Interview with Daniel Riedo, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre

26 Jan, 2016

What are your brand’s “star” novelties for the SIHH 2016?

We celebrate the 85th anniversary of the iconic watch, the Reverso. In 2016 we introduce three stylistic expressions – Reverso Classic, Reverso Tribute for men and Reverso One for women – with their own distinct worlds and aspirations. The star model of SIHH is the Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon, a new spectacular tourbillon design in a movement embellished with engraving and guilloche motif.

What are the foreseen trends and directions with watches in 2016?

Classic, understated watches, preferably in discreet materials such as platinum, white gold or steel. Fundamentally, customers are looking for an exclusive, surprising and timeless object. These elements may be expressed through a vintage-inspired dial, colourful dials revealed only on demand, a case with an iconic design such as Reverso, a discreet function such as the True Second function of the Geophysic watch, as well as through useful functions that are both more ergonomic and expressed in an artistic manner. Greater attention is also paid to reliability and quality so as to be able to enjoy the watch on a daily basis and over the long term.

When would we expect the SIHH novelties to be available at boutiques and POS in the Middle East?

We plan to unveil some of the 2016 novelties at the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition which is an important event for the Middle East taking place in February. Following the Doha Exhibition, novelties will arrive in our network gradually from April onwards. One must remember that we produce all our timepieces in-house at our Manufacture which explains why not all models can arrive in the markets at the same time.

How is your brand faring in the Middle East?

As the local knowledge and appreciation for fine watchmaking increases, so does the brand awareness and customer base of Jaeger-LeCoultre in the Middle East.

Do you propose to open more independent boutiques in the Middle East?

We are constantly looking to give the best showcase to our timepieces. Through the year we have opened boutiques all over the world, the Middle East being no exception. As of today we have two boutiques in Abu Dhabi, one in Dubai, one in Kuwait City, one in Riyadh and one in Beirut. We will open a boutique in Jeddah early 2016 and we are currently looking at different projects in the Middle East.

Describe your relationship with collectors in the Middle East.

As mentioned earlier, there is a growing awareness for fine watchmaking in the Middle East but there is also a solid base of watch collectors and aficionados. We maintain a regular contact with them, just like friends do. We invite them to events such as the Mostra Film Festival or the British Polo Days, they come to Switzerland to discover or re-discover our Manufacture, they visit our boutiques when they travel etc… These customers are very aware of the latest product launches; we know which numbers they prefer and the ones they want to avoid and we do our best to fulfill their wishes.

What are your brands priorities for 2016?

2016 is a big year for Jaeger-LeCoultre, this is the year during which we will celebrate our Reverso, this is our Icon and we have prepared many surprises which I am sure watch lovers will appreciate.

But as every year, we never stop to invent, create and develop to prepare the future. We are continuously pushed forward by our clients. They want to live intensely and they drive us to more appeal, creativity and surprises. Our Maison which has been in business for almost two century is well equipped to do so.

Did your export figures increase in the Middle East for 2015?

As you know, our Maison does not comment or disclose figures on its performance. We rather focus on our future creation and how to share our emotion of fine watchmaking.

Anything you wish to add?

Luxury is time and space; it is an experience an emotion. Our passion is to spark this emotion in the heart and eyes of our Middle Eastern clients for the years to come.