Aurum Group

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Aurum Group is the largest watch retailer in the UK, has the second-most stores in the US, and is a UK company owned by a US private equity firm.

Overview

Aurum Holdings operates a group of watch retailers in the UK under the brands, Watches of Switzerland, Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watchshop, The Watch Hut and The Watch Lab. The group claims to be the world's largest retailer for Omega, TAG Heuer, and Gucci and the UK's largest distributor for Rolex, Cartier, and Breitling. Aurum group also operates dedicated boutiques for TAG Heuer, Omega, and Breitling. As of 2017 it is the largest jewelry and watch retailer in the UK.

The group traces their history to 1775 when Jonathan Mappin established a silver workshop. In 1778, a Goldsmiths showroom opened in Newcastly, a site still operated by the company today. Mappin & Webb was granted a Royal Warrant in 1897.

In 1924, G&M Lane was established as a mail order operation. It would grow to become the Watches of Switzerland retail chain in the UK. The Watchshop brand was established in 1991 and The Watch Lab repair business opened in Liverpool in 2000.

Aurum Holdings was established in 2007 to operate these businesses. It is now owned by Apollo Global Management, a US-based private equity firm. The company opened "Europe's largest luxury watch showroom" at 155 Regent Street in 2014 under the Watches of Switzerland brand.

US Expansion

Aurum Holdings is expanding rapidly in the United States in recent years. The company purchased 17 Mayors jewelry and watch stores across Florida and Georgia in 2017 and took over the large Wynn & Company store (now branded Watches of Switzerland) and Rolex boutique at the Palazzo hotel and casino in Las Vegas later that year. The company plans to open two more Watches of Switzerland stores in New York in 2018 including a large flagship location. This will make Aurum the second-largest watch retailer (in terms of locations) in the United States after Tourneau, which was itself acquired by Bucherer Montres in 2018.