Ong Chin Huat sits down with Stephane Waser, the Managing Director of luxury Swiss Watchmaker Maurice Lacroix while he was on a whirlwind visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and finds out who the typical Maurice Lacroix customers are and why it’s a timepiece to mark all the milestones in your life.
With over 40 years of innovative achievements, Swiss Watch Brand Maurice Lacroix has steadily produced high quality and well-made watches known for their high perceived value and attention to detail. Based in Saignelégier in the Jura region in Switzerland which is famous for its watch making industry, Maurice Lacroix is a watch brand which has a clear mandate to maintain the exceptional standards of the Swiss Watchmaking tradition while innovating and pioneering new complications and movements. In 2006, Maurice Lacroix developed its first in-house movement and subsequently, it has gone on to design another 15 in-house Manufacture Calibres.
LM: Tell us about the novelties showcased by Maurice Lacroix at Baselworld 2017.
SW: We focussed on our signature collections like our Masterpiece Collection and Aikon Collections. We debuted the Double Retrograde with a silver and black dial for our Masterpiece Collection. As the people who seek out the Masterpiece Collection likes the rich design of the watch, we went back to our archives and discovered that the year 2003 and 2004 was when the Masterpiece was the most successful so we re-created a watch from those years with minor adjustments to make it look current.
For our Aikon Collection, we introduced the latest Aikon Chrono with a striking blue dial and bracelet. There’s also one with a beautiful slate grey dial. For the ladies, we introduced a 30 mm size in the Aikon Collection with alternating diamonds and gold Roman numerals. We make the 30 mm case in comparison to the usual 35 mm size to cater to women who have a smaller and more slender wrist.
LM: How many models does Maurice Lacroix introduce to the market each year?
SW: Around 30 to 50 models a year but these are mainly existing models with small changes and variations of colours. As for collections, we don’t launch a new one every year and we don’t plan to do so in the next five years.
We intend to stick to our current collections and stick with the continuity and maintain the consistency. We want to give value to our product and not make our existing customers feel like they were short-changed if they just bought a new watch and later discover that it has been replaced by another new collection.
LM: Where is Maurice Lacroix’s largest market?
SW: Germany is our largest market because it was the first country Maurice Lacroix launched its watches outside Switzerland. The second biggest market is China followed by Russia.
LM: Do you design watches to cater to specific markets?
SW: When we design new watches we go to all the markets and talk to our distribution partners and retailers and we do our own market research on certain markets. Then we try to incorporate all this data and information in our design. But what we try to do is to have a global collection.
The tough part of our business is to find a design language and collection which Asians, European, Middle Eastern and Americans like. That is how our Aikon Collection came about. It was launched in 2016 as a continuation of our previous collection called the Calypso.
The Aikon Collection is a classic watch with a little spice. The look and feel of the Aikon Collection is very fresh with very high quality and attention to detail in its finishing.