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Our story began after a chance meeting between our founders Akbar Hussain and Tim Harrison.

Back in 2019, when he wasn’t taking to the sky as a pilot out of Gatwick Airport, Tim was running a successful start-up business. He was buying and selling watches and keeping a close eye on other independents doing the same. One day, a parcel of watches landed on his doorstep. But there was a problem: it wasn’t meant for him but for someone else.

Tracking down the rightful owner was easy. The mishap was solved with a few quick-fire texts. But then, a few days later, Tim received a follow-up message. “How’s business?” He struck up a conversation with the parcel’s intended recipient, Akbar Hussain, and discovered he was the mastermind of another successful indie e-commerce business with 15 years of distribution, retail, and wholesale experience. 

The two became friends, realised they had complementary skills and decided to set up a website.

And that’s how it started. WatchPilot launched in 2020 and we quickly smashed our e-commerce targets. Tim and Akbar weren’t beholden to anyone. They set their own standards, took a swipe at snobbery, and set about making shopping for a watch a pleasure, not a headache.

They channelled their interest in watches into a forward-thinking and modern digital company that is setting standards for growth, variety, and professionalism. More than 40 watch brands have aligned themselves with the WatchPilot ethos. They can see what we are trying to do and how serious we are about our principles. There are Swiss-made giants, niche mechanical brands, fashion juggernauts, and some underrated names that deserve lots more credit.

Our mission is to create a world-class shopping experience both online and on the high street. We started in Richmond, London, but we have no intention of stopping there.

Akbar Hussain, Co-founder

The next phase in the WatchPilot journey was always going to be opening a store. We’d proven we could offer a great service online but doing the same in-person is a whole new challenge. 

Our debut store in Richmond, London, was built on the idea that watch collectors should have a new and exciting way to shop. There’s no smoke and mirrors and none of the snobbery. Just a great selection of Swiss and fashion watches and a solid team to help you make the best decision possible.

We don’t want to be just another e-retailer. Tim and Akbar have invested in WatchPilot because they believe in it. And so do you. You’ve helped us go from a humble start-up to a multi-million-pound watch destination in just a handful of years.

Tim never went back to full-time flying, and Akbar is busier than ever adding to the WatchPilot portfolio of brands. Fortunately, there are now 12 people crewing WatchPilot, and almost all of them come from a watch background. Why? Because the business started thanks to a passion for watches… and a mix-up with the post.