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20th Anniversary
Bucherer - Patrick Marc Graf

Bucherer Patrick Marc Graf

Chief Commercial Officer*

The man who gave the world leader in luxury watch retailing a whole new corporate culture initially studied watchmaking from the unusual perspective of airport terminals. Sporting his first ‘proper’ watch on his wrist (a Chopard bought in 1996), he was working in the largest retail group in the travel industry as the third millennium began. His then employer, the Nuance Group, belongs to Dufry, and does a lot of business in aircraft and airports. Switzerland had recently entered into a free trade agreement with the European Union, and the duty-free sector there was undergoing a thorough transformation. Patrick Marc Graf, in charge of luxury products, witnessed these inevitable changes first-hand, and indeed oversaw them in several airports through until 2006. Meanwhile, his ties with watch brands were becoming ever closer. At a time when Zurich airport was aiming to become the world’s leading airport for luxury shopping, he was appointed as its CCO, playing a part in its conceptual and architectural transformation over almost a decade – and closely involving watchmaking, the perfect embodiment of the Swiss Made ethos. The airport’s store layout and customer experience were both a priority and ahead of their time.

Patrick Marc Graf

Patrick Marc Graf © Bucherer

In 2016, after a short stint with TAG Heuer as Global Marketing Director, Patrick Marc Graf joined Bucherer to stimulate its commercial and international growth. The venerable Swiss institution also needed to move with the times: the brands it represented were opening their own stores; e-commerce and the pre-owned watch business were taking off; customers were becoming more demanding; and a thorough response was required. That response included the acclaimed Blue Editions (limited edition watches created for Bucherer by the brands); the arrival of lounges in renovated stores; online sales websites; the certified pre-owned watch offer; and diversification into other luxury products, such as the Carl F. Bucherer Blue Edition motorcycle. At the same time, Bucherer store locations worldwide passed the 80 mark, with Graf making sure that everyone – not least those in North America – kept fully in step with the new mindset.

*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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