Kurt Hefti, Global Sales Director, Bovet dwells on the brand known for the peerless expertise of its in-house artisans and wooing India’s rich and famous in a chat with Mitrajit Bhattacharya
I guess it’s safe to assume our readers are not very well versed with Bovet. Do take us through the brand story in short.
I would try to summarise the following points about Bovet. First, the Amadeo system which is very unique, very creative in terms of converting the timepiece from a wristwatch to being a pocket watch to a table clock. And in most instances you have time indication on both sides. The next point is about the finishing; it is absolutely second to none. We are renowned and extremely talented in terms of the decorative arts which we take from our history back in the 19th century. For example, the art of engraving. We have some absolutely amazing engravers in our Manufacture. We do quite a lot of miniature paintings- portraits, animals or landscapes. We have mastered the art of personalisation. We have a lot of our customers who ask, for example, their initials engraved on the case-back of our timepieces or on the case-side and so on. We are very forthcoming when it comes to personalisation of our timepieces. It’s part of our heritage. Then, you have the aspect of it being 100% Swiss-made. We actually make our own calibres and our tourbillions. We are a true manufacturer and make just about 3000 timepieces a year, so it’s very controlled.
How many calibres do you have now?
I would say over 20.
In terms of complications, where does your strength lie?
I would say Bovet is one of the top in terms of tourbillions. Our current tourbillion collection with the cage at 6 o’clock is open and very exposed. We have the triple time zone tourbillions, the perpetual calendar tourbillions and the jumping hour tourbillions–all 100% made in-house.
Do you also make minute repeaters?
We have in our collection but quite honestly we do not make our own minute repeaters.
This is probably your second attempt to enter the Indian market. What are you expecting from India?
For me, there are two elements. First of all, from a timing point of view, the Indian market has the potential today where the end users, the collectors, are now open to looking at what I called the non-popular brands. Until this point, it really wasn’t the case. The people that we have had the pleasure of meeting here, a lot of them are saying that they really want to go beyond. For me that is extremely encouraging and this is what I always felt that in any evolution you have to wait until the timing is absolutely right. Second, it was finding the right partner with the right approach. Again, you have the option of going into a retailer of many, many high-end brands and saying: would you like to take Bovet in your collection? We are adopting the bespoke approach where we go directly to the end consumer in his/her private environment, be it office or home. And the reaction has been phenomenal.