LM: Is Maurice Lacroix perceived as a man’s watch or a ladies watch?
SW: in the past, it was perceived as a man’s watch because we have focussed on mechanical watches which are very masculine in nature. But today with our new collection and reasonable price points we have the opportunity to develop and design more ladies watches in quartz. Women want watches to look nice and be able to match it with their other accessories. I would say the ratio currently stands at 30-70 in favour of men but we hope to change this to 50-50 which is what we are working towards.
LM: Who is the typical Maurice Lacroix customer?
SW: Maurice Lacroix focuses on the middle managers and people who are climbing the corporate ladder. It’s for those who are starting their own businesses or building their career and this is a very interesting stage of a person’s life as a lot of things happen at this time.
You go from school to your fist job and then maybe you start your own business. It’s also a time when you get married and start a family. During this time frame, around 20 years old to 40 years old, there are a lot of events happening and milestones in one’s life to celebrate and you are constantly looking to reward yourself – either from a getting big bonus for a job well done to having your first child. And it doesn’t need to be super expensive, just something of exceptional quality. Our customers lead very busy, hectic and mobile lives and they need some points to anchor.
LM: Do you have any growth or expansion plans in the near future?
SW: Not at the present moment. We want to focus on areas where we are strong, and where we do well, we want to be even better. We are not planning to rush into new markets but instead concentrate on our core markets. We are present in 65 markets around the world but we are focusing on 20 core markets.
LM: What’s the biggest challenge facing you and other Swiss watchmakers currently?
SW: One of the biggest challenges we face is the digitalization of the world. Digitalization means customers consume differently. Nowadays you don’t even need to visit a store to see or buy something. It is all online which is accessible on your mobile device.
You can read reviews on blogs and form your own opinion on it. There is the whole mobile social media arena which provides content to consumers. There’s also the Smart Watch which provides a different alternative to the consumer. At the moment we are observing the market very closely as the technology for smart watches is very expensive. If we do it, it has to work.
LM: What’s the best advice you have ever got in business or life?
SW: There’s no such thing as luck, just hard work. Whatever you do, you have to invest a lot of time and effort in mastering it. I also believe keeping fit in both mind and body and I do yoga 2-3 times a week wherever in the world I am. Yoga helps me focus better, ups my energy levels and I can manage my stress levels better. I don’t need to go for massages anymore after practising yoga.
I learn to listen to my body. I work hard but when I’m exhausted, I take a break so I don’t go into overdrive. I take time for myself during the week and block out spaces in my schedule for private time.