1. As a small independent brand and unlike the majority of the leaders in the watchmaking industry, we don’t invest all our energy on exports. In focusing solely on the Asian market, a true artificial-growth bubble, all these brands will have a hard time finding new sources of growth in the near future. From our perspective, we obviously hope to expand our exports but throughout the whole world.
2. We are going to open our third single brand boutique at the end of the year. We are on the outlook for quality distributors in countries such as Korea and USA. Our product range will grow with quality non-traditional watches that will remain in a more affordable price range than luxury watches.
3. Smart-watches will become an accessory for geeks but will never eat into the mechanical watch market. A watch is a piece of art that should never be undignified by having electronics put inside.
4. Unfortunately we won’t be taking part this year at Baselworld. As a small brand, we prefer to put our investment into the expansion of our independent retail outlets before presenting ourselves at Basel, although we’ll go and meet our distributors and agents in and around the fair.
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?