Longines

Longines in num­bers, ac­cord­ing to their highly sta­tis­ti­cal CEO—Wal­ter von Känel.

Esquire (Singapore) - - Contents -

Wal­ter von Känel.

We do 1.4 mil­lion pieces ev­ery year; SGD2.1 mil­lion in con­sol­i­dated value, putting us at No. 4 in Switzer­land. This means we sell roughly 6,000 pieces a day.

We fo­cus on the SGD1,500 to

SGD4,500 price range, which makes up 50 per­cent of our busi­ness. In this band, we have taken 30 per­cent mar­ket share out of 500 brands so I can say we dom­i­nate our seg­ment.

I started with Longines in 1969 (the same year we in­tro­duced our first quartz move­ment) and af­ter spend­ing two-thirds of my life in this price seg­ment, I know we are in the vol­ume busi­ness. The strat­egy has al­ways been con­sis­tency, con­tin­u­a­tion and fo­cus. Stay in your league and, in this in­dus­try, the league means the price range.

The Mas­ter col­lec­tion is still our num­ber one col­lec­tion; we do over 300,000 pieces per year and it rep­re­sents 30 per­cent of Longines sales.

Each of our col­lec­tions comes with a va­ri­ety of case sizes and ma­te­ri­als so we can ef­fec­tively cover the mar­ket. Thanks to this ap­proach, the pro­por­tion of ladies’ watches within Longines is quite high. Seven out of 12 col­lec­tions have watches for women.

China is an im­por­tant mar­ket for Longines; I go ev­ery four to six weeks.

The three hands calendar move

ment makes up 85 per­cent of our me­chan­i­cal watches.

In 1984, we launched the first Con­quest VHP and the new ver­sion is pre­cise to plus or mi­nus five sec­onds a year. We priced it un­der SGD1,500 for the three hands and per­pet­ual calendar date.

When it comes to the smart­watch,

it be­longs to Ap­ple, Huawei and Sam­sung. They can change mod­els in three months; we can­not. I need one year or at least nine months. But still, it has not hurt my busi­ness. The Ap­ple Watch only achieved 50 per­cent of its tar­get; I know this be­cause I know where they make their cases.

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