How did the Cosmonaute change into the primary Swiss wristwatch in house in 1962?
The Cosmonaute was a watch that was requested by Scott Carpenter, the fourth American in house. When he was coaching in Australia, he noticed Australian Air Drive pilots carrying the Navitimer and knew it was simply what Mission Mercury wanted for future orbital missions. He then wrote to Willy Breitling explaining that timing was his particular duty for Mission Mercury. He wanted a reconfigured Navitimer to maintain the round rule for calculations. He wished a 24-hour watch and likewise one which learn like a capsule instrument. Breitling then developed that watch which turned one of many absolute classics of the watch trade and have become the primary Swiss wristwatch in house.
There’s one other very well-known cosmonaut worn by John Glenn that was bought by Gregory Breitling at an public sale in 2019. Why did he need to return it to the Breitling archives?
After Scott Carpenter’s journey into house, a minimum of seven different prototypes of the identical watch had been constructed. They had been produced for the seven astronauts who took half within the Mercury program. The John Glenn watch was by no means in house, nevertheless it was Glenn’s private watch and when Gregory Breitling heard it was up for public sale, he determined to purchase it. This [acquiring watches at auction] it’s one thing we’ve got to do ourselves sooner or later as a result of we need to construct a museum and work on our historical past. We have now a transparent concentrate on shopping for particular watches that had been as soon as a part of our assortment, constructing a museum and publishing books round our model. Gregory Breitling could be very supportive of this initiative, as is Fred Mandelbaum, who might be the largest Breitling collector on this planet. Eventually, all these watches shall be obtainable within the museum to be considered by our prospects and collectors.
Navitimer itself turns 70 this 12 months. Has its existence ever been threatened up to now seven many years?
There are watches which are icons and are commercially profitable after which there are watches which are icons however had been business failures. Navitimer has at all times been profitable and Navitimer’s existence as a part of our assortment has by no means been threatened because it has at all times been a business success. It’s at this time, with Chronomat, crucial business line we’ve got.
Give us the breadth of your international operations.
Final 12 months, CVC bought a minority stake to a non-public fairness agency. Right now, we’re current worldwide with subsidiaries. We can have about 250 boutiques by the top of the 12 months. This 12 months, we’re opening virtually two boutiques every week. for now, your entire luxurious trade could be very resilient. We noticed revenge shopping for as a result of folks could not go on trip and they also have lots of disposable earnings, which is why the posh trade did very well final 12 months.
You beforehand mentioned that Breitling has but to get its justifiable share of the market in China. Did you capitalize on this?
China continues to be a small a part of our enterprise. We’re rising strongly, however we do not have honest market share in China but, if I examine it to the US, Europe or the Center East, as a result of we simply began growing our presence there 4 to 5 years in the past. We’re opening 25 boutiques in China this 12 months. We have now the areas, however it might take three to 4 years to be on the degree we wish. You do not have a longtime distribution community of shops in China such as you would in Dubai with Seddiqi for instance. We do not have a strategic drawback as a lot as a tactical drawback in implementing the methods that we implement in our different markets world wide. We can have about 60 boutiques in China, however we should always have the ability to quadruple that quantity.
How necessary is the Center East market to Breitling?
The Center East is a crucial market. It’s a high-end, refined and cultured market. As a area, it’s smaller than Europe, however it’s rising and a considerable market. For us, the important thing markets are Europe, the US and the Center East. We have now joint ventures in Saudi Arabia the place we opened an enormous boutique in Riyadh earlier this 12 months and we’re opening extra boutiques within the kingdom.
Why did Breitling determine to unveil the brand new Superocean?
I had a dive watch within the Nineteen Sixties referred to as the Sluggish Movement, which was very a lot a diving instrument with massive arms and large indexes. So we took the Sluggish Movement and added trendy options to it, however stored the identical broad design parts, together with a ceramic bezel and sq. blocks on the arms. There’s a sure similarity to the look of most dive watches, however the Sluggish Movement has at all times stood out from the gang.
What are your plans for the pre-owned and classic watch market?
There are necessary classic watches comparable to John Glenn’s Navitimer Cosmonaute bought by Gregory Breitling. We work with public sale homes to handle this market. We plan to strategy it far more rigorously than we’ve got up to now. The second space is licensed pre-owned watches which are traded on licensed pre-owned platforms wherein we aren’t concerned. After which there are watches which are now not produced as a part of our assortment, and right here we purchase the inventory from the retailer and promote them by way of our shops world wide.
What are a few of Breitling’s brief and medium time period plans?
We have now now launched Superocean, however we’ve got extra merchandise within the pipeline for the remainder of the 12 months. Within the medium-long time period, we modified our methods 4 years in the past and now have a confirmed idea. What we’re doing now could be increasing the enterprise to nations like China with our repositioned model and redesigned collections.