Bremont, the fast-growing British watchmaker known for its military-style tool watches, has appointed Davide Cerrato as CEO and a member of its board. Cerrato is an industry veteran who served as head of marketing, design, and product development at Tudor, where he oversaw the relaunch of the brand and the redesign of its popular Black Bay model. Before that, he was managing director of Montblanc’s watch division, where he created the popular 1858 Geosphere line. Most recently, he served as CEO and creative director of HYT.
Originally founded by brothers Nick and Giles English in 2002, Bremont is experiencing a period of expansion. Last year, it opened a 35,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at Henley-on-Thames, west of London, making it the first company in over 50 years to manufacture mechanical movements at scale in Britain. In January, billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and Hellcat Acquisitions LP acquired a minority stake in the company, investing £48.4 million (about $60 million) in a funding round that the Financial Times reported valued the company at more than £100 million (about $125 million). The investment followed Bremont’s most successful year, with a 28 percent revenue increase. The investment paved the way for beefed-up marketing and distribution, with the goal of global expansion (including boutiques in the U.S.), and enabled Bremont to recruit a top-notch CEO. “Davide has amazing, complementary experience and is a great cultural fit,” says English.
Bill Ackman adds: “Davide is a proven world-class executive who has spent his career leading successful transformations of watch brands and designing some of today’s most iconic watches. His passion for the industry, wealth of expertise, and great vision will help enable Bremont to become a global leader in watchmaking.”
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According to the Financial Times, Ackman was a Bremont fan before becoming an investor. He contacted the English brothers last summer after buying several watches at the company’s shop in London’s Mayfair. He wrote a handwritten note to the founders saying, “I admire your company, I love watches and I would love to learn more.” A few months later, he became an investor.
“I am incredibly excited to be joining Bremont,” says Cerrato. “I have long admired what Nick and Giles have managed to achieve in a relatively short space of time. The brand has been on an amazing journey, and I’m looking forward to working with the entire team to take it to the next level.”