“We’re not chang­ing our DNA, to be ‘ younger,’ so to speak. We’re Swiss a watch­maker for busi­ness­men and busi­ness­women”

DA MAN - Caliber - - INSIDERS -

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.

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