Yann Gamard, CEO, Glashütte Original
The challenge is to develop watches with “substance”. Customers today are more demanding and more knowledgeable than ever. They are challenging the industry to deliver products developed in a holistic way, according to their needs. Watches today need to be beautiful yet highly functional, high-end but reasonably priced. Times in which marketing bubbles could be used to sell a product are over. End consumers know exactly what they want, they know what it is worth and are not willing to settle for anything less.
The watch industry has seen a trend shift in 2016. Substance, beauty and easy operability of complications are becoming guiding principles again. The successful brands are re-focusing on the basis of their collections, extending and evolving them to a new level. We, as well, have refined our standards and introduced a new generation of timepieces with the launch of our Senator Excellence this year. This trend towards more substance will continue: at Glashütte Original for sure.
The watch industry, generally known as a rather conventional industry, has followed the social-media hype quite late. It is just now starting to unlock the full potential that these channels offer in terms of spotting influencers and communicating directly with fans and end consumers. There are new channels popping up frequently, providing many exciting chances to enter into dialogues with customers, but also in communicating products and brand information in a rather emotional way. The customer is not only the most important factor in the product development process, but also the most reliable source for product-related feedback. We make our watches for the end customer. So the communication with them—the connoisseur, the collector, the men and women who appreciate fine timepieces—is imperative.