1. 2016 will be very interesting. When circumstances are less favourable the quality of the decisions made and the actions undertaken become even more decisive. The budgeting for 2016 needs to be equally prudent and we have set a budget identical to that of 2015. Obviously the worldwide geopolitical climate is in great part responsible for the prudence being demonstrated by consumers. Greater access to information on true product value is equally an element that influences the clients’ final buying process.
2. We must take care of distribution. We must work along with distribution partners that understand the brand’s allure and know how to pass this on to their clients. New opportunities will open up: Iran, Cuba, Australia, etc. The consumers are out there but they’re more mobile and more reactive than in the past, we have to adapt. At the SIHH we launched our integrated chronographer, a movement we created 100% by ourselves to celebrate our 20th anniversary, and it was very well received. We also presented the “Senfine” concept model, with more than 70 day’s working autonomy, a real step forward in Swiss mechanical watch technology research. We attach ourselves more and more to the brand’s 100% Swiss heritage along with genuine know-how.
3. Mechanical watchmaking will never disappear. It will simply continue to evolve. It must draw from the latest technologies and in the same way pull ideas and energy from other activity sectors to enable its continued development. Aerospace, medicine, electronics, are all incredible research sources for the future of watchmaking. We need to have open, inventive minds.
4. We won’t be present at Basel but were at the SIHH, which turned out to be highly positive. It allowed us to meet up with everyone over just a few days. Journalists, technical specialists, clients, retailers, colleagues, etc., it’s a one-off venue for exchanging ideas. It also gives everyone an instant opportunity to take an objective look at the market: the strongest and weakest factors, the tangible progress and activities, the really basic questions and the peripheral debates. It’s important.
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?