In conversation with Van Cleef & Arpels CEO Nicolas Bos (Exclusive Interview)

How has Van Cleef & Arpels performed in 2017? – in general terms

2017 was a reasonably good year that marked the come back to growth for all the jewelry Maisons of the Richemont Group.

Which are the strongest markets for your brand? Have there been any changes in regards to these markets? (any markets increasing or decreasing)

We cannot talk about any particular ‘bubble’ market. We have witnessed growth in Asia, Americas and the Middle East. It was a more challenging European market, especially due to the high Euro and the security concerns. Tourists are more price conscientious than before.

Are there any particular markets you are targeting in terms of retail expansion?

Our presence is very well balanced, worldwide, however, we did not enter any new market. There were notable new store openings in Canada, Australia. We also opened a flagship store in Munich after many years of researching the ideal location.

What is your approach towards mono-brand boutiques versus wholesale?

We only have own retail stores. We do not have any wholesale and our strategy will be consistent in the future too.

You recently presented a number of spectacular jewelry watches at SIHH in Geneva? Tell us more about the expertize of your company in this field?

We are a predominantly feminine house so our offering is mostly dedicated to women. For us, SIHH is less of a trade event – it is more an opportunity to interact with media, clients and collectors.

You also introduced new men’s watches at SIHH 2018. How important are men’s watches for your future strategic product development?

For us, this is a small category. Our men’s watches are understated, using references of the 40s Pierre Arpels Collection. They are also poetic complications with stories that fit into the masculine environment. Our male consumers are watch lovers, collectors of buyers of traditional pieces.

Many luxury watch brands have been launching more affordable watches. Tell us your view

We always had a very broad price range with entry level products prices at 1000 euros. Our day-wear collection includes many affordable priced items. As for watches, the starting price for a women’s watch is 5000 euros, however, we do not produce steel watches – only from precious materials. Our men’s watches are priced starting with 2000 euros.

A major luxury watch manufacturer launched a second hand business. Is this something you would consider

I believe such an initiative could  really work but it very much how it is implemented. We have always had a second hand selection of products in our boutiques. We take out-of-collection pieces and we recondition them. This is a category that our most loyal customers are used to.

Oliver Petcu

Nicolas Bos, CEO Van Cleef & Arpels