Parmigiani CEO Jean Marc Jacot on polo, innovation and strategic future development

In 2006, International Parmigiani Swiss Guards Polo Cup was first organized at the Polo Club du Domaine de Chantilly, paying tribute not only to polo but also to the historical relationship between France and Switzerland. How did Parmigiani get involved and what are your future plans related to the Fondation 1792?

The Fondation 1792 came to us following our partnership with the Snow Polo Klosters. It was a first special operation dedicated to the relationship between the Swiss guard of Vatican & the famous French musketeers. No future operation regarding this cup is planned.

Parmigiani Fleurier participated in January this year in the Berenberg Snow Polo in Klosters for the fifth consecutive year. What has been your company’s motivation for this continued involvement? How do you evaluate Parmigiani’s direct and indirect benefits in the Berenberg Snow Polo Cup?

The new title of this event is Klosters Snow Polo in which we participate for the 7th consecutive year.
The customers in Klosters perfectly correspond to our target and our partner, the boutique Maissen is one of the main partners of this event.
We are pleased to invite clients and journalists which is the best way, to take advantage of such events.

Which are the defining elements of polo, which are shared by Parmigiani brand?
Tradition, Team spirit, elegance, competitiveness
Your company has been a constant supporter of White Turf, the exclusive annual Swiss competition which is attended by race-horse owners, trainers and jockeys from all over the world. How important is associating your brand with a prestigious, yet innovative concept of events such as White Turf?

The White Turf is one of the top events in Switzerland like Montreux Jazz Festival & Locarno Film Festival.
Parmigiani support this event which is really important as there are more than 50’000 visitors during the 3 weekends and our partner in St Moritz is one of our main partner in Switzerland.\

Middle Eastern, Arab countries have a long time tradition with equestrian competitions. What is your current presence in terms of retail but also market share in the Middle East? Which Middle Eastern country is top selling for Parmigiani?

Our presence in Middle East is important and particularly in the United Arabic Emirates & Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman. We develop these markets which will become a strategic market for Parmigiani for local customers and tourists.
Parmigiani has long had partnerships with luxury hotels around the world. What do you think is the synergy between hospitality and retail (fashion, watches, jewellery etc)

The brand Parmigiani has no partnerships with Hotels. Otherwise The Sandoz Family Foundation which is owner of Parmigiani is also owner of three 5 stars Hotel in Switzerland (Lausanne, Neuchatel, Zermatt) and one 4 stars hotel.

Parmigiani is one of the very few Swiss watchmakers with independent manufacturing. What has been your strategic approach to manufacturing?

In 2001 Parmigiani decided to be industrially independent and not to rely to external companies because of the complexity of the products and the demanded quality.
Your company is also a manufacturer of mechanisms for other luxury Swiss watch brands. How do you feel about luxury brands which claim to be manufacturers but in fact they outsource most of their production? – and this is the case not only in watches but also leather goods, jewellery etc

Regarding the Parmigiani brand, we are convinced that producing all components of our products in the only long term solution to a sustainable success. About our competitors who pretend to be manufacturers but who are not, I let you directly ask them your questions to know they think about it.
What are your expansion plans in 2012? How important are mono-brand, stand-alone boutiques versus multi-brand retail outlets for Parmigiani?

2012 is an important year for Parmigiani as we are investing more in the distribution with the creation of subsidiaries in different countries and Ateliers (Shanghai, Beijing, Istanbul, Moscow) & Studio (Porto Cervo, Dubai, Munich) Openings.
Which are the latest, most important innovations Parmigiani has introduced in its watches?

The most important is the innovation we bring to the watchmaking industry like the 2nd generation of the Bugatti which confirm our creative capacity of the brand with the innovating movement compare to what has been made in the swiss watchmaking industry.
Exclusive interview for CPP-LUXURY.COM