1. What about 2016? A good and varied question that we can summarise simply: strength and commitment, creativity and a reasonable price. But there will be no recovery in exports because for a number of years these accounted for stock transfers between headquarters and subsidiaries, so retailers hold lots of stock in general.
2. From the beginning, Manufacture Royale has tried to offer innovative, creative products of high quality and finish at a very reasonable price. Our challenge from now on is to best discover a public composed of connoisseur customers, via preferred partners. These ambassadors, retailers or otherwise, should be true enthusiasts, capable of offering a different independent watchmaking solution. This is what will be attractive to end-users.
3. The beautiful mechanical watch will never disappear, because it is complex and refined but also highly creative. There is an easy parallel to be drawn with the automobile industry, which has known mergers, hybrid engines and standardisation and yet at the same time, it regularly produces brands which above all stir up passion. This is where Manufacture Royale is placed and ample opportunities exist. When we buy a luxury item, we no longer wish to be just the same as everyone else.
4. Baselworld 2016 remains an indispensible meeting point for world watchmaking, and a breath of fresh air. By presenting our brand and our products at the Palace, we have an excellent shop window. For our worldwide customers, it’s a space for creativity and freshness. We already have 6 calibres within our collection and you can expect even more pleasant surprises at Basel – again we’ll surprise. It’s also true that Basel is still an important period for orders and the press, but the more localised events that we organise with our end-user customers also generate more than they did in the past. Baselworld must preserve and renew the place that is the Palace.
EUROPA STAR’S FOUR QUESTIONS
1. What are your predictions for 2016? Do you think that exports will recover, or will the markets stagnate or continue to decline after the slump we saw in 2015? And what do you think were the reasons for the downturn in 2015?
2. What are your priorities for the coming year: consolidating your existing markets, actively exploring new markets (if so, which), rationalising / consolidating / expanding your distribution network, launching new products, PR initiatives, etc.?
3. Over the longer term, do you believe that mechanical watchmaking will gradually die out, hybridise, or continue to occupy its own exclusive niche? Do you see the advent of smartwatches as a potential threat, or an opportunity for growth and diversification?
4. What exactly do you hope to achieve from your participation in Baselworld 2016? Do you feel your presence at the fair is essential to your business, or are such forums less important now than they were in the past?