“Longines made over CHF1.5 bil­lion, so we had a good year. On a wider scope, we have been suc­cess­ful in mul­ti­ply­ing the turnover by five in the last ten years”

DA MAN - Caliber - - INSIDERS -

it’s bet­ter DA: If so, then what about Longines’ busi­ness di­rec­tion this year? Or, do you re­main stag­nant, so to speak? WVK: No change in the busi­ness di­rec­tion. Why should I change con­sid­er­ing the suc­cess story we have? In each line, we’ve added so many ad­di­tions in terms of sizes, or di­als, and we’ve also killed some un­sellable pieces. This year we pro­duce 1,400,000 units, and the Master Col­lec­tion alone makes up 310,000 pieces. Again, look­ing at the mar­ket share and the rev­enue, why should we change?

This year, we beefed up the ladies’ watches quite heav­ily in spite of the fact that the ladies’ watches al­ready made up more than 50 per­cent of our busi­ness. So, we have a new Dol­ceVita, Sym­phonette, Pri­maLuna and, in fact, the new Eques­trian is do­ing well. We’ve also added some nov­el­ties to our fa­vorite Her­itage col­lec­tion, which is not a big busi­ness but a big plea­sure. To cut a long story short, it’s all done with con­sis­tency and con­tin­u­a­tion of our pol­icy and strat­egy, but we watch our mar­ket very, very closely. DA: Some brands are al­ready gear­ing up by pro­duc­ing their own move­ments, which jack up the price of some of the watches, too. What’s your take on this? WVK: Once again, we want to stay in our price seg­ment. 85 per­cent of our busi­ness is the three-hand (hour, minute and sec­onds) watches. Of course, we have chrono­graphs, but those are not the main busi­ness. On the sub­ject of move­ments, for us, we sell watches. Th­ese watches have a brand, de­sign, price and qual­ity, etc. We sell a fi­nal prod­uct, but we don’t sell a move­ment. You see the big dif­fer­ence? Some of my col­leagues in France, they fo­cus on the move­ment. I fo­cus on the fi­nal prod­uct. And we have a lot of the ex­clu­sive move­ments, but we don’t talk about them. The bulk of our busi­ness is us­ing ex­clu­sive move­ments, in fact, but I want to sell a fi­nal prod­uct with the de­sign, qual­ity and brand. DA: Do you think that the mar­ket is not ask­ing for in-house move­ments? WVK: Do you think my per­for­mance is not con­firm­ing what we do is cor­rect? We don’t want to do ev­ery­thing. Our com­peti­tors are mostly talk­ing about ev­ery­thing and ac­tu­ally not do­ing ev­ery­thing. We don’t want to do that. We sim­ply can­not do ev­ery­thing. DA: Last but not least, do you think the Longines com­pany to­day has grown to be as how you wanted it to be? WVK: Num­ber four in this in­dus­try! Num­ber four! And num­ber one in my price seg­ment! With a very prof­itable mar­ket share. How else do you want the com­pany to be? Hah! [ Laughs]

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