DOXA CEO Jan Edöcs talks about the highlights and milestones of 2022, an important year for the brand, and looks forward to another year of divers and all things focused on the life-aquatic…
Jan Edöcs is a man with a deep confidence in his brand’s potential, in a large part due to the fact that he knows exactly what DOXA is; a dive watch. “DOXA stays in the water! It’s that simple. Our customers know that we are not going to present a confusing mix of products from different horological genres, and that has been key to our success. Now to be clear, there are a great many nuances within our collections, but everything fits neatly within our modus operandi of watches for the water!” This mono-focus has attributed to an incredibly strong 2022 for DOXA, a true annus mirabilis. “In 2022 we achieved and bettered all our targets commercially. The brand saw a growth of 40 percent compared to 2021 and has now achieved 100 points of sale globally. This was our target, and we are delighted that 80 percent of these retailers are what we would refer to as premium or Triple-A outlets. This has proven to us, and the wider industry, that DOXA is an exclusive brand with a strong presence in this physical retail market.”
This exclusivity is under-pinned by the brand being very particular about where they open these points of sale. Jan Edöcs has no desire to be in every city and every watch shop. “Last year’s growth gives us a proven track record that our system works. DOXA is not found in every corner of every country, but premium locations in premium cities only. I am hopeful that we will achieve another 30 to 40 percent growth in 2023 too.” He must be very proud of this remarkable achievement since the relaunch of the brand in 2019. “Yes, of course and also for the team. We have a very clear vision for our growth that we all believe in.”
This strategic intent was of particular importance in DOXA’s opening in the Middle East last year. Jan Edöcs and team curated a portfolio of the very best retailers across a number of Middle Eastern countries and had a coordinated opening. “We did not simply want to open in one location and then claim that DOXA is now available in the Middle East. No, we patiently waited and then on the same day we opened in the Emirates with Seddiqi, and in Kuwait with Behbehani, in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain; all synchronized to announce a full DOXA arrival in the Middle East! In fact, the first retailer was ready to begin selling DOXA back in 2021, but I told them that I was sorry, but they would have to wait another year until we were ready for the full and comprehensive roll-out.” The impact was certainly bigger and the heralding of the brand in the region was a much bigger announcement. All, of course, part of the strategy.
Will this strategy be in play for 2023? “We are delighted to finally have a presence in Greece, at the oldest retailer in Athens that is a fourth-generation family business, and it is going very well indeed,” explains Jan Edöcs. Additionally, confirmed so far, are new retailers in Spain, Portugal, Scandanavia and possibly France; all strengthening DOXA’s existing European footprint. The coordinated launch in an entirely new region is also on the cards for this year. Says Edöcs, “People often ask me why we are not yet in Asia. We could open in Singapore this year certainly, but why will I not do this? Because we will keep to our tried and tested system of united launches. We will decide on locations in Japan, Singapore and elsewhere and then plan the right time and way to open. Consumer behavior in Asia is different to Europe and there is a need for us to understand the market before launching on a big scale.”
This global expansion is in line with a growth in both brand awareness and collector engagement with DOXA. Why does Jan Edöcs believe this has happened? “Well, we would expect and hope for the awareness to have grown, due to our relentless expansion over the past three or four years. At the end of the day, though, it’s very simple; you either like it or you don’t like it. We don’t try and please everybody, we stay in the water. I won’t make a pilot’s watch for example. Collaborations we are very selective about too. I was asked to do a project with a car company. That is not the right fit with DOXA.” There is another element of the brand that Jan Edöcs is very firm on: “There are no discounts. In our sector it is quite common to be able to find watches at discount. Not DOXA though and people often ask me how we do this. Again, It’s very simple. We will not sell products to third-party online platforms, we either sell directly to retailers or through our own website. I think the end consumer, therefore, can easily understand what we do.”
Key also to the brand’s success and loyal following is its ability to celebrate its illustrious past. Consumers and collectors understand this and appreciate it. “There is no marketing hype or fabricated stories with DOXA. What we tell is the truth, DOXA was there doing it! A great example of this was the 2022 launch of the Army watch. This finally allowed us to prove the work we did with the Swiss army. Yes, the market knew we had done this work but the storytelling was not complete. The Swiss government’s declassifying of the files enabled those involved to tell their story and help us truly share the watch and its context with the world. What an amazing moment for DOXA after 50 years!”
2023 will be another exciting year for DOXA. Beyond the expansion of retail outlets, there will be, of course, some exciting new watches. “We will be launching some great products this year. We always listen to our customers, and we have become quite adept at understanding what our followers like. With this in mind, I’m pretty sure that we will make people happy in 2023.” Is there one watch that Jan Edöcs is particularly excited about? “Wait for the month of May. We will be unveiling a timepiece that we are incredibly proud of. We have been working on this project for over two years and it is something new for DOXA in a special material. I really feel that this watch is honorable and beautiful in equal measure. I will say no more!”
Whatever 2023 brings, you can be sure that you will read about it here first and on the official DOXA Instagram page @doxawatchesofficial. Stay Tuned!