Longines CEO Matthias Breschan says Swatch Group brands will not return to vast global trade shares like Baselworld or Watches and Wonders.
“The whole way Baselworld was conducted was obsolete,” he told WatchPro today.
“We need new ways to present novelties throughout the year and in different countries. We need to be flexible,” he asserts.
Mr Breschan took over as CEO of Longines in the summer of last year, stepping into the shoes of Walter von Känel who was at the helm for over three decades.
Like Mr von Känel, it is clear that Mr Breschan is focused on continuity moving forward. “What has made Longines so strong over the past 20 years is balance; balance between classic and sports watches, balance between men’s and women’s watches. Our slogan, Elegance is an Attitude, has been the same since 1999 and is still the best expression of what we do,” he says.
Longines is the global market leader by some distance in the $1,000 to $4,000 price point, and intends to remain so by sticking to this winning strategy.
Swatch Group has been increasing its direct to consumer sales for its top end brands, but Longines intends to stick with its blend between a small number of monobrand stores and D2C ecommerce, but remains committed to supporting almost 4,000 retail partners around the world.
We closed six monobrand stores in Hong Kong, and may need to close more but we have only 68 monobrands around the world out of around 4,000 points of sale. That number may reduced a little with consolidation, but it is not our plan to expand or reduce the number,” he insists.