“We’re work­ing on a new cal­iber for next year, and we’ll con­tinue, if pos­si­ble, to come up with a new me­chan­i­cal in­no­va­tion ev­ery year or two”

DA MAN - Caliber - - INSIDERS -

Also, in cer­tain tech­nolo­gies like so­lar en­ergy, es­pe­cially for the con­nected watches. Cit­i­zen is re­ally good at very thin move­ments. What they pro­duced last year is quite in­cred­i­ble. Their quartz tech­nol­ogy is fan­tas­tic. But, on the other hand, we brought to the ta­ble a lot of Swiss me­chan­i­cal know-how. Yes, Cit­i­zen al­ready has La JouxPer­ret for Swiss move­ments, in­clud­ing for Arnold & Son, and we have al­ready col­lab­o­rated with them. The im­por­tant point of this ac­qui­si­tion, how­ever, is that the group has a multi-brand strat­egy, so ev­ery brand has a dif­fer­ent price seg­ment. DA: How’s the mar­ket’s re­sponse to­ward all of th­ese changes? PS: We were quite con­cerned to see how the mar­ket would re­act. We have, from the be­gin­ning, clearly ex­plained why we did it: Our two chil­dren, one is in Stand­ford [Univer­sity] in the U.S. and the other one who wants to go into the med­i­cal field, clearly told us they don’t want to go into the watch busi­ness. Then, when you’re ap­proached to be ac­quired—we’re ap­proached by two groups, later even an­other group also came along— if we say we want to keep it in the fam­ily, what’ll hap­pen with the com­pany?

Also, the com­pany has al­ready gone big with Hong Kong, Ger­man, Dutch, French sub­sidiaries and a Swiss com­pany. You can’t sim­ply hand over this com­pany to some­one who’s new any­more. It’s too dan­ger­ous. So, Cit­i­zen came, and they said that we want to have you do what you have done for five years. Other groups wanted to be hands-on from the start. We felt very com­fort­able, and then we de­cided to go with them. Frankly speak­ing, I’m still very happy with the ac­qui­si­tion. DA: What about your mar­ket shares in Ja­pan? How does Ja­pan re­spond to me­chan­i­cal watches con­sid­er­ing Cit­i­zen is big on quartz time­pieces? PS: The Ja­panese also like me­chan­i­cal watches. We’re sell­ing more me­chan­i­cal watches than quartz in Ja­pan. I think at least 70 per­cent is me­chan­i­cal. So, for Swiss watches, it’s mainly me­chan­i­cal; but, of course, for Cit­i­zen, it’s quartz watches. DA: In the long run, will you pro­duce more in-house move­ments de­spite the ac­qui­si­tion, con­sid­er­ing it has been one of the high­lights for Fred­erique Con­stant? PS: No change. Now, we have the fly­back chrono­graph. We’re work­ing on a new cal­iber for next year, and we’ll con­tinue, if pos­si­ble, to come up with a new me­chan­i­cal in­no­va­tion ev­ery year or two—if it’s not too com­pli­cated. DA: How do you bal­ance the cre­ations of the tra­di­tional and the con­nected time­pieces? PS: Both are prod­ucts of in­no­va­tion. So, the in-house per­pet­ual cal­en­dar we did last year for un­der €4,000— it’s never done be­fore. Also, what we do rep­re­sents a new way in creat­ing new me­chan­i­cal cal­ibers. We tried to make the com­po­nents so ac­cu­rate that, when the watch­maker ac­tu­ally as­sem­bles the move­ment, it works

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