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Interviews

Jason Pitsch

Interview with Ralph Simons, CEO of Chopard USA

Jason Pitsch

Since your move from the President of Frederique Constant/Alpina USA to CEO of Chopard USA Ltd. in 2015 what have you done to improve the business at your new company? Well, we’ve done a lot. It has been a very interesting period since then. The main point of focus has been to simplify the assortment of products along with its communication to the market. When I arrived at Chopard we utilized a large selection of different advertising visuals, and one level up from that, in terms of product, at the time we also offered a broad range of references. This made it harder for our final clients and our authorized retailers to capture a consistent and recognizable brand message. The Chopard Core Collection for North America launched at Baselworld 2015 now serves as a foundation. This assortment, which is based

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Jason Pitsch

Interview with Larry Pettinelli of Patek Philippe USA

Jason Pitsch

I recently interviewed the President of Patek Philippe USA, Larry Pettinelli, who has been with Patek Philippe for 25 years, and was in finance prior to his career with Patek. He started as the West Coast Sales Representative, and later became Vice President, and eventually President. At a recent meeting with US watch trade editors at Patek Philippe HQ you stated that all new Patek Philippe timepieces will feature silicon hairsprings (Spiromax). Are their any plans to integrate the GyromaxSi (balance) or Pulsomax (escapement) technology into more of the collection? Yes, this is something that Geneva is refining. I am sure when they feel comfortable and ready, this technology will become more widely available throughout the collection. Sales across the watch industry are at record highs, including in the US market, yet you recently stated that the allocation of pieces

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Jason Pitsch

Interview with Ralph Simons, US President of Frederique Constant & Alpina

Jason Pitsch

What is your background in the watch industry? I basically grew up in the watch industry. I am originally from Amsterdam and my father had his own business of designing and producing gold and diamond jewelry. In 1984, he made a move into watches, watch distribution specifically, and I was 9 at the time. I remember he came home with the news that he had acquired the distribution for IWC in The Netherlands. Looking back that is really the moment that my interest for watches, which eventually grew into a passion, was sparked. In 1999, after completing my degree in Hotel Management, I started working with my father. I was a sales rep going around to stores, helping to build the brands, which included Zenith and IWC at the time, in the Dutch market. In 2002 we added Frederique Constant

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Jason Pitsch

Interview with Omega CEO Stephen Urquhart

Jason Pitsch

Omega has had a pretty busy year with the launch of the revolutionary Aqua-Terra Anti-Magneti watch, the Speedmaster Bullhead and 1957 throwbacks, and of course, the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon. And now, the Seamaster Diver ETNZ Limited Edition. I have to say, I am quite impressed. Is 2014 going to be a slow year for product launches compared to 2013? No way. We have a lot in the pipeline. We say that every year. How can 2013 match 2012? Last year we had the Olympics, James Bond, and the Ryder Cup. We have the Olympics next year again, in Sochi. We have some new models, some new ideas coming out next year. We also have some in advance of the Olympics. The anti-magnetic technology you just mentioned has been a very big break through. When I go back

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Jason Pitsch

Interview: Victorinox Timepiece Division CEO Alexander Bennouna

Jason Pitsch

What is your background and how long have you been with Victorinox? Since 2004, so almost 10 years, and 20 years in the watch industry. Prior to that I had brief experience in the jewelry business. What is the focus for Victorinox in 2013 and beyond? Our focus is to become a companion for life. Now, let me elaborate so it is not just a marketing statement. A ‘companion for life’ is like when you have a Swiss Army knife in your pocket, maybe you will not need it now, but maybe you will need it later in the day, maybe you will need it next week, maybe you will need it in a months time. But you are sure that the moment you need it, it won’t let you down. It will deliver what you need because it is

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Jason Pitsch

Interview with Michel Parmigiani of Parmigiani Fleurier

Jason Pitsch

When did you start in watchmaking? I started in 1975. At a time of crisis for watchmaking, a very dark time. Everyone was trying to discourage me from taking that path at the time. Watchmaking was completely devastated in Switzerland. There had been a tremendous crisis. My beginnings were very difficult but I really believed in what I was doing and went against the tide. And it wasn’t a bed of roses. I started my activity at the time in the region where I was born…and the economy was completely devastated at the time. The only watchmaker that had remained active at the time was Piaget, at the time, all the others had had to close down. And they managed to weather the storm and not disappear. And even that was an inspiration to me because Piaget being a high-end

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Jason Pitsch

Interview: Laurent Picciotto of Chronopassion

Jason Pitsch

How did you get started in the watch industry? I started in the watch industry because my father gave me an interest in watches because he was a watch addict. When I was 27 I opened my shop as the shop of our dreams, only watches and only the brands I like. It was a mixture of institutional, historic brands and niche brands right at the beginning with an opulent choice. What are some of your best selling timepieces so far this year? Hublot, Urwerk, Panerai, Greubel Forsey How has the internet impacted your business? A lot for notoriety and communication and also for sale, Facebook and other social networks, Twitter and of course our website increase up a lot our business we receive 100 mails a day and a good part of those end in a transaction with regular

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