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Longines - Ten Minutes With Matthias Breschan: Discover The Man Behind Longines

Longines Ten Minutes With Matthias Breschan: Discover The Man Behind Longines

CEO of the winged hourglass brand for now three months, Matthias Breschan shares with us his vision for the future of Longines.

Of Austrian origin, Matthias Breschan is no stranger to the field of watchmaking. A member of the Swatch Group since 1996, he managed Rado and Hamilton, before becoming CEO of Longines on 1 July 2020. Here, you will find his view on Longines and watchmaking. 

Dix minutes avec Matthias Breschan : découvrez l'homme derrière Longines

Matthias Breschan © Longines

What first made you interested in the watchmaking business?
It’s the only sector I know of that always returns to tradition in order to develop. In watchmaking, keeping a tradition alive is what keeps the industry alive. Longines, in particular, has impressive historical archives and today offers very technically high-performance products. For this, the brand benefits from the Swatch Group’s extensive facilities, a decisive factor in pushing the limits of innovation. 

What unique quality do you think you bring to your brand?
Innovation is the key element, which enables us to move forward. Our minds have to be constantly on the lookout for novelties and new things seen here and there, at the bend in the road or over the course of a journey.

Dix minutes avec Matthias Breschan : découvrez l'homme derrière Longines

Heritage Classic Tuxedo © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

What type of leader do you want to be for Longines?
Together with the various teams, I want to take the brand ever further, into territories that have remained unexplored despite all that has been done in the past. It’s not a question of locking ourselves into our history, but of using it as a springboard to ensure the pursuit of innovation, both technically and aesthetically.

Which watch do you wear most often, and why?
I choose without hesitation the flagship model of the new Longines Spirit collection: its leather strap and black dial, as well as numerous aesthetic and technical details, make it the quintessential pilot’s watch. This collection was launched just before my arrival at the head of Longines. It represents a turning point for the brand, which displays its rich heritage with renewed conviction. 

Dix minutes avec Matthias Breschan : découvrez l'homme derrière Longines

Longines Spirit © Longines

What is the biggest misconception people have about Longines that you would like to get rid of?
Longines is certainly a great brand. It is one of the greats because of its rich history, the breadth of its distribution and the quality of its products, both then and now. Its roots are deeply rooted in the small town of Saint-Imier, Switzerland, and open up to a horizon that knows no bounds. Longines has worked with the greatest aviators, sportsmen and women, scientists and artists in every country in the world. Our clients should know this.

On the other hand, what is the least known thing about Longines that you would like to make famous?
Its history. Its stories. Longines is almost 190 years old. The brand has never left Saint-Imier and its successive directors have always been keen to preserve its heritage. Its archives are a real treasure. You only have to visit the Longines Museum, at the heart of the company, to realise this. The brand is, for example, able to identify precisely each of the watches produced since its origins thanks to the most efficient digital tools.

Dix minutes avec Matthias Breschan : découvrez l'homme derrière Longines

Flagship Heritage © Longines

Give us a one-word (or one-phrase) hint about your future plans for the brand.
Heritage and innovation.

What is your long-term vision for Longines? In which direction do you wish to steer the brand? 
Longines has its loyal and passionate community, its afficionados. What is rare in watchmaking is that it brings together both men and women, young and old, on every continent. We want to maintain this network and expand it, to show all those who are not yet aware that Longines is an exceptional brand with watches that draw distinction.

 

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Based in St. Imier since 1832, Longines has a long tradition in watchmaking, characterised by the elegance of its watches. Using expertise gained as the company has evolved, Longines has gradually forged ties with the world of sport, where it demonstrates its excellence in precision timekeeping. Today, Longines is the oldest brand still in business, unchanged, in the international registers held by the World Intellectual Property Organization...

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