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Our Vision - BaselWorld 2018

Time and Tide

FRÉDÉRIQUE CONSTANT

ALETTA STAS, CO-FOUNDER, FRÉDÉRIQUE CONSTANT


How has the last year been for Frédérique Constant and Alpina?

The last year has been good for us. We made profits and that is always good. It was also a year for integration with CITIZEN. This really opened up markets in the US, the UK and of course, in Japan, for us. Sales are picking up. For this year as well, we are very positive about growth. In general, I believe the atmosphere is positive. We are seeing early signs that the watch business is picking up.

What are your thoughts about the Baselworld 2018 in general?

Actually, I’m a bit disappointed that many participants left the fair. A lot of small companies and suppliers have also left. I think it is a pity. If you look at the history of Basel world fair, what made the fair special was that there were a range of exhibitors. We had not only brands that sold watches but also those that dealt in components and so on. This change has been gradual. Things have become expensive. The younger brands do not have the money to be here. That is not something good. However, for us it is still very important and exciting. In one week, one can see the whole watch world! We can showcase our products and get feedback as well. We will definitely keep coming!

Can you talk a bit about the Indian market, in view of the recent changes in tax structures and taxation?

Yes, some of the changes have been destabilizing. But, everyone is facing the same thing. What has changed is that we decided to work with two chains - Ethos and Helios. This makes us build the brand in a better way. We feel this is going well. We expect growth in India. We are now able to present a consistent image and brand story across our points of sale. We also have 8 shop-inshops in India.

Are you launching Alpina in India as well?

Yes, we are launching Alpina in India. We are in two stores right now. We are excited about it.

Let’s talk about the integration with CITIZEN…

We are free in pursuing the business in the way we have planned. The day to day matters are run by Niels Eggerding, our new Managing Director. But yes, Peter and I are still very much involved. We look at the product design as well. We have some special models for Japan, as we do for other markets as well.

The complete interview is in Hours & Minutes on pg no. 22 in the BaselWorld 2018 - A Speical Report.