British luxury watch brand Bremont is expanding to the United States with the help of billionaire Bill Ackman's hedge fund and their previous investor, Hellcat Acquisitions LP.
Founded by brothers Nick and Giles English in 2002, Bremont Watch Company was inspired by their father, who helped them build a foundation of mechanical experience. The brothers fixed vintage World War II aircrafts with their father before his untimely passing in a tragic plane crash. To honor his memory, Nick and Giles founded North Weald Flying Services before launching into watch sales. Their watches are all aviation-themed, and they only make 10,000 watches annually, priced anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000. Some of those watches go to the British Ministry of Defense's 400 military units worldwide. Their current estimated yearly revenue is almost $50 million.
Last year, Bremont opened a brand-new, 35,000-square-foot manufacturing plant called The Wing. Since the facility's launch, Bremont's annual revenue has grown 28% — and now, they're interested in expanding across the Atlantic to the U.S. market. Ackman, the CEO of Pershing Square Management, is an American billionaire specializing in activist investments. Along with Hellcat, Ackman has invested a combined $59 million into the British watchmaker in the hopes that it will take off in the U.S. market.
"Nick and I are thrilled that Bill has moved from collector to investor, joining our long-standing shareholder, Hellcat, as partners in Bremont," said Giles English in a statement. "This new capital will enable us to invest in marketing, distribution, and talent."
The English brothers say this expansion is a milestone in the British mechanical production industry.
“The British watch industry is the birthplace of some of the most important timekeeping innovations, including the perpetual calendar," the brothers continue. "We are delighted to continue our country's history of manufacturing and innovation through the global growth of Bremont."