In conversation with Ulysse Nardin CEO, Patrik Hoffmann
How has Ulysse Nardin performed so far this year and what are your expectations for the rest of the year?
Patrik Hoffmann: The launch of our new products from Basel 2015 have started to roll out successfully and the response so far has overwhelmingly good.
Ulysse Nardin has great awareness in Russia. Tell us more about your business in Russia and sales to Russians abroad
Naturally, Ulysse Nardin enjoys a great brand awareness in Russia but we have never neglected “the rest of the world” and have seen a great development in Europe, USA and the Middle East, where we have opened our own representative office beginning of this year.
This year, you continued your mono-brand retail strategy. How many of these stores you operate directly and which are franchised?
Although the majority of the Ulysse Nardin mono brand boutiques are franchises, the relevance of those boutiques has increased and helps us not only to communicate more directly with end consumers but also to increase the brand awareness as a whole.
Several luxury watch-makers have been introducing ‘’more affordable’’ pieces? What is your view?
Through the verticalization process of our own movements, which allows us to produce literally the entire movement in-house, including the entire regulating organ with balance wheel, escapement and hairspring (!), our product philosophy and product positioning has not changed and we continue our strategy we have introduced a decade ago.
You company is one of the most active virally in the luxury watches sector. How important is your digital presence and which channels do you regard as particularly efficient?
As mentioned above, our mono brand boutiques have become an integral part of our worldwide strategy, whereas the importance of digital and social communication is on the rise. I believe that one cannot replace the other one but have to go hand-in-hand.
What pieces / collections do you still plan to launch for the rest of 2015?
Our product development in terms of launching new exciting products in the field of Marine and Innovation is ongoing and you will see new models introduced to the market still this year, the next two exciting limited editions to hit the markets are the next generation of 100 pcs for the Monaco Yacht Show end of September and in less than one week our first limited edition to mark our cooperation with the Artemis Racing Team, one of the challengers for the 35th America’s Cup.