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Greubel Forsey broadens customer base with sub-$200,000 entry price point

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Last year’s introduction of a $195,000 Balancier S, hot on the heels of a sporty GMT model, was a statement from Greubel Forsey that it was prepared to be more approachable for mere mortals than in the past when pieces like the Quadruple Tourbillon GMT came with an $820,000 price tag attached.

The more egalitarian approach was adopted by Antonio Calce, who took over as Greubel Forsey CEO in August last year, with a mission handed to him by Robert Greubel to balance exclusivity with growth.

Although the mission began last year, it is only expected to be fully delivered in 2022, according to Mr Calce.

“2021 is going to be a year of preparation and a very important year for us. So far, we’ve defined a solid communication and distribution strategy which we’ve already started to implement. However, with Robert Greubel, we’ve also defined a clear product strategy, which we will implement in 2022,” he tells WatchPro.

That distribution strategy will see the number of worldwide doors for Greubel Forsey cut dramatically.

“Today, we have around sixty retail partners, which is a lot for a company of our size and output. Over the next three years, we’re going to close about a third of them, but we’re going to open new locations as well. My goal is to work with around 35 highly qualified partners with a strong commercial strategy a steady and stable turnover,” Mr Calce says.

Internally, the fresh strategy is described as three pillars.

“The first pillar we are calling ‘Birth’. This includes our ultra-rare high-end pieces such as the Grande Sonnerie, the QP à Équation, the GMT Quadruple Tourbillon and Hand Made 1. This is Greubel Forsey’s traditional offer for highly specialised expert collectors. This offer will remain intact and will be even rarer than before,” Mr Calce explains.

“Parallel to this, we’re working on a completely new and complementary pillar that we’re calling ‘Growth’. With zero compromise on Greubel Forsey quality standards, this offer in the CHF 200,000 to CHF 350,000 range will have a single common denominator with a strong identity, a powerful visual impact and a more modern design. It’s an exciting evolution that will enable us to reach out to a broader customer base,” he describes.

Greubel Forsey Balancier S launched last year for $195,000.

“Lastly, we’re working on a third pillar which we’re calling ‘Longevity’. This pillar consists of actions to curate the collection, offering major reinterpretations of our 30 unique calibres. For example, our QP à Équation calibre will be able to live five or six different lives in different configurations,” he adds.

“This is why Robert Greubel appointed me to the position of CEO. After almost 20 years, it was time to establish a path towards maturity and we have big plans for the future,” he concludes.

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