1. I think that the first half of 2016 will be as difficult as the last in 2015. Nonetheless, we should see an improvement in the second half of 2016.
2. Our principal objectives this year are the consolidation of our existing markets, the opening of six new sales outlets and above all our numerous press gatherings and collectors’ events, not only at our new sales outlets but also at the most active outlets that we have throughout the world.
3. As with the car industry, mechanical watches have always been the fascination of numerous enthusiasts and collectors throughout the world. For my part, this fascination will never subside particularly within the style of watchmaking we find ourselves, where innovation, perfection, passion, uniqueness and exclusivity are all combined. As far as we’re concerned, we don’t perceive any threat from smart-watches either in the ladies’ or, still less, in the gents’ markets. In fact, watches will always have an importance in the image we project or in the manner by which we may be perceived by others.
4. Our presence at Baselworld has never been less critical to our business.
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?