Corum Interview with Davide Traxler
Our editor-in-chief asked new Corum COO Davide Traxler about his plans for the brand.
We spoke to Robert Dreyfuss recently about Eterna and he mentioned that he had been instrumental in your recruitment at Corum. What remit has he given you?
Robert is an extraordinary entrepreneur and a manager and friend. He is the sort of person that is very convincing. He introduced me to the Citychamp group and from there on we discussed and agreed terms. The speed at which Robert has turned around the business at Eterna is extraordinary and we have a similar mission here, to make the brand profitable.
Corum is a different brand, I like to think that it offers special watches for special people. The mission is to get the word out about the brand and bring together all the knowledge within the company. I want to build a glass house where everyone can look in and everyone inside can look out. We must not forget that of the two major historical watchmaking centres in Switzerland, La Chaux-de-Fonds, where Corum is based, is the only one that accepted apprentices from outside the town, so there has always been this culture of openness. I think we should be looking for inspiration outside, because that is where the bridge concept originally came from.
How do you plan to develop the collections?
What is exciting about the Bubble collection is that it is so eye-catching and what we would like to do is build up excitement around the collection by bringing in street artists, rappers, DJs, painters… basically whoever wants to partner with us and bring an idea that would make a recognisable Corum watch special for people who have their own followers. That way we can communicate openly in a way that we cannot do at the moment, touching people all over the world but at the same time maintaining exclusivity through the limited number of pieces we will produce. This is a concept that we will already be presenting in Basel next year.
For the Bridge, I see that the heritage itself is the concept. I think there are plenty of opportunities to work with the theme of the bridge using our micro-mechanical expertise in order to create new variations around the theme of the bridge. This will also be something that we will be presenting in Basel next year.
How do you see the brand fitting within the group, compared with, say, Eterna?
I think Eterna is perfectly placed where it is. With Corum we have a brand whose watches start from 10,000 Swiss francs upwards. And when I say upwards it can be up to 250,000 Swiss francs. I think what distinguishes Corum is not the price but the specifics of the product. All the products have to be extraordinary for what they are, regardless of the price range they may be in.
But with price becoming more and more an important factor for the customer…
I don’t agree with you. I think it’s more the mix of design and watchmaking know-how that is important.
What possibilities do you have for synergies with Eterna Movement Company?
We will be introducing in-house movements in a series of products but for the Bridge I am attached to the fact that we have a long-term partner and I don’t think that should be changed. I believe in long-term relationships.
What is your outlook for next year?
We have three channels for next year: firstly capitalize on the Bridge and bring something innovative that maintains the salient features of the model. Secondly, with the Bubble we are open to the world. I want a collection that is accessible and has an element of fun in it. Sometimes the industry can be too dusty and too serious. The Bubble should be all about smiling. For the Admirals Cup line, it will be all about flags and colour. That is my map of optimism.
Corum takes aesthetic daring to the heights of technical perfection. Through a number of collections, drawing on the fundamentals of traditional watchmaking, the manufacture continues to pursue its path free from the influence of passing trends.Find out more
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