On the wonders of ceramics, brand transformation and the parallel success of Andy Murray and Rado.
ESQ: When it comes to Rado, do you feel that it could lose the brand leadership in the production of ceramic watches? MATTHIAS BRESCHAN: No, it has never lost its leadership in this sector. However, we have always designed for a very loyal clientele, but to propose new designs we needed to get the younger set. Also, there were many brands selling ceramic watches for USD200 or USD300. For a consumer it was not easy to understand why Rado watches cost two or three thousand when you could get one for a tenth of that price. Our ceramic has a much higher quality. For example, with all the others, the centerpieces are surrounded by ceramic steel, while we build everything in one ceramic block.
ESQ: Does Rado give what the consumers want? MB: Certainly. 2012 was the best year in Rado’s history, and the same happened in 2013. I am convinced that 2014 will also be the same.
ESQ: Is the brand transformation complete? MB: No. We will present two new families but also go back to iconic styles. We are returning to what made Rado strong in the past. Our next big step will be that these changes are visible to the consumer.
ESQ: How big is your department devoted to research and development?
MB: To create the Rado Touch we worked together with people from research and development of pottery manufacture, the battery, the hands and movements. Therein lies the great strength of the group: we do not depend on external producers.
ESQ: How much more can you move forward with ceramic?
MB: No limit. As it is not a natural material, we can achieve more resistant qualities.
ESQ: How did you decide that tennis was the right partnership for Rado? Did you consider other sports?
MB: Rado was involved with tennis for a long time. After the previous partnership ended, we brought it back again two years ago because it still shares the same values as the brand.
ESQ: Was Andy Murray your first choice?
MB: Yes, absolutely. For his personality and because we saw his potential.
ESQ: Does the relationship of the brand with tennis work?
MB: Sure, thanks in part to the success of Andy Murray and because we do things differently. We do not put our logo everywhere. For example, with the court collection we have different colours representing the three types of tennis court surfaces. We do that so the consumer has a real and authentic perception of what we are doing.
ESQ: What can you tell us about the Diamaster collection?
MB: Compareto the Hyperchrome collection it is more classic. It also has the unique feature of having afive-joints ceramic bracelet, which is extremely difficult to make. We just released the first pieces and the sales have been amazing.
ESQ: Do you have a strategy to increase the number of stores?
MB: In Asia currently we have 90 Rado stand-alone stores. The strategy depends on the country, if we have good sales partners and loyal, we operate with them. If we find partners, we will operate.
ESQ: How important are the special editions?
MB: Every year we do them. Last year was a product that was called RW1 with the new silicon nitride ceramic. We also modified the movement to make it lighter. The entire watch weighs 68g.