Kerbedanz A Factor of 10
Kerbedanz, which up to now has focused on highly limited series and one-off pieces, is broadening its appeal. CEO Guillain Maspetiol explains his reasons
The more elite the client, the more elite their watch. At least, that’s the attitude most of them tend to take, and the position Kerbedanz has espoused since its creation. Until now, that is. Although the brand intends to retain its base of individualistic collectors, it’s also looking to appeal to a broader audience.
Two years ago, Guillain Maspetiol agreed to join the watchmaker because “The brand positioning was extremely exclusive, and it was also very intimate. Every one of our pieces was designed by the artistic director and his clients, in order to create specific watches with designs that were unique to each. But that positioning was limiting. A Kerbedanz is not the first watch a collector will buy, or even the second. These are the purchases of collectors and enthusiasts who might consider Kerbedanz for their fifth or sixth purchase.”
Guillain Maspétiol, CEO Kerbedanz © Kerbedanz
Expanding the range
So that’s why Kerbedanz is now preparing to expand its offer, from CHF 6,300 at the low end to… ten times that, for bespoke creations. “We took the drastic decision to go from a very niche and exclusive mono-product offer to that of a more universal luxury brand. Focusing on a completely different offer, which includes not only watches but also accessories and leather goods, has been a huge undertaking and a big challenge for a company as small as we are,” explains Guillain Maspetiol. It’s a challenge not just for the company, but also for its CEO, who has spent the last twenty years in exclusively watchmaking circles, with 16 years at Jaeger-LeCoultre, followed by two years with Girard-Perregaux under Antonio Calce.
Mountains to molehills
Today, the major challenge facing Kerbedanz is retaining its six-figure clients, while repositioning the brand’s growth engine around watches priced at four or five figures – a difference of a factor of four or even five, which might seem quite a stretch. But, as they say, if you can move mountains, you can move molehills. With its private clients, Kerbedanz has learned how to create strong relationships, how to be a highly reactive, creative brand, and how to adapt to local preferences. This commercial experience will be invaluable in developing collections for a wider audience. “We want a real relationship with our clients. The idea is to remain highly accessible. In today’s world, you have to be approachable, you have to be faithful to your values, and you must have a clear direction.”
A new cadence for autumn 2022
In keeping with the uniqueness and originality of the brand, Kerbedanz has developed a quirky advertising campaign to introduce itself to the general public. The material has a modern, urban feel with models to match, a redesigned logo, 3D animations, but also, and above all, the gradual introduction of leather goods alongside watch collections. “We have the freedom to wander off the well-trodden paths. We don’t need to stick with historic codes, or cling to iconic, untouchable products. We want to pass this freedom on to our clients and our retailers,” Guillain Maspetiol notes.
We look forward to seeing how all this plays out in the autumn, when the Cadanz collections will be available in the windows of new retailers, currently being recruited.