1. The Watch industry has been on the rise post the pandemic, how has it been for Frederique Constant?
In 2022, the orders have strongly increased, and we feel relieved and very confident regarding the future. But now the main challenge concerns the deliveries. Because of the pandemic, we face a shortage in certain components and longer delivery times, therefore impacting the assembly of final products. Meaning that now, need to foresee at an even earlier stage which product might be successful or not. So the whole process needs to be redefined. However, I do take this as a great opportunity.
2. Although the pandemic has affected the industry turnover, the watch brands had an opportunity to relook into their strategy, quality and collection. How has it helped Frederique Constant during and post-pandemic?
The pandemic helped us in many ways after all, whether regarding the supply chain organization, our online presence, as well as our ability to listen even more to what our customers have to say. We developed new strategic approaches to connect with them, we listen to their needs, we think more creatively and come up with new concepts and products to innovate even faster to meet a host of new consumer demands and channel constraints.
3. What is significant shift that the brand went through, in terms of marketing, e-commerce, and digital space ?
We were already very active online, but we have strengthened further during and after the pandemic. We have also completely redesigned our website, as online retail has become extremely important. Frederique Constant also entered the world of NFT. This year, in March, we launched the Classics Worldtimer Manufacture 10th anniversary limited editions within the Metaverse. This was a great experience for us as it is in line with Frederique Constant’s inventive and cutting-edge spirit. We are proud to have been one of the first brands to enter the Web3 universe, and the fact that we sold out all our pieces in less than 48 hours gave us great perspectives.
4. Is there a large untapped market that Frederique Constant can capitalize on? Where do you see the potential for growth?
In 2020, Frederique Constant revived the Highlife collection featuring an integrated and interchangeable bracelet. This was an important milestone for the brand as the existing collection was missing an integrated metal bracelet. In 2021, we introduced the feminine timepieces. The full collection, both men and women models, has been very successful for the past two years, filling the sport-chic yet modern timepiece gap.
Our plan for the upcoming years is to stick to the core of our price segment as it is now, while increasing the Manufacture range of products with higher-end developments and therefore prices, to meet its competitors. All reports show that price segment, above 5000 Euros is where the growth will take place. And we have the leverage and the heritage to do that.
5. Which lines sell particularly well with men and women? Do you have a favorite collection from Frederique Constant?
The Highlife collection has encountered a huge success over the past two years, and has even become our flagship collection. It illustrates the innovative spirit of the brand through the construction of the bracelet, the watchmakers’ technical expertise as some models are equipped with Manufacture movements, while presenting a modern yet elegant design which can be worn in any situation, whether at work or during leisure time. And I must say, this collection is particularly dear to me as it really marked the beginning of my appointment as Managing Director for Frederique Constant. I gave the input to reintroduce the integrated bracelet into the collection and participated in the design of the collection.
6. Over the past few years we have seen Frederique Constant continuously innovate and expand, can we expect to continue to see a similar trend moving forward?
Of course, we have an ambitious plan for the upcoming years starting with the celebration Frederique Constant’s 35th anniversary in 2023, and the 15th anniversary of the tourbillon. We also work on the development of several new in-house calibers to extend our Manufacture collection offer, new products based on the revolutionary Monolithic oscillator that we launched in 2021.
7. Frederique Constant is leading within the space of affordable luxury watches, are there any plans to enter the high-end end luxury watch market?
Frederique Constant was built on the accessible luxury principle and has never deviated from it over the past 34 years. This is the essence of the brand, and even though we plan on extending the Manufacture timepieces offer with higher-end developments, we will make sure to respect our affordable luxury commitment to stay faithful to our core values.
8. How important is it to Frederique Constant to complete every part of the production and design process in-house?
This is very important to us as it demonstrates our expertise, both in terms of innovation and technicity. As a small company driven by an innovative, dynamic, and entrepreneurial spirit, the fact that all our watches are designed and developed internally is crucial as it allows us to move quickly, come up with new ideas and give birth to them in a very short period of time. From the introduction of the first in-house caliber in 2004, we now have a range of 31 Manufacture movements that have been developed internally, in less than 20 years! And we are very proud of this, as we are the only brand capable of offering quartz and automatic timepieces, while developing a Manufacture collection at an affordable price.
9. Is Frederique Constant currently maximizing the number of units produced per year or is there still room for growth?
There is still room for growth, and this was the aimed when we extended our production site in Plan-les-Ouates in 2019. The sanitary crisis we faced these past two years slowed us down obviously, however, the demand now is going through the roof, so we are very optimistic.
10. What are the next steps for Frederique Constant?
Please see question 6
11. What is the toughest part of your job? What are the next steps for Frederique Constant?
I would say the toughest part of my job is to make sure the company grows healthy from a financial perspective, but also from a human perspective. This is very important to me that all employees feel they belong to something bigger, to our Frederique Constant family, as we maintained the entrepreneurial spirit that has been driving the brand since day one.
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