2017 Outlook François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet
The straight-talking CEO of Audemars Piguet looks back on a good year for his brand and is sanguine about the future.
"We had a good year and experienced growth, so the brand is doing well. There are some great things in the pipeline and the ambiance in the company is great. People are highly motivated to maintain our position and win market share.
We aim to grow in quality. If we cap production at 40,000 units per year then we aim to sell more through our own retail network. So people are increasingly entering an Audemars Piguet environment to buy their watch, which is proof of quality. The product mix will also change. We launched the skeleton double balance wheel models this year in a limited edition of just 500. But these are 500 watches that I have effectively taken from somewhere else in our production capacity and they are more expensive. The average price therefore increases, which in turn increases turnover.
Until we completely sell out all 40,000 watches that we produce each year, we will not produce 40,001. We have the benefit of being an independent company and our strategy has been fully approved by the family owners. This means that we can do what we want and we are not bound by shareholders to produce a return on investment."
Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry, ever since the company was first established in 1875.Find out more
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