Nick English, Co-Founder, Bremont, Brand of Tomorrow Alumni 2007,
Nick English, born and raised in Cambridge, graduated with a First in Geography from Manchester University in 1993. During his teen years, he spent many hours flying and displaying historic aircraft with his father Euan, and his brother Giles, and he also flew with the RAF as an undergraduate.
Nick the qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 1996 and then went on to work at a Corporate Finance boutique called Henry Ansbacher in the City. These years were interrupted by a horrific vintage plane crash in 1995 whilst practising for an air-display in which his father, Euan, died and Nick broke over 25 bones. This was really a tipping point in Nick and his brothers’ lives and they left the City in 1997 to restore and maintain historic aircraft in a business their father had set-up as a hobby.
Whilst surrounded by these historic aircraft Nick and Giles set up a secure digital media distribution business in 1999 called Virtue Broadcasting Plc, which they took public in 2001.
It was in 2002 that the brothers decided to follow one of their 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 workshop and start developing mechanical watches and The Bremont Watch Company was born. The watches, all of which were chronometers, took five years of development to get them to the stage where the brothers were happy and it was in July 2007 when the first watches were sold in the UK. The watches are now sold all over the work through high-end jewellers and Bremont’s own boutiques. The brand has won numerous awards and prides itself on manufacturing the watches on British shores.
In order to be a successful luxury entrepreneur what pieces of advice you would give?
Make sure the product you are bringing to market is right. Don’t rush to market if it isn’t, you will end up regretting it.
Invest in good PR. If you have to cut anything, don’t cut PR.
Make sure you have a real passion for what you are trying to achieve. There will inevitably be highs and lows along the journey and passion will help you through.
What are the most important lessons you have learned along your journey?
Continue to keep true to your brand. Temptations will cross your path along the way and only embark on them if they are bang on brand. Focus, focus and focus.
What are the watch outs along the way?
Think carefully about your funding arrangements early on. Is it a business you want to grow organically and possibly more slowly, or perhaps get other investment in? This will play a large part in how the business is managed at a later date. Entry costs into the luxury sector are not insignificant and so think carefully about this. What do you want your business to look like in 10 years’ time?
When started out who was your biggest inspiration? And what did they tell you that helped make you a success?
I have two individuals who have, in business, helped inspire me enormously along the way. One was our father who, although no longer with us but at the same time is with us every day, and the other is my brother Giles. I could never have done this without either. Our father was just an incredible inspiration to us from day dot, and Giles has been the best rock to me along this very exciting and sometimes complex journey.