< CEO SPEAK >
Louis Ferla, Cartier’s Managing Director for Middle East and India, talks about the new launches to Mitrajit Bhattacharya
What are the novelties this year?
We have about seven different creations with five different techniques, of which two are of enamel. The message that we want to send out is that Cartier is the leader in watches, especially on two fronts. One is craftsmanship and the other is creativity.
Any personal favourites amongst the Cartier Limited Edition?
In Limited, I really like the Rotonde de Cartier Tiger Motif. It’s a round case, quite understated, but a powerful design. This one is a limited edition of 100 pieces. This year we have launched complicated watches with four new movements. I also like Tank. It’s an icon for Cartier.
How much does Tank contribute to Cartier in terms of sales?
We’re re-launching Tank now. But if you look at the 80s, Tank was our number one pillar. Tank Francaise was a huge success. You have to see to believe the level of creativity that has gone into the present collection. These are high jewellery watches.
You have been working on strengthening your manufacturing prowess. Does that include women’s watches too?
We get a good balance in men’s and women’s watches. For every Santos, there is a Délices. Moreover our watches like the Ballon Bleu, which are unisex, help us strike that balance.
At the SIHH fair this season we have seen a lot of skeleton watches and annual calendars. Is it because watch brands feel that perpetual calendars are too steeply priced?
I have not seen what the competition has launched. We have always done skeleton. We have done one in complicated watches as well.
Why is the annual calendar so important to your brand?
The annual calendar, perpetual calendar, minute repeater, tourbillon and skeleton are different types of complications. If you want to be considered as a serious and leading player, you need to have a wide range of complications. The minuterepeater is at the same time a simple but a grand complication, which we didn’t have earlier. By launching the Ballon Bleu 33mm, we have added some depth to the Ballon Bleu Collection, which is very successful.
Can you elaborate on the two concepts – Naturellemente and Cartier Women’s Initiative – that have been announced at the fair?
Cartier Naturellemente is our initiative to impart our knowhow on high jewellery. The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards is about contributing to your local community. This year we introduced it for the first time in the Middle East.
So you are lending the power of your brand to the project, and in turn helping the society?
We are not lending. We are just endorsing somebody and saying, “Okay, we think your project is a good project. It can add value to the society. We will help you develop it.” We have a large community on Facebook and Twitter too.