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20th Anniversary
Maurice Lacroix - Stéphane Waser

Maurice Lacroix Stéphane Waser

Managing Director*

Stéphane Waser's demeanour may be unfailingly measured and unflappable, but still waters run deep: he has in fact fought his way over many difficult hurdles. He made an initial foray into watchmaking in 1998 with TAG Heuer, before spending five years in the tobacco industry and a further three in pharmaceuticals, where he gained extensive experience in managing, developing and marketing international brands.

In the midst of the 2008 crisis, Waser returned to watchmaking, joining Maurice Lacroix in Saignelégier as International Marketing Director. His first task was to transform a product into a brand. Implementing this strategy involved a thorough-going review of the firm’s identity, the number of watches in the catalogue, production rationalisation, positioning, the target audience, and PR. For the latter, he established partnerships with FC Barcelona and Wallpaper. Having firmly grasped the importance of social media, Waser launched the award-winning digital campaign “The French Job”. In 2014, he became Managing Director of the brand. With a more youthful and modern energy, Maurice Lacroix sent a clear message, appealing to millennials – a clientele the brand has also been in touch with through its Friends of the Brand programme since 2019.

Stéphane Waser

Stéphane Waser © Maurice Lacroix

When it came to watches, Waser knew that the brand needed a best-seller. Looking through the archives, he had the idea of offering a new take on the Calypso, a successful watch produced by Maurice Lacroix in the 1990s, and renamed it Aikon. The six iconic rider tabs were preserved, enhanced by new urban, contemporary styling. The result was an affordable Swiss Made watch with high perceived value yet priced between CHF 1,000 and CHF 3,000. It met with immediate success, and the brand continued to expand the line. At the same time, Waser set about promoting the Manufacture’s watchmaking knowhow. To do so, he focused on avant-garde complications in the Masterpiece collection, still with the idea of providing Manufacture watches at affordable prices – a strategy that has earned the collection a number of international awards. Today, the brand’s ascent continues. Indeed, as a yoga enthusiast, Waser is well aware of a fundamental truth: while it may take a long time, success is the fruit of patience and perseverance.

*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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Based in the Jura region of Switzerland, Maurice Lacroix has been producing fine Swiss timepieces for over 40 years and has developed 14 in-house movements over the past ten years.

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