The watch company Vuillemin Regnier underwent some dramatic changes last September. It regrouped all its various brands under the single name of Regnier, with mention of the phrase 'Since 1920 '. The date is intended to underscore the past achievements and historical value of this family enterprise created in Charquemont in the Haut-Doubs near the Swiss border by the great-grandparents of the current CEO, Jean-Pierre Vuillemin.
Before last September, the company produced watches that were already named Regnier, intended solely for export, while in France, it sold Vuillemin Regnier and another brand called Endio. “We have concentrated everything under one name for reasons of profitability and impact. In this way, we avoid a certain confusion,” explains Vuillemin. The head of the enterprise regrets, however, that they had to eliminate the double name of Vuillemin-Regnier. It was “unpronounceable abroad”, in spite of the small advantage of having two names as so many of the prestigious Swiss brands.
With the change of name, the brand Regnier is seen more clearly on the dials of the watches, thus ensuring better visibility. “You must realize that we are specialists in women's timepieces, which represent 75% of our production,” declares Vuillemin. “It is therefore important that people can read the brand name of the dials, which are in general smaller than those of men's watches.”
Originality and French design
The CEO of the French company is quite aware that the name of his brand is still relatively unknown in the marketplace. Therefore, he is making up for this by giving the brand 'originality, creativity and French design.'
The result is that the brand is maintaining a fast pace of innovation. “We have 250 product lines that we make in two, three or four models.” Regnier renews its collections twice a year, in January and in September. In addition, for the Basel Fair, it is presenting 'bold models' intended for the export market, which represents 20% of the company's sales. The brand is notably present in the Middle East and in the United States.
A new chrono 'Quadrage '
This year, for example, Regnier will take the occasion of the Basel show to introduce the third chronograph of its Cadrage line, 'the cinema watch', launched in 1995 for the centenary of the first projection by the Lumière brothers. “The new version will be available with or without set stones, notably real diamonds.” This men's model is targeting women and will be equipped with an ETA movement. Regnier will also present a 'pivoting' line with a watch that rotates, and one with a patented system of interchangeable bracelets. The trends for this year? “Set stones remain popular and there will be a return of colours such as orange or black that will replace the pastels of the last few years.”