You may have seen our recent posts where we have been supporting two talented racing drivers… well on the back of this The Sun newspaper ran a story on the Friday motoring section yesterday.
For your interest I share the copy from this and my thanks to The Sun for sharing the copy with me.
Gotta Watch My Top Two
FORMER racer Jonathan Gilbert reckons the time is right for his prestige watch firm to back some of our biggest aces.
The former banker set up Edinburgh Watch Company to buy and sell luxury high-end timepieces, but is celebrating the firm’s third anniversary by agreeing deals with Scottish Formula Ford star Seb Melrose and our own VAG trophy racer Christie Doran.
It is the latest step in an amazing journey for Gilbert, who was left in a wheelchair after a biking accident. His firm has backed motor shows and motorsport events across the country, and is now a firm picture at events like the Ignition Festival.
He said: “I know Seb through Graham Brunton. I used to race with Graham back in the 1990’s and I realised that Seb was a young new aspiring talent. He spoke to me. He had a desire, like many young racers, to be involved with the watch world”
“He wanted to be involved with Edinburgh Watch Company. It was an interesting and pragmatic approach and allowed me to help Seb as a small business and let me promote him. It felt right for my business”
“My commitment was to try and use my platform through followers of Edinburgh Watch Company – which is over 20,000 Instagram followers, 4500 Facebook followers and hundreds of customers. It seemed a very natural fit”
“Back in the 1990s I was racing and I remembered what it was like to get sponsorship. The support I was given when I was a young driver helped me when I was full of passion”
“That was an enjoyable start to it. Later in the year I got the chance to meet Christie Doran. She was introduced through a friend, Ian Parkin at Lotus and I was aware of her following some of the stuff she had done”
“Interestingly, it was always nice to see girl power – fighting it out in a girls championship as equals. It was good to see the impression that Christie had made in the past two or three years racing”
It comes down to people
“Christie, like Seb, approached me to say she was interested to do something together.She also came up with something that kind of worked and allowed me to expand into two formulas – Formula Ford and covering the VAG Trophy – which gave me national reach”
He added: I had 15 years in the motor trade, with brands like Aston Martin, Lotus, Bentley, Saab and I had 18 years with RBS in financial services. I was made redundant in June 2014 at the age of 49. That gave made the opportunity to look at what I wanted to do.
“I have had an interest in watches since I was 15 and though the last 30-35 years I have built up the knowledge and passion for watches. Starting my own business was a bit of a dream. Now we are three years old, it has been a wonderful journey and we are only at the start”
“We are independent and based in Edinburgh and we stock watches from Rolex, Cartier and Breitling. Each watch is hand-picked by myself. The difference between us and the high street is the experience. We do not have a shop. I have a strong online presence but I like nothing more than to meet my customers face to face”
“in the last two years we have attended all the main Scottish events – a number at Knockhill, the Boness Revival, Ignition Festival and Royal Deeside Speedfest. They have all been really successful.
“We are also exploring other avenues. This October we will be visiting the Inverkip Boat Show in Greenock. Then we will look at where the luxury sector is in cricket, tennis and other sports perhaps the arts as well”
But, for now, he is happy with his young chargers. He said: Businesses can spend their money in so many ways so it comes down to people. I helped Seb because I liked him. Likewise, I liked Christie’s approach in trying to tailor something unique for my business. Something that helped me but also helped her. I thin that is the way racing drivers should approach businesses”