CEO and President of Permagiani Fleurier, Jean Marc Jacot, reveals to Mitrajit Bhattacharya that the brand plans to tie up with prominent museums
Let us start with a light question. You think you’d have nice weather over the weekend for the hot air balloon that you sponsor?
Everything’s going to be just perfect.First of all, we have no competition. Also, it’s held in the Alpine balloon base at Gstaad, which is warm, beautiful and relaxed. Everything is looking good. We are quite happy.
Like you mentioned last time, it’s a large spectator sport and a lot of people gather to watch it.
It’s indeed wonderful, as everyone from kids to grandmothers gather to sneak a look at the balloon when it’s flying. I remember as a child, I used to gaze at flying balloons and marvel at them.
We’ve been discussing this for some years now, when do we see you flying in India?
We hope to organise something through our agent, Mr Jonathan Stalder. India for me is one of ‘the markets’. We can’t miss this market, and that’s why we’ve to be present and do things very well over there.
What would you term as your key product?
I’d say our key products are our. basic automatic watches.
How’re they doing?
They are doing very well. From the consumer’s perspective they’re more user-friendly than a chronograph. So, we will be focussing more on them.
Do you think the Double Time Zone has the potential to become an icon, like the Three Gold Bridges for GP or maybe a Cartier Tank?
Yes. I see it going a long way After all, it’s one of the best we have.
How has it done in India?
It has been doing well in India too. It’s a key product for us. And definitely, it’s not the cheapest. I think we are going back to the simpler watches because the complicated watches are much more expensive.
What is the latest with regards to your production facilities?
We’re opening a new factory this year. Last year, we opened one, employing over 6,700 people, for manufacturing watch cases. We have already opened a new factory for manufacturing components this year. So, we do have a consolidated production centre. In short, we are extremely well equipped at the production level.
As far as you are concerned, what’s the talking point this year?
This year we’ve two separate strategies. One’s for the common collection with a new Bugatti watch, the Atlante, and the second part’s to promote the restoration department.
So, is it a consistent strategy on your part to develop the restoration department?
Yes. We’re the official restoration department for Patek Philippe. We restore Patek Philippe museum watches. We’ve restored a lot of collectors’ watches in the past. Now, we are trying to go for a joint venture and partnership with some very prominent museums around the world, for example, the Hermitage in St Petersburg.
What about your haute couture workshop, L’Atelier Parmigiani?
It was scheduled to launch in Moscow last year, but got postponed because of some unavoidable real estate problem. But this year we’re launching in Beijing, Shanghai, Moscow, Singapore and Istanbul. That’s a lot of investment from our side.