A NEW DIRECTION
An honest chat with the new head honcho of Breitling, Georges Kern THE IN-HOUSE DEBATE
ROUND TABLE INTERVIEWS are typically stressful for any interviewee. Journalists crossfiring questions can change the flow of conversation every two minutes. But Georges Kern showed he is a true veteran of the industry by the way he navigated the hail of queries. Read on to find out how he intends to revamp and elevate Breitling.
Breitling has always shown mystery at its management level. How do you see the restructuring of its communications?
Before Breitling was acquired by CVC, it was a private company belonging to a private person who built something fantastic. It was very successful in the US and Europe, but it needs to be ready for a different setting.
Everybody has their style; I have mine. I have no problems talking to the press or being on Instagram. I think it’s really important in the context of a transformation and it’s why we are doing these phenomenal roadshows. We have been to Shanghai, Tokyo, Osaka, Singapore. I have met with 800 retailers, and hundreds of journalists and bloggers. We have been very active online for the first time.
When you look at the product, the novelties, how we reworked the Chronomat, the Navitimer, the Superocean Heritage... Suddenly, you have a different brand, but it’s the same. It’s just a contemporary, more upto-date Breitling and in 40 minutes, we will announce something huge. (AM: It was the announcement of Breitling Squads)
Where do you see Breitling going?
I would need hours to explain that properly. Let’s start with the first thing: strategy. Breitling has always been perceived as a pilots’ brand, with a quality of utility that can easily extend the world of Breitling into other spheres. Of course, aviation remains the brand’s main pillar.
Its emphasis on functional, legible pilot’s watches led to bigger, overt designs. But Breitling also produced elegant watches like the Premier and the Top Time. From today on, Breitling will once more execute small elegant watches alongside its bigger brothers. We will focus on contemporary, stylish and tasteful offerings. Take for example the Super 8 we just launched. It’s sized at 46mm, but it’s more restrained in design and expression.
We are keeping big watches. We will work on enhancing the design of our larger watches. For instance, our new Chronomat is satin-brushed, not polished. We have completely reviewed the dial to be simpler and cleaner. It’s a whole new watch.
How will the new design ethos be reflected in the brand’s campaign?
Our communication will be more industrialand lifestyle-driven, with a touch of the neo-vintage. We want to keep it informal and personal. In our boutiques today, we have stopped all the cartoons and the pop art-