A WATCH company has moved into its new multi- million pound manufacturing facility in Henley.
Bremont, which was formerly based in Hurley and Switzerland, plans to produce about 6,000 of its luxury mechanical watches each year at the Marlow Road building.
The company celebrated the move by releasing a new product using parts of the world’s oldest remaining warship, HMS Victory.
Nick English, 42, who co-founded the firm with his brother Giles, 39, in 2002, said: “We’re very thankful to be in Henley.
“There are not a lot of places in the town for manufacturing and it would have been very easy to be in a warehouse on an industrial estate.
“We’re very lucky to be nestled in the countryside in a nice building and hopefully we can remain here as we grow.
“Our intention has always been to bring as much watch manufacturing back to the UK as we can and we are at the start of an exciting period in the company’s growth.” The oak-framed building comprises workshops, production, operations, administration and sales.
The interior is painted white to make any dust that accidentally gets inside a watch easier to spot.
All the company’s 40 staff are based there, including two apprentices.
Mr English, of Cromwell Road, Henley, said: “We now have the right people and a proper training programme in place and do all the assembly and finishing here. Before, most watches in the luxury sector were Swiss but there’s a lot of Britishness in our range, which is great.”
Customers can book appointments to visit the workshops and see watches being assembled. Mr English said: “The people who have visited already have loved it.”
Bremont is the leading British brand in mechanical watches and most of its products will be sold in the Middle East and America. The brand’s ambassadors include Tom Cruise, Ewan McGregor and Orlando Bloom.
The company sponsored Henley stuntman Gary Connery’s 2,400ft wingsuit jump without a parachute in Hambleden in May.
Bremont has released 300 limited edition Victory watches to commemorate the 18th century ship, which was Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar and is now based at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The Bremont watch includes part of the oak timber and copper from the ship.
Some of the proceeds of each sale will go towards the £40million refurbishment and preservation of the ship.