Watches of Switzerland’s SoHo storefront. COURTESY
LONDON — With the U.S. market notching strong double-digit growth, luxury retailer Watches of Switzerland is reinforcing its senior management team, promoting David Hurley to president, North America, and deputy chief executive officer of the group.
Hurley is currently executive vice president, U.S., and will work alongside CEO Brian Duffy, who is based in London. The U.S. is the group’s fastest-moving market and is notching growth of more than 40 percent.
By the end of the 2025 calendar year, the U.S. market will be the same size as Watches of Switzerland’s home market of the U.K., the company said.
WoS is the U.K.’s largest retailer for Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Omega, Tag Heuer and Breitling. It also owns the premium luxury British jewelers Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb. In 2017, it began expanding rapidly in the U.S. with the purchase of the Mayors watches and jewelry stores.
On Monday, the group also announced the promotion of Craig Bolton to president, Watches of Switzerland Group, U.K. and Europe. Bolton is executive director U.K.
Beginning May 1, Chabi Nouri will join the board of WoS as an independent non-executive director and a member of the company’s ESG committee. Nouri was previously president and CEO of the Compagnie Financière Richemont-owned Piaget, and an executive at Cartier.
She is currently a private equity partner of Mirabaud and co-fund manager of the Mirabaud Lifestyle franchise.
Regarding the appointments, Duffy said the group’s management structure “continues to develop in response to, and in anticipation of, our business development. I look forward to working with David and Craig as we continue to execute our long-range plan.”
The Watches of Switzerland Group has more than 170 stores across the U.K. and the U.S., including 51 dedicated mono-brand boutiques in partnership with Rolex, Tag Heuer, Breitling, Omega, Tudor, Audemars Piguet, Grand Seiko, Bulgari and Fope.
WoS also has units at Heathrow Airport in Terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5 as well as seven retail websites.
Mappin & Webb holds royal warrants as goldsmiths, silversmiths and jeweler to Queen Elizabeth and silversmiths to Prince Charles. The Mappin & Webb master jeweler has been Crown Jeweler, custodian of the British Crown Jewels, since 2012.
In the third fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, WoS group revenue was up nearly 28 percent to 348.1 million pounds year-over-year in constant currency. In the first nine months of the fiscal year, group revenue totaled 934.3 million, representing growth of 38 percent year-over-year.
In the fiscal third quarter, U.S. revenue was up 44.6 percent to 124.6 million pounds year-over-year. The company said ultra high-end watch sales (brands including Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet) grew 32.4 percent in the quarter, while sales of other brands were up 214.3 percent.
Last year, in a bid to build further market share in the U.S., WoS purchased the Greenwich, Conn., Vail and Aspen, Colo. stores belonging to the family-owned watch and jewelry retailer Betteridge.
In 2021, WoS also opened its first Bulgari boutique in the U.S., adjacent to the refurbished Mayors in Aventura, Fla., and expanded its mono-brand boutique channel with the opening of Breitling Short Hills, N.J., and Tudor Millenia, Fla.