What I Know About Style

Danny Shahid, the luxury watch expert behind Diamond Watches London


We caught up with Danny Shahid, for the opening of the new Mayfair store, Diamond Watches London

You originally set up a Facebook page, Excellence by Danny, which is now thriving on Instagram. What was your original goal in setting this up and how did it develop from then on?

My uncle bought and sold a watch, making a bit of profit, and I was inspired to set up a Facebook profile, Excellence by Danny. I was an early adopter of Instagram because I have a strong eye for detail and became one of the first to showcase watches, mixing them with my passion for fashion. A lot of my photos went viral, so global bloggers would share my posts and it soon started to grow, I now have nearly 90,000 followers.

Was the journey from Instagram to opening Diamond Watches London quite organic?

Yes, definitely. It was never the plan though. I had an interest in fashion and when we mixed this with watches, we found that people were interested in my content. The engagement ultimately lead to a new marketing avenue for Diamond Watches London.

What makes DWL different from its competitors?

What makes us stand out is that we have a strong reputation for being able to source the most sought-after luxury watches because we have such a wide global network of contacts. Some of our biggest competitors still regularly ask me about how I approach certain aspects of the business.

Where did you grow up?

Home is Longlands in Middlesbrough, one of the most deprived areas in the country where unemployment has always been high. Myself and my brother were brought up by our uncle and to say we were not academic is an understatement, we didn’t spend much time at school. We moved to London when I was 15 and that was a huge turning point for me.

Can you tell us a bit about what your life was like before you moved to London from Middlesborough aged 15?

My father wasn’t around and my grandpa passed away when I was very young, so my uncle stepped up and became the man of the house. He financially supported the whole family and made my life much easier. When I wasn’t at school I would play PlayStation and go to the park in Longlands to play football. We would travel back and forth to London, and I was excited to move here.

What were the biggest differences you noticed when you got to London?

The opportunities to succeed, grow my network and build a business were much greater. The business will hopefully give back not only to my family but also those who are in need. In 2021, we are looking to work with some smaller charities and provide regular hands on support. If any of your readers would like to suggest a charity, please pop into our Burlington Arcade shop and have a chat with myself or a member of the team.

You turned something you were passionate about into a thriving business, using social media. What advice do you have for anyone with aspirations to do the same?

Be very patient, take every meeting and follow up on all your leads.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I’ve really enjoyed being able to support my family and help my wife set up her business. I try not to be too flashy because of the risk associated with trading high end timepieces but I do enjoy travelling, cars, fashion and, of course, luxury watches.

What’s something you’ve learned from this strange ride that’s been 2020?

Sometimes you’ve got to take two steps backwards to move five steps forwards.

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Spending more time in our new home in Mayfair and meeting new people, as well as working with new charities. We also have some exciting projects with some of our clients and some very big announcements in Q1.

Outside of work, I’m excited to watch the progress of my nephew who starts pre-school in January, and hopefully get myself away on business/holiday a few times.

For more information about DWL please visit www.diamondwatcheslondon.com or visit DWL at 23, Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, W1J 0PR.

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