Cvstos Interview with Stefan Kunz
At the WPHH we had a chat with the marketing and sales director for Cvstos. Stefan Kunz gave us the latest on the brand’s partnerships and new products.
Can you update us on your partnerships?
First, there’s our partnership with the Eiffel family. We have taken the design of the Tour Eiffel watch, in bronze, and we have modified it. For instance, we’ve made a limited edition with a black case for the Japanese market. Elsewhere, the piece sells on its own merits, not necessarily because of the Parisian postcard effect. But the watch has worked well over there, and we had to expand on that. There’s also the tattoo artist Christian N’Guyen. He’s behind our Inkvaders and the skull design. The watch evolved into the pirate, which gave rise to a new limited Pirate Guns series. We’re on to our third series, and we launched it at this WPHH. And finally, there’s the designer Eric Kuster, who has a thing about green, camouflage and the number 14.
Jet-Liner Inkvaders Pirate Guns © David Chokron/WorldTempus
It’s from a football player that he idolised when he was a kid. We began by creating limited series of 14 watches, but they were so successful that we enlarged the collection a little. He’s interesting to work with. Our partners are not people that we pay. It’s about meetings and ideas, which are then implemented. With the exception of Gérard Depardieu at one time, there’s no money on the table, just involvement in the product. Eric Kuster, for instance, is well-known in his milieu and in the Netherlands, and we bring him clients from Asia. He’s done houses for many famous athletes. And we also help his foundation.
You also have a new partner.
Yes, the brand new Portofino Yacht Club. We have created a special series with their logo, on our Sea-Liner GMT. Anyone who buys the watch becomes a member of the Yacht Club for two years, with a dedicated concierge who can organise stays in Portofino, and preferential pricing on helicopter transfers and yacht hire. It’s a wonderful partnership, and one that we spent a long time discussing, because people in the port have wanted to create a yacht club for a long time.
You also had a motorcyclist, Dani Pedrosa.
Yes, but that partnership has come to an end, and he remains a friend of the brand. We’re considering new ambassadors in tennis and football. We already have André Silva from AC Milan, and the coach Marco Silva, and we’re in discussions with Ivan Rakitić.
What new watches are you unveiling?
In the Jet-Liner collection we’re adding the P-S, for Petite Seconde, and we’ve brought back our trident hand, driven by magnets, not gears. We’ve also changed the indexes. They’re made of titanium, with a number of colour variations between the case and the caseband. They still come in our two sizes, which is an important factor for us. The majority of our watches are produced in the Middle size, but in Eastern Europe and Malaysia, our larger size works better. Singapore, however, which is just next door, prefers the medium size.
Jet-Liner II P-S in titanium and gold © David Chokron/WorldTempus
Is Malaysia a significant market for you?
Yes, we are very successful there. People are open to originality, and we often host events in Kuala Lumpur, which tend to be more successful than in Singapore, for example.
You have a long history with the colour blue.
Yes, blue has always worked well for us. We were pioneers in applying PVD to watch cases and movements, with the experience of Antonio Terranova. And we use multi-part cases, which allows us to play around with colours and variations of materials.
Jet-Liner II P-S with blue side pieces © David Chokron/WorldTempus
Will you also be presenting a perpetual calendar?
Yes. Our big launch is the Sea-Liner Perpetual Calendar Marea, which includes a tide amplitude indicator. It was a logical next step for us to add a nautical indication to this range. We rather forgot about the non-chronograph complications, including tourbillons, but it’s interesting to show that we have the expertise, and that we’re ready to try new things. We will also be working again on a tourbillon, a double tourbillon even, and not like anything you’ve seen at other brands.
Sea-Liner QP Marea © David Chokron/WorldTempus
Will you be at Baselworld?
No, we won’t be at Baselworld in 2018. We will be following it closely, but it’s too expensive for what we get out of it. We would have been open to a different location, but Baselworld didn’t want to discuss it. In any case, in its current form, and given their attitude, some things will have to change. I think that at some point the two fairs should be brought closer together. Clients don’t want to come once in January and then again in March. If you’re American, you go to the Las Vegas fair.
Does the international fair model still make sense?
The trade fair model is evolving, regardless. Before, we would take a year’s worth of orders, and we knew what we had to make. Now, we take three months’ worth of orders, and see what sells. Things are changing. And the brands have an increasing presence on the market. How long will that format be viable?