Frederique Constant aims to double UK doors

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Swiss watchmaker aims to work with prestige jewellers in every town.

A change of distributor in the UK earlier this year will be the catalyst for dramatic growth for luxury watchmaker Frederique Constant in 2011, the company’s global director of sales predicts.

Ralph Simons praised Argento Fine Products, which took over distribution for the Geneva-based brand in May, for presenting Frederique Constant watches as accessible luxury to UK retailers.

“Argento’s approach to the brand is working,” he told Professional Jeweller. “It is still tough. We are not there yet, but a positive response from high end retailers has been very encouraging,” he added.

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Frederique Constant brings the luxury and quality of Swiss horology to its range of men’s, ladies’ and young men’s watches at retail price points ranging from around £500-2500.

Previous UK partners had positioned the watches more according to their price than their luxury look and feel – a strategy that failed, according to Simons. “We needed a higher end distributor,” he said.

At Argento Fine Products, Frederique Constant joins a stable that includes Roger Dubuis, Giuliano Mazzuoli and Ladoire Geneve.

The target in the UK is for Frederique Constant to be sold by the most prestigious jewellers in every town and city. The brand has 20 stockists today, and hopes to increase this to 35-40 next year and 150 doors in 3-5 years.

Conversations took place with major multiples including Aurum Holdings at Basel this year, and buying consortium, The Houlden Group, has agreed to recommend the brand to its 60 member stores, Simons disclosed.

 

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