SIHH 2016 With Christophe Claret, de Bethune and Laurent Ferrier
The CEOs explain why their brands will exhibit at the SIHH, along with H. Moser & Cie, HYT, Hautlence, MB&F, Urwerk and Voutilainen..
In this second part of yesterday article "SIHH 2016 - From 16 to 24 exhibitors", Christophe Claret, Laurent Ferrier, and Pierre Jacques - CEO of De Bethune - explain why they have accepted the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie's invitation to take part in the SIHH 2016.
Exhibiting in both Geneva and Basel brings with it a financial burden in a depressed global economy. But like the other new exhibitors at the SIHH, Christophe Claret sees the extra exhibition as an opportunity to boost business that simply has to be taken. “We have been talking with the organisers of the SIHH about this opportunity for several years and we are very happy to be able to exhibit there next year,” says Christophe Claret. “Given the difficult economic climate at the moment we cannot afford to pass up on business opportunities. For the moment, we will maintain our presence at Baselworld because we have invested a lot of money in our stand. Maybe we will adapt our positioning according the results from the SIHH. Our presence at the SIHH was confirmed in too short a time frame to allow us to present a specific new product for the exhibition, but we will nevertheless have a number of new watches that have not yet been seen by many of our customers, and even less so by potential future customers, such as the Marguerite, the Mecca and the X-TREM 1 in blue.”
Pierre Jacques, CEO of De Bethune
“As a member of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie for the past three years, exhibiting at the SIHH was logical for us,” says Pierre Jacques, who is well-placed to judge the importance of the SIHH, since he attended it in 2010 when he was manager of the Les Ambassadeurs store in Geneva. This privileged access to press and the trade from around the world, with a 75m2 stand in the heart of the action, helps to facilitate growth in an increasingly uncertain economic climate.
Pierre Jacques also knows the value of a brand such as De Bethune for the attractiveness of the Salon de la Haute Horlogerie: “We are a genuine manufacture (we even produce our own dials and hands) and are regularly acknowledged at international competitions, notably with the Aiguille d’Or of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, and are among the 20 most searched-for high-end watch brands on the Internet (according to the World Watch Report 2014 by DLG)”. As the cult brand among collectors already exhibited both in Geneva and Basel, the planning for new product launches will remain the same, although visitors to Baselworld will have to visit the brand at the Ramada hotel next year, rather than in the Palace.
“We said yes immediately – it’s a real honour to find ourselves in a situation like this” says the founder of the brand by the same name, who has high hopes for the 2016 edition of the SIHH. “On the one hand, we are no longer lost amid a welter of 350 other small brands like at Baselworld, but instead appearing amongst only eight others that are all of excellent standing; and on the other, the natural selection of visitors at the SIHH ensures excellent quality of the contacts made there, both with the media and the retailers” adds Laurent Ferrier, whose only regret lies in not being able to exhibit at both fairs.
And what about production if his wish for sales growth comes true? “Laurent Ferrier must remain a highly exclusive, discreet brand. Our clients will continue to be able to walk around with a watch that is devoid of any ostentation. That’s the advantage of having limited production: we will always have 100 to 150 people in the world who want to treat themselves to our creations. We just need to be capable of producing 150 rather than 100 if our presence at the SIHH proves a success.”
The Christophe Claret watches are truly exceptional mechanisms. They testify to expertise resolutely geared towards technological innovation and consistently pushing back the limits of watchmaking...Find out more
De Bethune embraces the wealth of the watchmaking knowhow of the past in order to design the watches of the future. This combination results in timepieces with all the attributes and technical...Find out more
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