SPOTLIGHT “Russians want more affordable watches. That’s where Adriatica comes in.”

June 2015

Adriatica is hoping to seduce clients in emerging countries who are looking for Swiss made at a more accessible price point. Interview with Thomas Swiderski, Director of the family firm based in Italian-speaking Switzerland.

Adriatica - Model 3811-51B3CH
Adriatica - Model 3811-51B3CH

What is Adriatica’s history?
Our family has owned the company since 1991. There are 15 of us in total, covering assembly and administration. Our biggest market is Eastern Europe (Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic), with Switzerland next. We also have good results in Vietnam.

How would you define Adriatica’s DNA?
Reasonably priced, high-quality classic watches! Around 70% of the watches we sell are between CHF 200 and 300. In total, 95% of our watches have a quartz movement, and 5% are automatic. Today we have marginally more women than men clients. We introduce between 50 and 70 new models each year.

What was 2014 like for you?
2014 was our best year ever. We grew by 20%. In some countries such as Russia, which is currently going through a crisis, consumers are looking for more affordable watches. That’s where Adriatica comes in. In Vietnam, people can buy one of our Swiss made watches, or ten Chinese watches for the same price. Many of them go for the former option! Traditionally, Asians appreciate watches with a classic design like ours.

How are you dealing with the strong franc?
We are getting a lot of complaints. Many buyers want a special price. We don’t produce anything in euros, so we have really lost out. On average we have increased prices by 5 to 10%, depending on the buyer. Thankfully, sales are relatively stable.

How was Baselworld for you?
It was our 12th year. Our booth was better located and better designed than in previous years. Because of that, our buyers noticed that we are growing. We were able to meet some new clients. We are targeting Asia in particular. We are looking at countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as Vietnam.