John Simonian, founder of Westime, is recognized as a visionary, an innovative businessman, and an ambassador to the world of horology. Both his father and his great uncle worked in the watch business, and they gave Simonian an insider’s view to the world of watchmaking at a very young age. Simonian began making deliveries for his father when he was a boy, and he quickly developed a fascination for the time and the energy it took watchmakers to create watches. By the age of twelve, Simonian was accompanying his father to the Swiss watch factories on a regular basis. He seemed to be genetically predisposed to follow his destiny and change the watch industry to what it is today.
Throughout his 39-year career, John has worked in all aspects of the Swiss watch industry. Twenty-six years ago he founded luxury watch retailer Westime, which specializes in offering the most exclusive and complicated watch collections as well as highly sought-after Swiss timepieces. Today the company consists of three locations in Southern California: Westime Sunset in West Hollywood, Westime Beverly Hills and Westime La Jolla. With master watchmakers on site and a staff that is fluent in more than 10 languages, Simonian is committed to providing unparalleled service to Westime’s international clientele.
With more than 50 watch and jewelry brands available at Westime’s stores, the locations have served as “laboratories” that help Simonian analyze brands, marketing strategies, and new products. This unique perspective became the catalyst to Simonian’s next venture—distribution. Thirteen years ago he began introducing some of the watch industry’s most unique timepieces to new markets. Today he is president and CEO of Richard Mille Americas, and he also represents such brands as Urwerk, Buben & Zorweg, Döttling and Snyper as the official distributor in the region.
In 2010, Simonian expanded the retail side of the business again, this time with his first monobrand boutique: Richard Mille Boutique Beverly Hills. It was followed a year later by the Hublot Boutique Beverly Hills. Both stores are operated by Westime. In fall of 2013, Simonian will add the Richard Mille Boutique Las Vegas, at Crystals at CityCenter.
As both a retailer and distributor, Simonian has a global view of the watch market. And in each role he has developed a worldwide reputation for having the ability to recognize talent, build brands, and elevate watchmakers to their full potential. With his son Greg and daughter Jennifer on board, a fourth generation is poised to help take Simonian’s family business into its next chapter.