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Carl F. Bucherer was founded 128 years ago to provide fine timepieces for connoisseurs. Over the century, the brand has evolved to be one of the finest examples of horology across the globe. We interviewed Sascha Moeri, CEO of the brand, to elaborate on the legacy as well as the next chapter towards growth.
A few changes this year…
Well, I wouldn’t call it a change so much as an evolvement. And now, we just follow the path we’ve been walking the last five years. We’ve made huge progress in the product development of our five collections. It’s not just the unveiling of the logo; it’s more of a brand refresh. The objective is to show the heritage of this lovely brand.
We had been talking about it for the past four to five years, but the most important aspect was to work on a distribution strategy. Then we had to also look at planning our product development. So now what you see around you is just the logical consequence: to give the brand a more elegant direction, which upscales the brand to a segment where it really belongs.
What is the highlight for 2016?
What is very interesting is the Manero Peripheral because it’s the first watch containing our new movement—the CFB A2050. It’s not just a new calibre; it’s the basis for a new family concept of movements. That’s why the Manero Peripheral is so unique because it’s the first one to feature the new family of calibres CFB A2000. My favourite though is the Manero Flyback Chronograph. I love this piece because it combines classical elements (flyback function) and it reminds me a little about the watches Bucherer had in the 60s and 70s. So it’s a bit of a tribute as well. I simply love the piece. Given the trends that I’ve seen in India, there are two other novelties that are likely to do well—Travel-Tec II in rose gold as well as the TravelTec Black.
So you feel that these will do well in India?
Yes, traffic was always very strong in India. In some of the shops now, the ScubaTec is our number one watch, while the TravelTec is still very strong.
You have a strong collection for women too.
Unlike most brands that usually offer scaled down versions of their existing designs, we actually make watches for women. When he [Carl Friedrich Bucherer] started back in 1888 with his wife, the first thing they produced was jewellery—earrings, necklaces and so on. So our heritage is also jewellery making. So even if it’s a diving watch, it’s designed specifically for women. Even more important than the brand name are the design and quality of a timepiece, for women. The ratio of watches for men and women in 2010 was 80 per cent masculine watches and we were selling 6,000 units a year. Last year, we sold 25,000 units, so four times more. And the ratio is now 60:40, so both segments were increasingly stronger.
What else do you have planned for the brand?
Everything! There are so many plans. At the distribution level, I’m very happy because we are working in 25 markets. I would like to grow organically with the existing markets because we are in the best markets possible. Our biggest market right now is Asia; we do 40 per cent of our business there. In Europe we do 30 per cent, in the U.S. it’s 20 per cent, and the remaining 10 per cent is from the Middle East and the rest of the world. Carl F. Bucherer was founded in 1888. He handed it over to his two sons and they handed it to one of their sons. It’s a family business that is 128 years old now—uninterrupted and family-owned. They always did watches and jewellery, so there’s real history. They were inventing so many movements in the 30s, 40s and 50s. People will recognize what’s real and what’s exaggerated. And in difficult times, the customer will appreciate this.
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