This year, TITONI Ltd., the world-famous Swiss watch company, celebrated its 90th anniversary. Since this year also marks the fiftieth anniversary of its entering into the Chinese market, the jubilee event took place on May 21/22 in the Middle Kingdom, more precisely at the Commune by the Great Wall. This prestigious hotel, beautifully located in the Shuiguan hills near Beijing, with a magnificent view of the Great Wall, is both a boutique hotel and a semi-architectural museum: Commune by the Great Wall is a private collection of contemporary architecture designed by 12 Asian architects.
Commune by the Great Wall
Presence of Swiss Ambassador and Swiss Jazz singer from New York
More than eighty media and over a hundred clients gathered altogether to commemorate this momentous milestone. The graceful performance of a young Swiss Jazz musician, Eliane Amherd, and her band, especially flown in from New York as well as a lucky draw entertained the guests and contributed to a most joyful and memorable event.
Switzerland’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Blaise Godet, was present as an honored guest to congratulate and witness this glorious moment in the history of TITONI. “Being present in China for 50 years and therewith being one of the first Swiss watch producers entering the Chinese market, TITONI can even be regarded as a pioneer”, praised the Ambassador about the Grenchen-based watch company. The success of TITONI is not only a business legend, but also symbolic of the friendship between China and Switzerland. Together with Daniel Schluep, CEO of TITONI they unveiled the special edition of the 90th anniversary watch.
TITONI is one of the last few independent and small companies in Switzerland with a long history of fine watch making. In 1919, Fritz Schluep founded a small, excellent atelier at the foot of the Jura Mountains. The individualized production of precise and attractive timepieces over the decades has won TITONI an outstanding reputation. Since its establishment, TITONI has always focused on mechanical watches. As early as in the 1930s, the founder expanded the market from Europe to America and Japan. TITONI owes its high brand recognition in the Middle East, Far East and Australia to his son Bruno Schluep. – It was in 1959, when a delegation from Beijing of the “China National Light Industrial Products Import and Export Corporation” first visited Switzerland. Its members became convinced that in TITONI they had found the right company. Already a year later the traditional Grenchen manufacturer concluded a contract with this Chinese import authority for the delivery of TITONI brand timepieces. This marked the beginning of a stable growth of TITONI exports of its finest watches into China.
Mr. Blaise Godet. Swiss Ambassador to the P.R.China
Titoni Anniversary Event, Commune by the Great Wall
Paying attention to after-sales-service and partnerships with customers
With much interest in Asian culture, the current CEO, Daniel Schluep, has contributed to the growing popularity of TITONI watches in the Middle Kingdom. With its high quality and reasonable prices, the famous Swiss watch company won many loyal customers. Until now, TITONI has always paid much attention to its excellent after-sales-service and considers the close partnership with its customers and distributors a key to its success.
In the last few years, TITONI has been able to prosper and further increase its market share. To bring customers even closer to its philo-sophy, TITONI has set up more than a dozen boutiques in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Zhengzhou, Harbin etc. These showrooms offer clients the opportunity to become familiar with the entire palette of TITONI models and to draw on the services of the best watchmakers.
Matthias Messmer, Ambassador Blaise Godet, Daniel and Doris Schluep (from left to right)
Titoni shop-in-shop in Guangzho
In his commemorative speech in Beijing, Daniel Schluep described the attitude of the family company towards its products and future as follows: “There is a strong feeling of commitment and responsibility. What we are aiming for is a reasonable but steady growth in volume and a further improvement in quality.” In the course of the many press interviews following the jubilee event in Beijing, TITONI’s CEO always pointed out that “as a family business, we offer unique products of the highest quality, not mass-produced goods, which due to our size we could not produce anyway. We decide what we will do and what not. That is a great advantage for our market development: Our decisions are made quickly, but we can hold the course for a long time. We can implement long-term decisions and do not need to constantly make new plans on the basis of short-term quarterly statistics.” – Insistence on quality and services, opening of more showrooms and the new brand image of “genuine pride” will definitely allow TITONI to achieve many more remarkable accomplishments and reach its 100th birthday in 2019.
Source: Europa Star October-November 2009 Magazine Issue