Giles English is the co-founder of Bremont watches. After a tragic plane crash that would change their lives forever, Giles and brother Nick set up Bremont. They are part of a handful of new watch companies trying to revive the UK watch industry.
1. Describe briefly your childhood.
My childhood was an amazing adventure, life was spent in the work shop, in a plane or on a boat – all of which were massive passions of my father. He was a PHD Aeronautical Engineer from Cambridge but had an amazing ability to build things. From old clocks to aircraft that we still fly today. I learnt to fly when I was 17 out of our back garden and we lived on a boat for 6 months, I was a very lucky child.
2. As a child did you have any driving ambition?
I always wanted to be an RAF pilot or a boat designer. Clocks and watches was a hobby and a love, but at that stage I never thought of it as a profession.
3. What is your first significant memory as a child?
Sitting with my father on his boat that he built in our back garden, he spent 3 years building it and then we went on it every holiday.
4. Have you ever had another profession?
I trained in Engineering and Naval architecture but then got tempted to go into finance which I did for a short while but hated it, quickly I left and went to run a small aviation business with Nick restoring old aircraft.
5. What made you decide to go in the direction you are currently in?
We had always had a family love for watches and clocks but did not think about going into business in it, it was purely a passion. Post Nick’s plane crash in 1995 with our father, our life changed. Dad died and Nick was in intensive care for many months, when he recovered we both thought why not do something you love and form there Bremont was formed.
6. What’s the worst job you’ve had to do?
I learnt so much in the City in corporate finance and I have always loved numbers but I found the job soulless I wanted to build things, that is what I love so much about watch making.
7. What’s been the hardest moment in your life so far, and how did you overcome it?
Definitely post Dad and Nick’s crash life was very dark for a while and Bremont really was a great cure for that. I also broke my back in an aircraft crash 4 years ago which knocked me for six but once again family and work was a great medicine.
8. Who has had the strongest influence on you?
Without doubt my father, he had talent, sensitivity and proved that anything was possible.
9. What are you most proud of?
My family they are so important in providing a wonderful foundation in life.
10. What advice would you give to a 20 something someone thinking of taking a similar path as you?
Do it before it’s too late, listen to advice but always ignore someone when they say it can’t be done.
11. Name three things on your bucket list.
Sail around the world, race at Le Mans and build a fully British movement - lots to do !
12. Where do you think the industry is going to be in 10 years time.
Mechanical watch making is not going away, we are very excited about our future but what I have learnt in life is that it is never quite how you think its going to turn out.
To learn more about Giles English Bremont