‘As old as my tongue and a little bit older than my teeth’ was the stock answer my mother would reply whenever I asked her how old she was.  She was always coy about her age and for many years she would always insist she was just 26!

This August I will celebrate my 56th birthday and ETIQUS is just one year old. Birthdays and ETIQUS are inextricably linked. I was given a watch as a gift for my 18th, 21st and 30th birthdays. I treated myself to a COSC certified chronometer for my 40th, got a watch patent for my 50th and a watch brand for my 55th ! And this year? I will also get a new watch but more about that later.

It’s been a very interesting and fulfilling 56th year and a first year for ETIQUS – please forgive me if I just remind myself of a few notable achievements.

The ETIQUS website went live just after the Open on July 23rd last year when we were able to bring to market my first golf timepieces and sell our initial Sport Pro and Classic Tour lines. We also added our first Lady range in November  - a little later than planned - as I wanted every golfer to be able to join the ETIQUS Club. All of the watches have been getting excellent reviews from our first customers with fantastic ratings for look, quality and value.  By selling them online and cutting out the retail margin, golfers are truly appreciative of a great quality watch at a very attractive price – deliberately targeted around the cost of a new driver.

Golfers have been amazed at our ordering, fulfilment and after sales service and have taken to social media to say so. Everyone knows that I truly believe that if you look after your customers your customers will look after you. The entire process within the ETIQUS business is designed around the customer ensuring the highest levels of customer satisfaction which I’m pleased to say that so far we are exceeding. When I decided to send every ETIQUS wearer a protective watch case free, I was overwhelmed in gratitude and everyone telling me it was such a simple yet brilliant idea.

We’ve had a very good reception in the Press and have had good features in local, regional and the national titles including The Times, Newsweek and we will be in The Guardian soon. All of the major golf print titles have covered ETIQUS – Golf Monthly, Today’s Golfer, Golf World, Golf News , Women and Golf, National Club Golfer and more, with a growing online coverage in the digital media too.

We were courted by the PGA and became an Associate Sponsor of the PGA North region where the first few golfers to hold aloft their Champion Trophies at key events, whilst wearing an ETIQUS timepiece, have commented that being presented with one was one of the best prizes they’ve ever had …aside from the cheque of course! And we’ve got a growing reputation amongst club pros who are wearing them with pride.

We’re really grateful to all of the golfers who have supported our ‘fiver for the foundation’ campaign to raise money for The Golf Foundation for whom we will raise over £10,000 in our first year. A good chunk of that has come from the excellent events run by The Golf Guide.

Our stand and displays turned heads at the Manchester Golf Show and they will also be seen soon at the Golf Show trade event in Harrogate and later in the year at the London Golf Show in Blue Water. We’ve also pencilled in the Scottish Golf Show next spring.

Aside from the normal work tasks of launching a brand new product under a new brand name, since moving out of corporate life in order to launch ETIQUS I’ve also been able to realise some of my bucket list ambitions. In April I went to the US and drove on the interstate through the green forests of Georgia to visit another piece of immaculate greenery at The Masters in Augusta. In July I once more returned to the Auld Grey Toon of St.Andrews to watch the Open and the top pros compete for the Claret Jug, but this time I was fortunate to attend many ‘behind the scenes’ events as a guest of various golf industry bodies and media - all fascinating stuff for a golf nut like me. Later this month I will catch an Iberian bound plane to once more play golf amid the orange groves in Portugal.  And next year will be one of those years when it’s important to know which flag you stand under as, hopefully, the European blue Flag will once more be raised in victory over the fairways of Hazeltine, Minnesota – perhaps I’ll be there to see it.

Every journey is not only a pleasant personal trip but a very good source of ideas for new timepieces to add to the ETIQUS range. And so I’ll be wearing a new watch on my birthday yet again this year, but for those who are interested you’ll have to wait to the autumn to see it – or should I say ‘them’ - in public and on the website.

Yes, all in all. it’s been a very rewarding year personally and a good foundational first year for ETIQUS. As for the next 12 months I think you’ll see ETIQUS ‘grow teeth’ with a bit more bite as it becomes a more widely recognised brand, with a growing reputation for quality timepieces, at a competitive price, exclusively for golfers.  It should therefore be able to really contend in the both the golf lifestyle and affordable watch markets.

Thanks for your support.

Yours in Golf

Gary Butler