Watchmaker Hans Enoksen has opened his first retail space in Belfast following a £75k investment. The showroom and workshop where customers can view the entire range and configure their own watch, are housed in the modernist Aisling House in Stranmillis. The space includes a specially equipped atelier where each Enoksen watch is calibrated by horologist David McKane.
The showroom represents the second stage of Enoksen’s growth strategy following three successful years operating online.
“Despite the general trend to increased internet shopping we strongly believe there is much scope for a fuller retail experience,” says Mr Enoksen. “The showroom is not just about selling watches. It’s also a space we intend to use for fun, cultural events, art exhibitions, concerts and audiences with people from the sports, business and arts worlds. As retailers, we have to enhance the shopping experience by offering related events which simply cannot be hosted online.”
Enoksen has grown its range of high-quality mechanical watches in the last three years and offers two-year guarantees.
“These are watches which reflect an era of precision mechanics and classic designs. We have reinterpreted these designs and retained the old school quality expected from high-end automatic watches. But the difference is that while the Enoksen watch range manages to achieve the highest levels of quality, we are able to sell them at surprisingly reasonable prices,” he says. Prices start at £185 rising to £550.
The showroom is also intended to work as a prototype, providing data and feedback on local market performance and to determine how best to roll out other Enoksen showrooms across Europe and North America.
“Our calibration service is unique and we are delighted that horologist David McKane has joined us to provide his expertise. His fine tuning using the latest audio technology alters the performance of all mechanical movements so as to achieve plus or minus two seconds per day accuracy,” says Mr Enoksen. “Each watch will have its own David McKane calibration certificate and, because the movements are mechanical and therefore will eventually require retuning, we will provide recalibration free of charge for the lifetime of the watch.”
“We sell watches now in 60 countries and have built a reputation for excellent customer care. Our Trustpilot rating tells the story. But now we want to get closer to our customers by creating a physical presence which will enhance our relationship with our buyers by giving them a little bit more through engagements and events which we will host in the showrooms,” says Mr Enoksen.
The Enoksen range of watches which includes divers, pilots, drivers and sports watches has been supplemented by two new series of “Tour” and “Deco” timepieces.
All the watches are waterproof to 200m (the Deep Dive is waterproof to 1,000m) and feature super-strength and scratch-proof sapphire glass.
“Our watches are made from ultra-reliable Seiko movements” says Mr Enoksen. “My ultimate aim is that the final assembly will soon be transferred to Belfast.”
The branding is deliberately low key and reflects a new attitude towards consumerism and materialism, according to Mr Enoksen.
“I believe the time has come to move away from the louder, statement watches to something more utilitarian and of modest appearance but of a quality which will match any of the best brands in the world. Our watches reflect a less-is-more approach and the reaction from buyers has exceeded all our hopes,” he says. “We like the beauty of utility and modesty so you will not see a noisy badge on an Enoksen watch dial.”