THE ORIGINAL CHRONOMAT CARRIED AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE AT THAT TIME, WHAT IS THE MESSAGE OF THIS NEW SUPER CHRONOMAT
[George Kern, CEO Breitling] You’re right, when the Chronomat was launched in 1983 it was an ice breaker for the industry because it emerged at a critical point during the quartz crisis. But, the beauty of Breitling is that we are a very versatile brand and generalistic one too. There is no particular message this time around except to say this is a watch that reflects the brand. As such, you can wear it with a suit, at the beach or while piloting an aircraft. For us it’s the ultimate, generalistic everyday use kind of watch and it’s also really very beautiful.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO GO AHEAD AND LAUNCH THE NEW CHRONOMAT RANGE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIRST COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
People were surprised because most other brands were cancelling launches, but we decided to stick with our programme. We did this for two reasons: the first was that consumers were at home with plenty of time to look at our products. The second was that you need time to work on someone’s decision-making process, and by giving ourselves ample time to explain our products and showcase them on YouTube and social media etcetera, we helped consumers make up their minds so that, once the markets re-opened in the summer, they walked into the stores and bought our products. I must say that the work we did during the pandemic was essential for the restart of the markets.
HAVING RE-CALIBRATED INTO AIR, LAND AND SEA SEGMENTS, WITH ELEGANT, SPORTS AND SUPERSPORTS SUB-DIVISIONS, CAN YOU REVEAL WHAT’S NOW THE MOST POPULAR?
Well there’s a difference between volume and value but the Chronomat, out of nowhere, has made it into the top three lines in terms of value, and the Endurance is our number one in terms of volume, but it’s a totally different price point of course.
YOUR PUSH TO GO BACK TO BREITLING’S ROOTS HAS BEEN CLEAR BUT HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BALANCE THIS VINTAGE DEEP-DIVE WITH A LEAP INTO FUTURISM, AS THAT IS ALSO FUNDAMENTALLY BREITLING?
It’s a very good point but funnily enough, a few years ago we were facing two totally different communities. There were the vintage Breitling lovers, who cherished the products of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, and then there were the Breitling buyers of the bigger, bolder pilot watches from the last twenty years. but there was literally no bridge between these groups. We found our solution in the car industry. Mercedes-Benz for example produces sportcars, limousines, SUVs, EVs and convertibles because they have a strong umbrella. So we went about strengthening our brand and I think we achieved our goals because everything we launched, as diverse as it has been, has worked without a single flop, from the Endurance to the Premier Datora and now the Super Chronomat. At the end of the day, we have the credibility, authenticity and history to have such a diverse offering.
WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE ARE THE THREE PREDOMINANT REASONS CUSTOMERS ARE BUYING BREITLINGS NOW?
It’s a super cool brand, we have the most beautiful products and our watches are highly qualitative. Notice how I mentioned brand first. It is the cornerstone and that is why we worked so hard to change our image over these last couple of years.