Chopard - The sound of the future - People and interviews - WorldTempus

Chopard – The sound of the future – People and interviews – WorldTempus

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Suzanne Wong
We started by talking about Sound of Eternity – the trilogy of chiming watches from the LUC collection – congratulations again for this feat. Your team has truly done an exceptional job. We saw how amazed and enthusiastic everyone was, but perhaps not surprised at all, which is understandable, because we should all be aware by now of what Chopard is capable of.

LUC Full Strike Tourbillon – LUC Full Strike Sapphire – LUC Strike One © Chopard

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
Well, I guess if someone didn’t know that, they do now.

Suzanne Wong
It’s important that Chopard was able to launch these watches at the right time, by which I mean that in many places around the world things are almost back to normal: an environment where we can focus on our work and the pleasure of having such magnificent watchmaking creations.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
The situation is so much better than the gloomy picture that presented itself to us at the beginning of 2020. At that time we did not even know how to communicate with each other. As time went on, I noticed that the big problem in our industry in terms of communication was the fact that we lost physical contact with the products, and we lost the ability to meet aimlessly. Of course we had software like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, we still had presentations and meetings, but it was always for a specific purpose. We have lost the luxury of spending time with someone sitting across the table, exchanging views and discussing different topics. And of course even the most beautiful picture on a screen doesn’t do a watch justice. I noticed this in particular last year when I was looking at the watches competing for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, where I voted. I was thinking to myself how different the watches looked from their pictures when you could actually touch them, a dimension we’ve really missed over the past two years.

Suzanne Wong
Obviously the development of the chiming trilogy started years ago and the environment in which the watches were launched in 2022 is very different from the situation we imagined for the original launch. Has it changed your perception of what watches stand for, what they mean to the business, and how they speak to consumers?

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
There are always advantages and disadvantages in everything. What I’ve noticed over the past two years is that more and more people are reading, researching and learning about mechanical watches. I would say there are probably more watch collectors today than two years ago, and they are also younger. It’s because they’ve had more time to spend developing their interest, because you have to spend time on the watches, you don’t learn just like that. They had time to research watch companies, to try to understand the philosophy of the company, the reason why it does this or that. People were able to come and meet watches and watchmaking at their own pace. Unlike before, you know, when all of us in the industry were full throttle, traveling everywhere and momentum was important. And that probably wasn’t the right way to go.

The sound of the future

LUC Strike One © Chopard

Suzanne Wong
I have the impression that you feel that today’s audience is more receptive to what we try to tell them about fine watchmaking, grand complications and intricate details.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
Yes I think. I totally have that feeling.

Suzanne Wong
Does it make communicating with customers easier? Those of us who work mainly with fine watchmaking products have always been aware that it can be difficult to talk about such refined and complex mechanisms in an accessible way.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
It’s absolutely true that the more knowledge and understanding the audience has, the easier it is to resonate with them, especially for something like fine watchmaking. And since we’re on the subject of acoustics and chiming watches, the idea of ​​resonance works very well here. It can be said that the public does not only think about the prestigious appearance, the exterior aspects, but also the interior. It is very rewarding.

Suzanne Wong
This fits perfectly with one of your personal projects, Art in Time, a gallery in Monaco that defends the values ​​of fine watchmaking and the spirit of craftsmanship.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
When we opened in Monaco, for a while no one really knew we were there. And this is Monaco, there are a lot of tourists. We had been open for over a year and had to close in 2020. But when we reopened later, we did better than in 2019. And we did even better in 2021. In general, people s are more of interest to independent watchmakers now. How is it possible ? I think it could only happen because everyone gathers more information and therefore becomes more interested. Otherwise everyone would keep buying the same classic watches that are out of stock for months, even years you know. I like this dynamic that we see, and I think it’s very good. In my opinion, all this clearly shows that watchmaking in general is on the right track.

The sound of the future

LUC Full Strike Tourbillon © Chopard

Suzanne Wong
These observations that you have gathered, are you going to integrate them a little more into Chopard’s product strategy and the direction of the company? By that I mean: you have this milestone at Chopard, The Sound of Eternity, and you also got this information about how the watch audience developed. Will we see Chopard focus more and more on fine watchmaking or do you think it’s just as important to have a strong commercial offer as well?

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
I believe that we still have to keep a solid base of what you call a more commercial offer. Because I believe we need to encourage a considerable part of the watch community to continue investing in the experience of mechanical watches. But if you only offer very high-end parts and nothing else, how is that going to work? This is the reason why, next year, we will review and rethink the Mille Miglia collection, which we believe is very important to keep as an entry-level collection at Chopard. Even within the LUC collection, we want to maintain a certain level of accessibility, but always something interesting and sophisticated. It’s great to have the Full Strike and we’re very proud of what this piece represents. But I think it’s important to attract another kind of audience as well.

The sound of the future

LUC Full Strike Sapphire © Chopard

Suzanne Wong
You are absolutely right. And I think we’re wrong to believe that consumers are stuck in either mechanical watches or accessible, entry-level parts. We cannot catalog consumers like that. For example, it is not because we like good wines that we cannot appreciate a good cold beer.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
Exactly ! If you only drink great wines every day, it’s really not the same. I mean, it must remain exceptional.

Send the music!

Co-president of Chopard, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele © Chopard


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