“We’re not changing our DNA, to be ‘ younger,’ so to speak. We’re Swiss a watchmaker for businessmen and businesswomen”
perfectly from the very first time. They don’t need to do any manual adjustments. Then we come with the complication like the flyback chronograph.
Innovation is clearly there with the connected watches, too. We did the first one in 2015, and that was a men’s watch. Now, we’ve introduced the ladies’ watch and the e-strap. So, we have three digital platforms that elevate our offerings. DA: Does this mean you will be more aggressive in the connected segment? PS: Yes. It already represents 10 percent of the business turnover after only two years’ time. We used to have 30 percent in quartz, but now it’s only 25 percent in quartz and 10 percent in connected watches. So, it has really eaten up some part of the quartz segment. DA: How is Ateliers deMonaco doing now? PS: It’s still very small. They work with very few retailers. In Singapore, there’s one point of sales. It’s a watch for someone who wants what nobody else has. So, it uses a one-on-one sales strategy for very expensive pieces, up to €200,000. And the brand is growing gradually. We work with a few retailers, but then it’s typically with these retailers that organize private dinners. It’s more personal. It’s also bespoke, as well. Like very special dials, combination of materials, special diamond colors and so on. DA: These days, there are more and more brands offering entry-level prices. How does this impact Frederique Constant’s bottom line? PS: We have seen all these changes from others, with so many adjustments. We have had the strategy of accessible luxury for over 20 years. All that time, we slowly grew. Last year, the growth halted a little, now we’re back on course again. I don’t see that such change affects us; we just continue what we do best. Everybody knows Frederique Constant is value for money. All the retailers know, and even the clients know about it. Meanwhile, other brands need to explain why last year they’re too expensive. DA: Last but definitely not least, what is Frederique Constant doing to reach potential buyers from the younger generations? The millennials, if you will? PS: In the digital space, we do more and more to reach the younger people. We’ve had one million fans on Facebook and we clearly see that we reach mostly 20-somethings versus the older market. Product-wise, we have the entry-level watches and, of course, the connected watches. So, we definitely have products for younger customers. I’m not really so sure that we really have a lot of young customers, though. It’s something we should investigate. But typically, our customers are around 30 years old.
So, we’re not changing our DNA, to be “younger,” so to speak. We’re first and foremost a Swiss watchmaker for businessmen and businesswomen. That’s typically our first market. As a matter of fact, our strongest market shares are in Europe at 38 percent. Asia is about 26 percent. Everybody wants to go to China, but the market changes quite rapidly.