1. 2016 is going to be a very tough year for the watchmaking industry, as the situation carried over from last year is not very encouraging. We’re anticipating that the watchmaking companies will not attain the same results as previously and that we’ll see a restructuring of the Swiss horology market. Small, independent companies which aren’t part of a larger group are the most at risk. Luckily, we’re presently in a period of growth and can pursue our long-term objectives and go on expanding our production of watch movements.
2. Given that we develop and produce movements, we’re going to expand our range of products, which means we’ll have a more diverse portfolio to present to customers. Our target is to produce 20,000 movements and acquire new customers. Moreover, we’re going to attend a number of world trade fairs to step up communications and raise brand recognition.
3. I’m sure that mechanical watches will continue to exist and that they will develop in terms of functions, design and materials. We operate in the niche market of mechanical movements. Our customers also have the possibility of choosing and combining the functions as well as the décor of the movement however they like. I’m convinced that this niche is well-positioned and highly promising. I don’t see what kind of a threat smartwatches pose to us, because we don’t represent or target the same markets. We’re remaining true to our principles and assuming that young people who have a smartwatch today will buy a real watch when they’re a bit older.
4. This watchmakers’ trade fair is important for the entire Swiss watchmaking industry. We make an important contribution, because we offer customisable, affordable movements in the aim of preserving the Swiss watch heritage. And as a young company, it’s evident that we have to be at the Basel trade fair first and foremost to present our new products.
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?