build new watches rather than just repair broken watches. We are also growing our engineering infrastructure by recruiting mechanical engineers."
Following the successful launch of its Mayfair boutique, which has already turned a profit in its first year, the new facility in Henley - the birthplace of Bremont - will further reinforce the brand's strong identity.
"We have always been a British company and carried out work on the watches in the UK but this enables us to produce everything here," says English. "Naturally it helps with our heritage and makes the message simpler to understand but we are not doing it for a branding exercise. We want to build the best watches for the price point wherever they are made. This new facility allows us to do this."
And, after all, "what could be more quintessentially British than Henley-on-Thames?!"
Further information: www.bremont.com