Frederique Constant Group (FCG) was in celebratory mood at Baselworld this year, boasting growth as the rest of the Swiss watch industry suffered its first contraction in recent memory.
And Peter Stas, chief executive and co-founder of FCG, told Wearable.com that the company’s Horological Smartwatch was responsible for that growth and prevented the group facing a similar slowdown.
“Last year we grew while the whole industry went down. And I must say it’s because we had success with the Horological Smartwatch – without it we would have shrunk slightly too. But because of the new category we added we were able to grow.”
As such FCG is increasing its software development capabilities in Geneva as software will be included in the proposed new ‘Swiss made’ regulations. In the same interview, Stas referred to TAG Heuer’s Connected watch as ‘a big mistake’, stating that the Swiss industry needed to do more than sell Android-based watches at more than four times the price of competing products from the Far East, adding: “That’s not what makes the Swiss watch industry strong”.
Stas also unveiled Gwyneth Paltrow as the brand’s latest global ambassador, a decision that has been taken to lift the profile of the brand in key markets. Paltrow’s involvement also takes on a philanthropic element, with FCG contributing US $50 for each Delight Automatic sold to teaching charity, DonorsChoose.
The group’s Frederique Constant brand is also pushing value hard with its latest in-house movement, one of 21 in its arsenal, a perpetual calendar that will retail for £7,200.
Watches too from stablemate Alpina offered extreme value including its Seastrong Diver 300 which will retail for £1,095 and the dual crown Seastrong Diver Heritage for £1,300.