Maidenhead, in the heart of the Home Counties, seems an unlikely nerve centre for a mission to disrupt the stately progress of the Swiss watch industry; about as likely, in fact, as “Christopher Ward” being the name to mount such an assault.

Ward himself, and fellow founders Mike France and Peter Ellis (pictured), were already seasoned entrepreneurs (the latter two having turned around and sold the Early Learning Centre for a hefty profit) when they launched a speculative attempt to subvert the pricing of luxury watches through minimal marketing and direct selling.