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We talk to three leading watch industry figures – the heads at Bulgari, IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre – to get a glimpse of how each watchmaking Maison’s strategic positioning has paid off.

With 2021 drawing to a close, it’s time to reflect, review and rev up for what’s to come in the New Year. Three leading watch industry figures describe the view – horologically speaking – from their desk.

3 Leading Watch Industry Figures:

Catherine Rénier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre

Leading Watch Industry Figures on Their Maison's Year - Catherine Renier, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre
Catherine Rénier

A great leader would know, in times of crisis, that the best strategy sometimes is just to keep doing what you do best. And for Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 90-year celebration of the signature Reverso, CEO Catherine Rénier knew it would be wrong to hold back.

Jaeger-LeCoultre bestowed us with the greatest gift, the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque, the most complicated Reverso watch ever with four faces and a movement made from 800 parts.

“Being able to deliver such a piece has been amazing”

The Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s The Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque

“We’re celebrating 90 years,” says Rénier, “and we were already working on the Quadriptyque at that time. We didn’t delay any of our developments because we really focused on keeping this part of the activity going. We protected this project and we knew sticking to a schedule would be very important for the spirit of the team. And honestly, the pride … being able to deliver such a piece has been amazing. It’s given us a whole other look at the future.”

Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen

3 Leading Watch Industry Figures on Their Maison's Year
Christoph Grainger-Herr

The crisis has also brought us some of the best collaborations – from H Moser & Cie joining forces with MB&F to cross-category partnerships, such as the most recent one between IWC and Hot Wheels. Is the trend a lasting one?

It’s a yes for IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr, who says collaborations are in the brand’s DNA.

“We’ve earned a reputation as being the storytellers of fine watchmaking”

the IWC x Hot Wheels™ “Racing Works” collector's set
The IWC x Hot Wheels™ “Racing Works” collector’s set

“IWC isn’t just about precision engineering and functional complications. We’ve also earned a reputation as being the storytellers of fine watchmaking. We’ve always relied on partnerships to underscore and amplify our emotional storytelling.”

From 2018’s The Longest Flight with the Spitfire aircraft to the Airspeeder, the world’s first racing series for electric flying cars, and even Hot Wheels, IWC has definitely put together a formula that keeps its clients coming back.

Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari

CEO's Talk: 3 Leading Watch Industry Figures on Their Maison's Year
Jean-Christophe Babin

With a portfolio that encompasses jewellery watches, ultra-thin mega-complications and, at an affordable price point, more robust sports watches, Bulgari has a pretty accurate grasp of what its clients are looking for during and post-pandemic.

CEO Jean-Christophe Babin reports that the brand “has seen overall fewer clients purchasing watches in numbers, but people are going for higher-end timepieces. Clients today really want the best: authenticity, true craftsmanship and transparency behind the watch, and therefore they prefer to pay more for better.”

“People are going for higher-end timepieces”

Bulgari Divina Mosaica Minute Repeater
Bulgari Divina Mosaica Minute Repeater

Bulgari’s bejewelled high complications for ladies are in higher demand than ever, and its record-setting line of Octo Finissimo complications are, no doubt, set to become future classics.

This story first appeared on Prestige Hong Kong.

The post CEO’s Talk: 3 leading watch industry figures on their maison’s year appeared first on Prestige Online – Singapore.