The WATCH Lab sold to Watches Of Switzerland Group
Watches Of Switzerland Group has acquired 100% of the shares of leading watch repair specialist The WATCH Lab, in a deal advised by BCMS.
Headquartered in Preston, Lancashire, The WATCH Lab operates from a network of 16 prime shopping centre locations across the UK, including Lakeside Thurrock, Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Glasgow Silverburn and Trinity Shopping Centre, Leeds.
Watches Of Switzerland Group (known at the time of the transaction as Aurum Group) owns premier brands Watches of Switzerland, Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths and Watch Shop. The acquisition gives the luxury watch specialist a market-leading watch repair specialist to complement its existing areas of operation.
Watches Of Switzerland Group acquired The WATCH Lab from brothers Jonathan and Jeremy Barker.
“The support of BCMS was incredible” – Jonathan Barker, The WATCH Lab
At the time of the acquisition in 2016, Brian Duffy, chief executive officer of Aurum Group said: “We are thrilled to acquire The WATCH Lab, a fantastic business and a market leader in this dynamic area. We believe this is a perfect addition to Aurum’s growing portfolio of outstanding retail brands.”
Commenting on the decision to sell a growing business, Jonathan Barker said: “The business had been running for 15 years. We covered the whole country and had built a new brand in the jewellery trade. Other companies had tried to do what we did, but hadn’t been successful.
“We had received offers on the business. We thought, ‘There can’t be a better time to sell.’ We didn’t have to sell, and we were exploring the opportunity. [The sales process itself] was enjoyable. We had lots of meetings and the support of BCMS was incredible.”
A serial entrepreneur, and active member of the BCMS Fellows community, Jonathan features in the BCMS FAQs video series, where our former clients discuss their business sale experiences. He is now client-turned-colleague: Jonathan joined BCMS as Business Development Director in 2022.