James Ross, Simon Haigh and Gene Lilly. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian.
James Ross, Simon Haigh and Gene Lilly. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian.

Bulked up with new shareholders and encouraged by early feedback, WA's fledgling home-grown watch company has begun rolling out its timepieces through jewellery retailers.

Haigh & Hastings' initial sales have been confined to its website but the firm has announced its first Perth retail stockist and is in talks about pushing watches through other stores in Australia and South Africa.

At the same time, the business is exploring additional distribution opportunities with parties offshore, including duty free outlets and fashion houses.

However, while co-founder and chief executive Simon Haigh says H&H's first year has been encouraging, he insists it has no intention of risking the new brand by moving too fast.

"The brand is established, the product is good, we don't need to rush it," Mr Haigh said.

H&H launched its first watch under the firm's slogan of Timepieces for Dangerous Men in February. The M2 Diver, which retails for $575, will be followed by the end of the year by a range of other models.

Mr Haigh said traffic to the website had initially been slow but had nearly doubled over the past month.

The watches are assembled in Asia, use European and Asian components and feature Japanese quartz movements.

As part of its brand promotion, H&H is also eyeing more alliances with sporting clubs and sports identities.

It is already aligned with the Western Force, presenting a watch to the man of the match at the rugby club's home games in Perth, and is close to announcing its first AFL partnership.

The business has also added new shareholders and directors in recent months.

Notably, they include Giles Busby, the former UK chief executive of the global watchmaker Fossil, along with Perth businessmen Gene Lilly and James Ross.

The West Australian

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