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20th Anniversary
Bulgari Group - Jean-Christophe Babin

Bulgari Group Jean-Christophe Babin

CEO*

Jean-Christophe Babin's love affair with watchmaking began in October 2000, when he was recruited by LVMH to become chairman and CEO of TAG Heuer, recently acquired by the group. Charismatic, dynamic and versatile, Babin began work on several fronts at once to establish TAG Heuer as the fourth-largest luxury watch brand. On the commercial side, he expanded the network of exclusive-brand stores to a total of over one hundred outlets. This growth, together with the film and sports celebrities Babin associated with the brand, and the awards won by its new products (not least eight GPHG awards, including an “Aiguille d’Or”), all helped strengthen TAG Heuer’s image. Babin devoted considerable effort to stimulating innovation and integrating production in order to improve the brand’s autonomy and performance, enabling it to produce both world firsts and large quantities. The result of all this was that TAG Heuer became one of LVMH’s top ten brands.

Jean-Christophe Babin

Jean-Christphe Babin © Bulgari

In 2013, the group put Jean-Christophe Babin in charge of Bulgari (bought in 2011), where he increased sales and profitability in all divisions (fine jewellery, jewellery, watchmaking, hotels, leather goods, and perfume), doubling sales within five years in the process. Building on the group’s Roman identity, he created new watchmaking collections such as Lvcea, as well as adding a contemporary touch to iconic lines, including Bulgari Aluminium, Serpenti, and Octo, winning over new customers, particularly amongst collectors. As he had done at TAG Heuer, Jean-Christophe Babin once again invested in Bulgari’s production facility and strengthened the brand’s image, enabling it to achieve unprecedented watchmaking legitimacy, as evidenced in the five world records for slimness notched up by the Octo Finissimo. In 2020, faced with the cancellation of watchmaking exhibitions everywhere, he took the initiative of bringing together a score of brands to create the Geneva Watch Days, the only international watchmaking event of the year; naturally, Bulgari was one of the founders.

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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Lecture 1 Comment(s)

26 February 2021
RENE Courbet
Félicitations Christophe, grand manager, j'en ai été TÉMOIN.

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Bulgari has its own clear definition of excellence, which involves the perfect balance between design, added-value, quality of its products and its worldwide service. In the case of Bulgari watches, it all started with the Bulgari Bulgari watch that led to the creation of Bulgari Time in Switzerland in 1982.

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