Swiss luxury watchmaker Baume & Mercier is enthusiastic and excited about the upcoming Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) to showcase its novel and innovative designs for both men and women. In an exclusive interview with Arabian Watches & Jewellery Magazine, Romain Dezaux, ME Brand Manager for Baume & Mercier, reveals that 2012 is the year to demonstrate the Baume & Mercier innovations and novelties. Below are excerpts from the interview:
What kind of impact does SIHH have on a premium brand such as yours in the Middle East?
SIHH is for Baume & Mercier each year a privileged opportunity to meet our key partners (retailers and journalists) in the Middle East during a professional fair that is exclusively dedicated to them. It allows us to review the past year and talk about the upcoming projects planned in our region. SIHH has a solid impact and is our main communication platform of the year to highlight our novelties and brand know-how and expertise.
What are your expectations at SIHH 2012?
We have three main goals: Reinforce our partnerships in the region; consolidate our new brand territory being embodied by our claim ‘Life is about moments’; and showcase the Baume & Mercier innovations and novelties for 2012.
What are the foreseen trends and directions with watches in 2012? Any particular trends that your brand is particular keen to show in terms of movement and designs?
For men, key movements are manual and automatic, and for women, automatic movements will take a more prominent position in the market, as opposed to the standard quartz movement usually found in women’s watches. Ladies are becoming more and more concerned with what is inside their watches, and not only the outer case; they are becoming more interested in movements.
In terms of design, classic pieces for men are the reference point, and for women, more bright and uplighting colours. Combining style with comfort and modernity with classicism is becoming more important. Watch models for 2012 not only need to be comfortable, worn with ease, in line with current fashions, but also, timeless. This timelessness is what drives the success of a new line, and ensures ever-lasting presence of the brand. A watch should become part of you, be a discreet style statement and not an over-powering accessory. Subtle elegance is always a winner.
Red gold is an important trend in 2012 as well. The material is very elegant, and its warm tones embody a more contemporary spirit than the previously wider seen yellow gold. For us, the use of red gold has a particular meaning and reflects the warm feeling of ‘seaside living’, our brand environment, into the design of our new watches. It recalls the colour of the sand and the stylish teakwood decks of the Hamptons houses.
What are your ‘star’ novelties for the SIHH?
We will be reinforcing our Linea and Capeland collections with new watches that will meet the particular demands from our regional market.
When would we expect novelties to be available at boutiques and POS in the Middle East?
The good news is that most of our novelties will be available for our clients in the Middle East in April/May 2012.
Which of your watch models are most popular in the Middle East? And Why?
From the beginning Linea has been cherished by women - thanks to its iconic standing as an expression of modernity, glamour and confident luxury, with soft lines and sensual curves that epitomises femininity. The collection’s hallmark is the interchangeable bracelet design principle whereby the wearer can change the strap to suit her mood or style.
The Capeland - our chronograph of authentic moments that epitomises seaside living, relaxed lifestyle, authenticity and strength of character - encountered in the region a success beyond our expectations. The watches enjoy a modern sport-chic design, retro accents and warm tones, a harmony between design and comfort.
Also, the new Hampton collection with its rectangular case for both men and women is a promising line which has been well received since its recent launch in September 2011.
What are the challenges that you are facing as watchmaker in the current global and regional economic scenario?
With the regional market reaching from Turkey to India - including GCC, we face the challenge of dealing with complex and multicultural consumer expectations when it comes to watches on a daily basis. Saying that, we have faced great successes this year with the launch of the new Hampton collection and the opening of our only boutique in the world in The Dubai Mall. The regional and global notion of The Dubai Mall as a premium shopping destination has strengthened our brand awareness and the inviting Seaside Living concept of the boutique offers great recognition.