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20th Anniversary
Ulysse Nardin & Girard-Perregaux - Patrick Pruniaux

Ulysse Nardin & Girard-Perregaux Patrick Pruniaux

CEO*

Building on internationally acquired experience in market development, the athletic Patrick Pruniaux took his first steps in watchmaking in 2005 at TAG Heuer, where he rose through the ranks. Over the course of nine years, he poured his energies into the fast-growing firm, providing fresh stimulus for countries where the brand was less strongly present, with the result that these markets began to make significant contributions. The former French Armed Forces paratrooper lieutenant has always enjoyed setting up subsidiaries and building close-knit, effective teams. The nine years in question also saw the growth of TAG Heuer’s retail network, with some one hundred stores opening in some of the most beautiful places in the world. At the same time, Pruniaux worked with the communications and product teams on the upmarketing of the brand, focusing in particular on the Carrera. As a member of the management board, he also experienced the industrial challenge posed by ETA’s announcement that it was going to reduce deliveries of its movements, a move that called for a high degree of adaptability.

Patrick Pruniaux

Patrick Pruniaux © Ulysse Nardin / Girard Perregaux

The scope of the TAG Heuer brand was extended beyond the boundaries of watchmaking, becoming especially strong in the US and well-known to Patrick Pruniaux’s new colleagues at Apple – a firm he joined in 2014 to implement the worldwide launch of the Apple Watch. There, he soaked up the mindset and rigour of a global high-tech brand that reigns supreme in customer experience. In 2017, Kering approached him to take the helm of Ulysse Nardin, as well as Girard-Perregaux in 2018. He was able to accept these two roles only by recruiting highly robust and complementary teams “capable of personal growth so as to give their very best: I’m a firm believer in discussion and collective intelligence,” he says. In commander mode, they managed to tease out the soul of Ulysse Nardin more clearly – and do so in a disruptive manner that nonetheless remained true to the brand’s identity. His pride and joy is the Freak, now better understood worldwide. In heading up Girard-Perregaux, Pruniaux has paid due attention to the value of the brand’s product offering, initially directing his efforts at the manufacturing facility and the brand’s coherence, before building on its icons – and thus allowing its quintessence to emerge.

*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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