David Candaux was born and raised in the Vallée de Joux, a region renowned for its excellence in the traditional Swiss luxury and high-end watchmaking industry, and started experimenting at is own bench when only 14 years old. Now aged 40, he has his name on his own watch brand and is aiming for international expansion according to head of marketing Marianela Ancheta.
WatchPro: Can I get a bit of a potted history for the company. How long has D. Candaux been in existence?
Marianela Ancheta: David is not 40 yet, but he has more than 25 years of experience in high watchmaking. His knowledge extends from the history of watchmaking and the restoration of antique pieces, to the creation of highly complicated timepieces. He has also been the head of a development department of a famous manufacture in the Vallée de Joux, where he has built intriguing new concepts of grand complications.
Watchpro: What makes D. Candaux different from all other watch brands?
Marianela Ancheta: The thing that makes us different from all other brands is simply David Candaux the watchmaker. Not only he is a visionary but it is impossible to have a richer heritage in high watchmaking than he does. From his mentorship by Philipe Defour to his childhood guidance by his father Daniel Candaux (master watchmaker for Patek Phillipe). He combines his respect and admiration for the traditions of fine handmade watchmaking with his genius for contemporary innovations to deliver a timepiece like no other.
Watchpro: What is your role with the brand?
Marianela Ancheta: I am responsible for the worldwide distribution, marketing and communication for the brand. David is happy to have me and my team on board so that he can clearly focus on what he loves to do –watchmaking.
Watchpro: What’s your view on the evolving retail channels in the watch industry and the role of the internet in purchasing?
Marianela Ancheta: The watch industry has gone through turbulent times for the past eight years. The introduction of internet sales and brand boutiques have greatly removed the personal relationships and service that drove the success of the industry. There is no doubt that digital is taking over the communication and the distribution to consumers, and that trend is increasing every day, but I feel internet sales only have a future in established brands at moderate price points where no personal relationship is needed.
Watchpro: How well-equipped is D. Candaux to adapt to this market?
Marianela Ancheta: D. Candaux is very well equipped to adapt to the changing climate mainly due to our very limited production and our marketing and sales team. We are dedicated to preserving the integrity of the brand to make our pieces instant classics. The company has partnered with one of the best marketing and communication companies. Our ambition is to be innovative in communication and the marketing. D. Candaux must become a brand to transmit to future generations his passion and know-how. This is different compared to niche watchmakers who sell watches but without a global concept. With our partner, we intend to use all existing digital communication tools. We want to have a disruptive communication approach in line with the very contemporary design and concept of our handmade watches.
Watchpro: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a brand?
Marianela Ancheta: To remain independent and follow and develop my own ideas without compromise. This requires a lot of time and funding. On the other hand, also, it is a big challenge to truly educate the enthusiast on the genius and understated complexity of D. Candaux.
Watchpro: What makes you think that the brand is in good shape for the coming year and beyond?
Marianela Ancheta: As a new brand we have the advantage of not having any mistakes to overcome. As long as we continue to do things the right way and valuing the importance of our consumers the sky is the limit. Since I am at the beginning of my path, I can devote all my time to the quality and the respect of my customers. My workshop is my home and my home is your home. Please visit me in the Vallée de Joux where time has been created for centuries. Thank you!