Friday, 03 April 2020
A WATCH manufacturer has moved its operation from Lower Shiplake to Scotland in order to expand.
The Marloe Watch Company was set up in 2015 by former marketing consultant Oliver Goffe, who used to live in Henley, and watch designer Gordon Fraser.
Now it has moved its commercial arm from Bolney Road on the Culden Faw Estate to Perth, where it already had a design studio.
Mr Goffe said he and Mr Fraser wanted to bring the two sides of the business together as it had outgrown its premises in Shiplake.
The move might prove beneficial if Scotland gained independence and rejoined the EU.
Mr Goffe said: “As a business, we do feel a Scottish base sits better with our values. We want our children to grow up in a global world, not one that’s ring-fenced.
“Brexit certainly closes some doors for British business and there is concern about how the effect on trade and recruiting EU talent will be managed.
“We want to work on a global scale. We ship our watches all over the world and we don’t want to have trade tariffs put in place and have our business ring- fenced in a certain way.
“But it wasn’t the reason we moved our operational centre to Scotland.
“The majority of our staff is Scottish and this played a huge part in the decision, as did the affordability of office space compared with Henley.
“We’re paying exactly the same rent as we have been paying in Lower Shiplake and we have offices that are more than double the size.
“The affordability up there is completely different so we’re really happy with that element — we’re able to grow our business and maintain our current costs.”
Mr Goffe said he and his business partner went full-time in March 2018 and a year ago employed a third member of staff, Stephanie Kaja Holland.
They hope to release a further two or three models later this year and move from two production runs a year to four in 2021.
The pair, who met via an online watch forum, launched the business with the help of Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform.
It was based at Mr Goffe’s then home in Bourne End before moving to a business park in High Wycombe and then to Lower Shiplake.
Last year they raised a further £600,000 through another crowdfunding drive, selling about 20 per cent of their business to 750 shareholders who invested anything from £10 to £30,000.
The company hopes to employ up to six people by the end of the year.
27 February 2020
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