Anneke Short and Jerome Robert, founders of the Camden Watch Company
The independent British watchmaker is gearing up for a busy year as it increases its presence in the US and the Far East.
The Camden Watch Company is set to create more jobs and expand into new markets this year as UK exports continue to soar.
The independent watchmaker has been growing in strides since its launch in 2012, growing by approximately 200% year-on-year.
Launched by Swiss-trained watchmakers Anneke Short and Jerome Robert, the company started life as a website, using social media to market the brand.
Proud Camdenites, the pair took their fascination with the Borough’s Victorian past and embedded it into every aspect of the brand.
From the Victorian pocket watch inspired No. 29, taken from the town’s renowned railway heritage, to the turquoise-blue seconds hand of the No. 88, based on the iconic ‘Camden Lock’ bridge, every design has a unique touch of Camden.
This British heritage has proved hugely popular with customers and has helped the pair attract customers from across the globe, with customers from as far as Japan and the USA purchasing watches from their website just weeks after its launch.
The company now employs seven people, has its own flagship store at Stables Market in the heart of Camden and recently opened up a second store at Boxpark Shoreditch.
Anneke told BQ: “Last year we opened a second store in London, attended more events and continued to grow our social media following, but mostly, the company has grown through word of mouth.
“The majority of our customers have been sent to us via existing customers, and that’s something that no amount of marketing money can buy.”
This has also helped the company not only increase footfall in its stores, but also expand its footprint overseas. And looking forward, Anneke sees no signs of the company’s overseas growth slowing.
She added: “Our international customer base has been growing ever since we began and this year it really took off, it was especially noticeable at Christmas time.
“In terms of our website, our second biggest market outside of the UK is the US, followed closely by France.
“This is especially interesting as we do zero marketing internationally, apart from in Japan and Taiwan where we retail our watches.
“That is the power that word of mouth has, it is really is helping us grow the business.”
The company also launched a successful crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter late last year which overfunded by a whopping 272%, raising just short of £50,000.
This funded the opening of a new office in the Old Spectacle Factory in Camden and helped the firm land a deal with a new distributor in Taiwan.
With all of these developments, Anneke is anticipating a busy and exciting year for the Camden Watch Company, and also for herself and Jerome.
“Following on from our Kickstarter, we’ll be launching our range of automatics which is very exciting,” she added.
“We also have our eyes on a few locations for more stores, we have some really exciting new collaborations and some great events lined up this year.
“And on a personal note, after being together for 14 years Jerome and I will be getting married this year, just to add more to do to an already busy year!”
Congratulations Anneke and Jerome, from all at BQ!