Deploying a direct contact business model from owner to customer can be tricky but if it is done well, it can have major benefits.
Doing so well is exactly what Sebastien Muller, owner and watchmaker at Brellum Swiss Watchmaking has managed to achieve, describing it as a “win-win” for both parties.
Ahead of the launch of the Wyvern GMT Chronometer later this week, WatchPro’s Alex Douglas caught up with Sebastien Muller himself to discover more about the brand and the business.
WP: How important is it for both you and the customer to have direct contact?
SM: For me, it is important to establish a positive connection with my customers. Almost 80% of my clients make contact with me through the integrated contact form on our website or via our social platforms.
I am more than happy to spare the time to answer any queries my customers may have so they are fully informed of the sales process from the moment they click “Buy” and have no questions left unanswered.
WP: How does the sales process work with your customers?
SM: The sales process is rather simple. Our website provides clear navigation and a user-friendly design so customers can make their purchase in a few easy steps. Customers choose a collection, their dial of choice and then their strap (steel or leather) and proceed their order through a 3D secured system. Payment can be made through PayPal, bank transfer, credit card or Splitit (pay in 4 installments).
Upon receiving the order, we start the final assembly and quality control which takes approx. 8 days. Then we ship the watch out, worldwide with our insured and reliable courier service (TNT/Fedex) and from there it takes approx. from 1 to 5 days to be delivered to your front door.
WP: Taking out the middleman clearly has a benefit for Brellum, how do you manage that alongside designing special watches?
SM: The concept is a win-win. For both Brellum and our customers. For us, it allows to form a more intimate connection with our customers as we are on-hand to respond to any enquiries or feedback. And for our customers as they can enjoy a smoother purchase experience with a price that is a fraction of the price compared with the traditional retail process.
WP: What’s the importance for you of keeping production levels below 300?
SM: It corresponds to approx. 1 watch a day. This allows me to divert my focus into the quality of the timepieces that we offer and to take care of my clients.
Exclusivity is also very special to me, offering a sense of community between Brellum owners. Knowing that you own one of the 299 is that bridge which provides a connection between lovers of fine Swiss watchmaking
WP: How important is the COSC certification?
SM: The COSC certification is our way of assuring nothing short of absolute precision. Delivering the official certificate with the watch ‘certifies’ to our customers that the movement has passed 15 days of thorough testing in an external lab (Official Swiss Chronometry) in over 7 different criterion.
This guarantees a precision of 99.99% accuracy. Proof of the very high value to which the COSC “chronometer” certificate attests: only about 6% of Swiss watches exported have this status. (Source: Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH).
WP: What experiences in your watchmaking career can be seen in your design and product?
SM: As a 4th generation watchmaker in my family line and a graduate in this timeless industry, I have been immersed in watchmaking for as long as I can remember. I worked at different swiss watchmaking brands for a while before going back to the family business in charge of the technical development and production of watches for almost 30 different swiss brands.
Then appointed as director of production/development by Victorinox, one of our clients, I was in charge for more than 12 years and produce over 500,000 Swiss watches per year. Using these collective experiences and knowledge, I brought Brellum to inception – my own exclusive high-end watchmaking brand.
WP: What plans do you have in the coming months?
SM: At the end of the week, Brellum will unveil its new collection – The Brellum Wyvern GMT Chronometer. This is an important step for the brand as for the first time we offer a thinner watch at 10.9mm, with the GMT function.
So all our prospective clients who want a Brellum but finds the current thicker chronograph collection slightly unappealing, will find with the Wyvern GMT Chronometer the perfect watch to go with any fit.
WP: What do Brellum fans have to look forward to in 2022?
SM: Brellum fans have reason to get excited. 2022 commemorates 5 years of the Duobox Collection so to celebrate, we have been working on a new Limited-Edition piece – “Brellum Duobox Automatic Tourbillon.”
As a watch that is designed to outperform it’s pricetag of under CHF 15,000, by removing the middleman, it has caught the eye of watch enthusiasts already and been booked. Limited to 11 units worldwide, be quick. Time is running out – literally.