Cyrus Cyrus forges ahead
The Geneva watchmaker is preparing to conquer the French market. 2016 marked the brand’s return to growth; 2017 will be about ensuring that growth is sustainable.
Cyrus CEO Ruben Mira Blanco may be a lone rider, but he is backed up by a posse of retailers. After producing around 800 watches last year, he is now ready to expand his network. The company may be small, but it punches above its weight. It can now count among its number Freret-Roy, a Parisian retailer that specialises in independent brands. It knows its market and sees potential for Cyrus.
For his part, Ruben Mira Blanco makes no secret of his ambitions: “We want to become a leader in the market for original, independent chronographs retailing at between 10,000 and 20,000 francs.” Hublot, Audemars Piguet and Rolex are pitched higher, but Cyrus is staking its resources on the conviction that there is a niche it can fill.
These resources include a partnership with Chronode. Jean-François Mojon is responsible for the brand’s main technical developments. Some are part of a joint effort, such as with the Cyrus Alarm, an alarm watch based on a Chronode module, which has been used by other brands in the past, most notably Harry Winston. Cyrus has also made the most of it. By sharing a non-exclusive complication that belongs directly to the movement manufacturer, costs can be lowered (39,000 francs), even where quantities are very small (30 units). All of them have been sold. We asked Ruben Mira Blanco if he was tempted to produce a second series. “Certainly not. We’ve moved onto something different,” he confirmed.
This “something different” is more ambitious: Cyrus’s first in-house tourbillon. It will also be signed Chronode, but given that the family that owns Cyrus has also bought shares in Chronode, they can now officially claim manufacture status.
The design is the work of Benjamin Muller (Louis Moinet, Jacob & Co.), whose edgy contemporary style has left its indelible mark on the watch. This is good news for Cyrus, whose USP is a unique aesthetic signature. “We plan to continue using Benjamin for our future designs,” notes Ruben Mira Blanco.
The watch will feature a vertical tourbillon, and will be far from simple to construct. But that doesn’t appear to be a problem for either Chronode or Cyrus. “I don’t produce any collections or models that couldn’t take a tourbillon,” points out the CEO. Even though the first Klepcys isn’t yet in the shops, there are already plans for a sister model: a tourbillon chronograph. Where the price of the current version, without tourbillon, will be deliberately capped at CHF 99,000, the complicated version will no doubt have loftier price aspirations.
Minute repeater on the horizon
But will their clients follow? Ruben Mira Blanco believes they will. And he admits to nurturing a dream of a minute repeater. His Japanese retailer sells 60 of them every year, so the demand is clearly there. But so far, not the supply. If a Cyrus minute repeater were to become available one day, it would be different. But different how? “We have a few ideas,” confides Jean-François Mojon. “For example, we could think about having a hammer that strikes something other than a gong, which would produce a different sound.” Ruben Mira Blanco adds: “If it’s going to go ding-ding-dong like all the other minute repeaters, it would be a waste of time as far as we’re concerned. We have to make something different, and something cheaper, or our customers will go elsewhere.”
Cyrus is aiming high, but so far the CEO (who is also responsible for marketing, communication, after-sales, logistics, sales and everything else) has aimed accurately. He has succeeded almost single-handedly in putting things back on track. Last year, Cyrus made a profit for the first time. Europe is largely on board (UK, France, Italy). The next step is Latin America. And Mexico looks particularly promising, which is why Cyrus will be back at the SIAR for the third time this coming autumn.
Above all, Cyrus sees itself as a non-conventional firm. With a very distinctive style and a number of patented functions, the Firm is committed to proving that fine watchmaking can be innovative by getting off the beaten track, without compromising quality in the slightest.Find out more
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