Kerbedanz From the drawing board to the wrist: Kerbedanz revamps its visual identity
New CEO, new products, new identity. For a little over a year, Kerbedanz has been working on redefining its visual identity and its overall image. A new and inclusive publicity campaign has been launched to cement this new approach
Whether you’re talking about motor racing, a marriage proposal or a product launch – timing is crucial. Watchmaking is no exception. But sometimes it makes sense to give yourself the chance to get the timing right more than once (launch time) by focusing on a few different times, before and after new products become available.
A three-act strategy
This is exactly what Kerbedanz has been doing ¬– preparing the groundwork for brand to reposition itself, in three stages.
Act 1: New CEO Guillain Maspétiol wants to broaden the brand’s appeal. After joining the firm two years ago, he wants to supplement the brand’s historic niche, producing oversized timepieces at the very top of the market, with a mass market product offering that will be priced in the CHF 5,000 to CHF 15,000 range. But that’s not all: Guillain Maspétiol will supplement this watch offering with leather goods and accessories (cufflinks), thus adopting a product strategy similar to that of Montblanc or Cartier, where he worked 15 years ago.
Cadanz by Kerbedanz © Fred Merz | Lundi13
Act 2: The first launch will be… leather goods. It’s a bold gamble: Kerbedanz is a haute horlogerie manufacturer, which is why it would be reasonable to expect to see… a new watch? But the brand has chosen to keep its fans waiting, in the meantime buttering them up with a selection of bags, pouches and sleeves. But let there be no doubt: each accessory is carefully calculated to prepare the ground for what is to come, in the sense that the patterns you see will be repeated in the guilloché motifs of the future timepieces. It’s a novel approach, and one that has the merit of originality. It’s establishing a pattern, a style, a design, a vibe… before the grand entrance of the flagship product – the watch – which will slot in quite naturally.
Act 3: The watch launch. We’re told it’s imminent. Here, too, Kerbedanz is taking an unusual approach. The products are already visible on the website, but there are no prices or “Buy now” buttons. The brand and its partners are fine-tuning their cases and dials. The first deliveries must be commensurate with the brand’s reputation, which has been built on bespoke creations, special commissions and superlative handcrafted finishes.
Cadanz Cruise Date 41mm © Kerbedanz
Instagram paves the way
Today, social media provides a window onto this metamorphosis. Act 1 is over; the strategy has been set out. Act 2 is in progress. The products (watches and accessories) have almost all been unveiled somewhere. Some are visible on the company website, while others can only be seen on Instagram or Facebook. Kerbedanz is not revealing its hand on just one platform – you have to try a little harder, invest in the brand and its universe, if you want to have a complete (or almost complete) view of what the brand has up its sleeve.
Maximus by Kerbedanz © Fred Merz | Lundi13
On the Kerbedanz Instagram account, which features the most comprehensive selection, you can find the future guilloché patterns, along with vibrant colourways of blue, white, red and green. Collectors can rest easy: the Maximus, the watchmaker’s XXL flagship product, is also visible. The atmosphere is light, casual – summery, even. The vibe is very modern, the music is electro. It’s not what we expected from Kerbedanz, but we can certainly get used to it. So, we’ll be back in the autumn to see Act 3, and the launch of the watch collections.