Jérôme Lambert, CEO Montblanc
I’ve met Jérôme Lambert a number of times over the years, both in a formal interview and informally, at an event, or even crossing the street as he inspects his local boutiques. He’s always a great person to talk to, but I have to admit, interviewing him is not an easy task. It’s not that he’s not willing, quite the contrary; it’s that he is always so excited about the new products that his maison is introducing that he gets completely sidetracked and spends almost the entire time presenting them!
I must admit, when I first arranged to see him at SIHH (formally), I was very curious about the role that he will be taking up on April 1st, namely as Head of Operations responsible for central and regional services and all maisons other than jewelry and watchmaking. However, ever the professional, and also because it’s highly unlikely that I’m the first person to want to ask him about that, he immediately cut me off and said that he wasn’t going to talk about it until April 1st. At the moment, he is officially CEO of Montblanc, until the end of March.
I did not have time to formulate my next question that Lambert was already rummaging through his office at SIHH and bringing out the new watches, and explaining the finer details about what he liked in this or that one, asking me to try them on, see how they operated, particularly the TimeWalker Rally Timer 100, which he insisted on showing as a wristwatch, on a chain, and as a table clock. It’s a privilege to have the CEO of the brand walk you through the collection, but the time is precious, particularly at SIHH, and before I knew it, I needed to wrap things up so he could move on to this next appointment. I did get some comments though on the Montblanc E-Strap, which I felt was strangely absent following its introduction in 2015. He said: “It continues, we did the first E-Strap, and we’ll do the second E-Strap in a few months. Following Moore’s Law, it’ll have different functions, additional technical points, but it’ll continue, it’s a product that we’ll keep in the collection on a regular cycle. This past year we had our Augmented Paper; it’s huge, we’re always out of stock. It was our top reference in France, Germany and Italy in the months following its launch. In any case, it reinforces what we’ve said that we can create bridges with the digital world. We keep on working, developing, and these are big, important developments, but it’s going in the right direction.” And with that, he got his watches lined up for his next appointment.