It’s a strong comeback with the Tiffany CT60 watch after being somehow absent from the market, what’s your strategy to regain the market share?
It is all about doing things properly with proper timing. We learned from our previous mistakes, so the only way we could make it was to go back to Switzerland, since that’s the place where you want to make watches. The other key thing is that it’s a work that takes time and it’s about gaining confidence internally first with our own people, and externally second by our customers. Selling watches is not like selling jewellery. You need to know the product. We are educating our people and putting huge efforts in our marketing approach.
Credibility doesn’t come in one day, and we are a credible brand. We want to talk about our history, as a watchmaker, our craftsmanship and attention to details, all will take a while. The fact that today we are thinking about our ten year projection shows how committed we are. The results are very important and if all is done properly, we aim to be among the top 15 watch brands within the coming 10 years.
Today we do 4.3 billion and we plan to be much bigger in 10 years. So now you can understand what objective we have for our watches.
Tell us about the design process for the Tiffany watches.
It’s key for any brand to be successful and to be true to what the soul of the brand is that’s why I spent a lot of time at the archives trying to understand what we went through. It is about the taste, the feel and what you want to see.
We had different design directors across history but all had a common line.
It’s important to understand which path you want to go through. When we found the FDR, the watch that is very different from any watch you will find today, we didn’t want a vintage piece we needed a vintage twist. We took a few elements from our archives to achieve that. That how we are different. It’s the spirit we design watches with.
How would you describe the spirit of this watch and who is your customer?
It’s casual elegance!
If you look at New York, the most cosmopolitan city in the world you can see many types of people. We don’t think schemes. This watch goes with whoever you are. You can wear the CT60 during the day or to any cocktail. It is the watch for the man of today.
Charles Louis Tiffany was quoted saying: “Good design is good business”, to you what makes a good design?
Good design is what expresses perfectly the soul of the brand, and that sells. People see how true you are to your brand. Take Tiffany T for example, the design was so simple yet, it is the spirit of Tiffany.
In what markets the watch will be available?
It will be available globally.
What did you think of the novelties at SIHH this year?
I didn’t see anything sparkling or new. I saw pieces that spoke about the heritage of other brands. There was no wow factor, and it’s the first time in a few years. I am looking forward to Basel though.
What is in the pipeline for 2015?
It is going to be a challenging year for everyone due to the global economy. For us, we have a good start with what we created and this is just a small part of what we wanted to say, and there’s more to come. We have a new piece with diamonds; it is a cocktail piece that will be revealed this year as well as an art deco inspired piece. We are also in the process of designing an entire new iconic collection to be revealed 2016. We Just hired a new Chief Designer in Switzerland. So wait to see what’s coming next.
How would you describe your relation with Patek Philippe?
We have nine Patek Philippe salons inside our stores. We are honoured to work with them and they are happy with this partnership as it dates back to many years. It’s two amazing brands working together.
Any future plans of manufacturing watches with high complications?
It’s a good question as it allows me to talk about how committed we are.
Clearly, the Swiss industry is changing fast and dominated by big groups. Pretty soon there will be scarcity for movements and the industry manufacturers are becoming less and less.
We as a brand, decided to be back. A brand like Tiffany can’t wait or stay there and observe. So we are working now on our industrial strategy for the future. We will talk about specific things that will serve our collections, could be movements but not highly complicated watches. I am thinking about easy complications that really help you everyday like GMT, power reserve, the Perpetual calendar and the tourbillion maybe at a later stage. In that world there are people that does it better. We think about specific expertise, it could be Métiers d’art or special techniques. Gold enameling or things like that. Tiffany cant wait! That’s the future.
Interviewed by Lara Mansour Sawaya