#Resilience


“Swiss brands left too much space for generic websites”

MARIO PESERICO

Español
December 2019


“Swiss brands left too much space for generic websites”

In our latest report about the transformation of the watch world, we selected six major issues which are having a profound impact on the industry’s present and also on its future and discussed them with about forty stakeholders of the industry. Here is the take of Mario Peserico, CEO of Eberhard & Co.

ENTRY-LEVEL
“Smart watches are a considerable challenge”

“Even if we do not operate in a market segment that is affected by the Apple Watch, I think that the producers of Swiss watches sold below 1,000 Swiss francs are facing a considerable challenge. Smart watches in general may not have experienced the fast development that was probably expected at the beginning, but they have certainly gained a market share that belonged to someone else, and numbers that make them the biggest ‘item’ among watches.”

POLARISATION
“Always existed, but more evident today”

“I believe that a certain polarisation has always existed, but it’s probably been more evident recently, particularly in the medium-to-high market segment. It is possible that the unprecedented diffusion of information in the last ten years has helped reach new people, to the point that some products tend to identify the brand, rather than the reverse. This is sometimes the case with our Chrono 4 model for Eberhard. What is sure is that bigger brands have financial resources that allow them to implement communication campaigns that are totally out of reach for independent producers, hence the increase in the visibility gap.”

Mario Peserico, CEO of Eberhard & Co
Mario Peserico, CEO of Eberhard & Co

DISTRIBUTION
“Swiss brands left too much space for generic websites”

“The switch to digital channels has been more rapid in the fashion universe than in watchmaking. This has left space for the growth of generic websites that have not helped to enhance the image of watchmaking, presenting all brands and models at the same level, with big discounts and without poetry. For this reason it is important that Swiss producers support their traditional retailers in developing their own e-commerce, so that their expertise and experience are transferred to the digital world. Moreover, recent studies show that the average price of watch sales online is not increasing as expected, and big players are realising that consumers of high-prestige products are not particularly motivated to buy online.”

"Smart watches in general may not have experienced the fast development that was probably expected at the beginning, but they have certainly gained a market share that belonged to someone else, and numbers that make them the biggest ‘item’ among watches."

PRE-OWNED
“A watch is considered a first step towards a better watch”

“The change comes from a new attitude towards durable consumer goods. I remember the time when we had to fight to buy pieces that we wanted for our historical collection. Now, a watch is often considered a step towards a new, more expensive timepiece, so it is re-sold more easily. The positive aspect is that this is a new entry door to the universe of Swiss watches for those who cannot afford to pay new prices. It is another way to disseminate watchmaking culture.”

“The switch to digital channels has been more rapid in the fashion universe than in watchmaking."

OPPORTUNITIES
“The biggest challenge is the new generation”

“It is becoming more and more difficult to open up new territories, there are hardly any left. The best that we can do to increase the pool is to conquer the interest and passion of the new generations, for the sake of our commercial results and of Swiss watchmaking culture. This is the biggest challenge today. Nevertheless, there are some huge territories (the United States for example), where the population size and average income leave ample room for growth.”