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20th Anniversary
Montblanc - Nicolas Baretzki

Montblanc Nicolas Baretzki


The watch industry has long fostered generational stories, where knowledge and experience are passed on from father to son. This is how small workshops eventually grew to become the brands that we know today. One of the rare ones on the commercial side is Nicolas Baretzki, who fondly mentions his father and grandfather as having nurtured his interest in the luxury industry, as they were watch and jewellery retailers in Paris. Young Baretzki would spend his holidays there, and gained some experience as a sales assistant, not to mention inspiring him to be a watch collector since the tender age of seven years old. From his father’s boutique, he was already interfacing with customers from around the world, before embarking on his professional career with the Richemont Group. He started with Cartier in Singapore, in 1994, as the Marketing Director for South-East Asia, and later on as the maison’s Commercial Director, based in Paris. Then followed more than a decade at Jaeger-LeCoultre, before he joined Montblanc in 2013, taking the brand’s reins as its CEO in 2017.

Nicolas Baretzki

Nicolas Baretzki © Montblanc

Although Montblanc as a brand has a very diverse product portfolio, there is little doubt that Baretzki’s extensive experience with Jaeger-LeCoultre was significant in shaping Montblanc’s current watch offerings. He witnessed first-hand the ascendancy of fine watchmaking over the past two decades, and refers directly to how significant the launch of the Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Gyrotourbillon in 2004 was, as it emphasised how creative the industry was becoming. More recently, it’s Montblanc’s developments through Minerva that he feels have marked the maison’s evolution within the watchmaking segment. Strongly influenced in his professional experience by truly iconic collections such as the Cartier Tank and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, his goal is to create similar landmark collections at Montblanc, such as the 1858 Collection’s handmade monopusher chronographs and Geosphere that have become key elements of that strategy.

*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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