IN­TER­VIEW: Mak­ing Gains

HAMDI CHATTI, VICE PRES­I­DENT OF WATCHES AND JEW­ELLERY AT LOUIS VUIT­TON

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Why was it im­por­tant that Louis Vuit­ton, the world’s most valu­able lux­ury brand, be­came a watch man­u­fac­turer? The time­pieces of Louis Vuit­ton are an ex­ten­sion of the glam­orous, sporty, el­e­gant, travel-ori­ented life­style that is the DNA of the brand, and our ob­jec­tive was to es­tab­lish Louis Vuit­ton as a se­ri­ous player in the field of watch­mak­ing, with the ca­pa­bil­ity to at­tract new cus­tomers to the Louis Vuit­ton world.

You’ve de­vel­oped thanks to some re­mark­able ac­qui­si­tions, which you con­sol­i­dated un­der one roof in Meyrin. Can you tell us a lit­tle about this fa­cil­ity? We have man­aged to group ev­ery­thing to­gether on a sin­gle site at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuit­ton. This re­u­ni­fi­ca­tion has en­hanced creativ­ity and brings fruit­ful syn­er­gies, as well as speed­ing up over­all re­spon­sive­ness. I think the on­go­ing sym­bio­sis be­tween de­sign­ers, watch­mak­ers, en­gi­neers, dial and case-mak­ers can lead to great ideas while mak­ing it eas­ier to bring them to fruition. Was the ac­qui­si­tion of spe­cial­ist com­pa­nies the best way to build up know-how quickly? The ob­jec­tive was very sim­ple: we wanted to mas­ter our cre­ative in­de­pen­dence. That way, if you have an idea, you can make it hap­pen. It is so clear. We believe our cus­tomers de­serve the best, and that our prod­ucts de­serve the best watch­mak­ers, the best dial­mak­ers and the best case­mak­ers.

How have you gone about gain­ing cred­i­bil­ity from afi­ciona­dos? Our man­u­fac­ture is in Geneva, the world’s cap­i­tal of Haute Hor­logerie, and the high­est cer­ti­fi­ca­tion a watch can get in this can­ton is the Geneva Seal or Poinçon de Genève. It is a guar­an­tee of prove­nance, fine crafts­man­ship and re­li­a­bil­ity, and an en­dorse­ment of an au­then­tic prod­uct, made by the great­est crafts­men in the can­ton, whose ex­per­tise has shone through­out the world for cen­turies. Our first Geneva Seal watch was re­leased in 2016 – the Voy­ager Fly­ing Tour­bil­lon – and this year we’re re­leas­ing a sec­ond – the Tam­bour Moon Geneva Seal watch. What are the core prin­ci­ples of an LV watch? Craft and qual­ity are two very im­por­tant pil­lars, and watches bring a very im­por­tant dy­namic to the House and il­lus­trate per­fectly the mix be­tween tra­di­tion and in­no­va­tion. With La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuit­ton, our am­bi­tion is to de­velop orig­i­nal func­tions linked to the Louis Vuit­ton val­ues. We take the best of both worlds: Swiss craft com­bined with Parisian fash­ion and de­sign.

How have you gone about rais­ing aware­ness for the watches you pro­duce? It’s all about the prod­uct. If the prod­uct is spec­tac­u­lar, dif­fer­ent and in­ter­est­ing, it’ll work.

What has been your proud­est achieve­ment? Per­haps the Tam­bour Moon Poinçon de Genève with its man­u­ally wound fly­ing tour­bil­lon stamped with the Geneva Seal. The watch has a del­i­cately open worked car­riage, giv­ing the im­pres­sion of ex­treme light­ness, and has been en­tirely de­vel­oped, as­sem­bled and con­trolled by the mas­ter watch­mak­ers at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuit­ton.

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