1. The current context is making it particularly difficult to make any kind of forecast. Volatile markets due to a strong Swiss franc, the decline in oil prices and the sharp slowdown of the Chinese economy has led to a radical change in the behaviour of those customers who were responsible for the “fat” years of the horology industry. Having built up their fortunes in the early 2000s in Russia, China or the Middle East, those buyers have been destabilised. The other side of the coin is that the positive growth of the American market should allow us to limit the effects of this crisis. But there again, despite that country’s dynamic economy it’s not immune to a reversal of the economic climate. In short, it’s difficult not to be affected by the random effects of the times, economic crisis, currency fluctuations … The only certitude in a particularly uncertain period is the need to stake our bets more than ever on innovation and excellence to ensure the future of Hysek.
2. Consolidating our network is our number one priority for 2016, with the goal of establishing our presence firmly on the different continents. Of course, we’re also going to take advantage of the opportunities arising in lucrative markets, especially the United States. As far as our collection is concerned, we’re putting every effort into offering products that are extremely interesting in terms of quality and innovation. We have verticalised our product offering so that we can offer a range that exactly suits the needs of our different types of customer. Also, we’ve integrated all the stages in the production of our cases and movements into our own manufacture. That means that we have absolute control over production, lead times and quality and complete independence as to our technical and aesthetic choices.
3. Some surprising and fundamental developments are certainly in store for the future of horology. As an independent, family, niche brand, Hysek has always been a pioneer in this field. But by integrating the entire production process into our own manufacture, Hysek can also lay claim to a legacy of fine watchmaking. By developing, producing and decorating by hand each and every movement in pure Swiss tradition, Hysek means to pay tribute to haute horlogerie, which is an absolutely irreplaceable part of human heritage.
4. Baselworld remains a major event for the haute horlogerie world, bringing all the market players together under one roof. It’s the ideal platform for launching new collections, which get the best possible media coverage. Moreover we’re going to be taking advantage of the 2016 edition to present a new line, Kalysta, for women. It’s a fascinating experience to be able to unveil your own creations and we’re already looking forward to seeing what emotions emerge from this new collection of valuable mechanical watches.
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?