JEAN-CLAUDE BIVER, CEO of TAG HEUER, CHAIRMAN OF HUBLOT & PRESIDENT OF LVMH WATCH DIVISION
How important was it for TAG Heuer to get into the smartwatch segment and do mechanical TAGS still have a future? Our decision to go for a smartwatch means moving to a new customer base and positioning ourselves for the new generation. It’s not contrary to producing mechanical watches. The mechanical prestige watch and the smartwatch are actually complementary to each other. After all, in exactly the same way as someone who drives an electric car in the city might drive a Porsche 911 for fun on the weekend, someone who wears a smartwatch might want to buy a mechanical watch. It is important to state that we aren’t changing our in-house movement policy or our just because we are producing smartwatches.
What does TAG Heuer now stand for? TAG Heuer has three main messages: first, it’s avant-garde, and has been since the 1860s; second, it’s an accessible luxury watch brand; third, the price perception and quality of our products should always be double the actual retail price.
Who will these smartwatches appeal to, especially among your existing customers, and can you say something about the pricing strategy for them? We are looking to attract both new and existing customers. I believe we won’t just be attracting those who haven’t worn a TAG Heuer before, but those who haven’t even worn a watch before. The 1,500 USD price is in line with our objective to have a perceived value that’s twice the price, and it represents the entry price in the luxury smartwatch segment.
Among the brand’s new releases this year, what is your favourite and why? Easy, the TAG Heuer Carrera Connected smartwatch because of its strong commercial success and the enormous buzz it has created.
What do you attribute all this buzz to? There’s the fact it’s the first Swiss connected watch, that it has the same features, and can compete with an Apple watch, and of course that it has the added value of being a Swiss watch, a TAG Heuer.
We’ve noticed that you’re targeting women more and more, especially with the Aquaracer Lady. How has it been faring and what are you doing to expand the women’s line? We are essentially trying to target men and women too, if not more, especially given that the women’s market is actually bigger than the men’s. For our lady’s collection this year, we plan on working mainly with new materials and new colours.