INTERVIEW: Making Gains
HAMDI CHATTI, VICE PRESIDENT OF WATCHES AND JEWELLERY AT LOUIS VUITTON
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.