CEO Speak – Caroline Scheufele

CEO Speak – Caroline Scheufele

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Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and head of jewellery and jewellery watches at Chopard, talks about her Indian inspiration in a tête-à-tête with Mitrajit Bhattacharya….

Last year you celebrated Chopard’s 150th anniversary. How did it go?

We are still enjoying our anniversary moments since as part of our celebrations we had many events planned around the world. The events also got us a lot of media coverage and put us in the limelight. You may be aware that at Chopard’s 150th Anniversary Party at Palm Beach, Pointe Croisette, we had the Hilton family, and leading tinsel town ladies including Lindsay Lohan, Kate Beckinsale, Naomi Watts and Marion Cotillard. Rounding out the party revellers were Naomi Campbell, Meg Ryan, Eugenia Silva and Eva Herzigova, with the crowd being treated to a performance by Lionel Richie. We launched a major new collection in celebration of the 150th anniversary which had a full line of animal themed jewellery. We had the watcheswhich followed suit with our Happy Diamonds / Happy Sport watches – sharing a similar case shape and having the free floating diamonds in the watches.

What are your plans for the current year?
We have decided to work on a mega birthday collection which is inspired bysome very unique pieces. To top it all, this year we have decided to stress on our craftsmanship because we have over 30 crafts at Chopard which are truly unique.

Despite the great mechanical L.U.C. watches, you’re still known for the ladies lines, both in jewellery and watches. Do you take it as a compliment?
Chopard has always been known for its offerings for ladies. We began with ladies diamond watches. Fifteen years ago, my brother re-launched the Chopard movement. In 15 years we have achieved a lot and everybody now knows us for our L.U.C. mechanical watches as much as they talk about our ladies’ collection.

You have virtually dressed up every single beautiful lady in Hollywood. Do you have any favourites?
Well, I have a lot of favourites and they all keep coming back to us every year like Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie.

What’s the most expensive watch that you have launched this year?
We have a couple of quite exceptional diamond watches which are over a million Swiss francs.

What is the Chopard story in 2011?
We have reinvented the Happy Sport Collection, which has enjoyed unwavering success since its launch in 1993, with an oval shape. The new Happy Sport La Vie En Rose Collection consists of luxury watches that have dials adorned with classy rose silhouettes. Though this comes in different styles, the shades are all rose. So, this is one collection that is definitely dedicated to the ladies. The watches come in two versions – with diamonds and without it.
We are also launching an exquisite version of our iconic Happy Diamonds Collection with visions of slender hearts, or precious circles in yellow, rose or white gold, polished or set with precious diamonds.

Can you take us through your marketing strategy?
Our marketing strategy is the same worldwide. We have a program for our boutique networks, both companyowned and franchise partners. We are going to do a Red Carpet exhibition in India this year. It will have an animal theme as Indians are animal lovers.

How do you find the Indian market?
You have a very rich and old jewellery culture in India and appreciate good jewellery. We have a nice client base in India, which is loyal to Chopard. I think our clients are the ones that come to us for our trends, looks and designs.

Have you ever been inspired by Indian motifs?
Well, not too long ago, one of our most successful jewellery collections was inspired by a painting which actually comes from India.