Arnaud Carezz, International Marketing & Communication Director, Cartier speaks to Hiren Kumar Bose on the Maison’s priorities
It started with mechanical watches, and then we had automatic, quartz and now smart watches. Does Cartier have any space for smart watches?
I don’t know. (Laughs). But I can tell you that Cartier is into creating objects of desire with strong emotional value. Connecting or smart watches are functional devices. They have a limited lifespan. Our business is different. We create timeless pieces with strong emotional values. Cartier has been very committed, as always, to innovate. To push boundaries when it comes to quality of our creations.
Slack demands in Hong Kong and China. Uncertain situations in Europe. In such a scenario do you relocate your priorities?
It’s definitely true that we live in uncertain times amidst a volatile environment. Tourism has been greatly affected in Europe due to present-day happenings. Some markets and regions have slowed down. Cartier is well prepared to go through uncertain times. It’s not the first time that it has happened and it will not be the last. We have had difficult times in the past too. We are a very resilient Maison. We have different product categories suited to the regions and are sure that we will overcome it. We are very agile and that’s part of our identity. We have a world-wide presence and have the specialty to adapt ourselves to the changing environment. We are not much dependent on markets as such. We do not address ourselves according to the market. Markets are changing. Chinese are travelling to Japan, Europe and the US. It’s become a globalised world and is local too.
Cartier products are timeless and still the Maison continues to break new grounds. How do you continue to remain contemporary?
We have had a strong pioneering spirit. At the beginning of the 20th century the Cartier brothers went to India to meet the Maharajahas. All across we have built a strong collection taking influences from India and China which helped us to build our reputation. The power of the Maison lies with its reliance on its iconic collection and also has the capacity to enter unknown territories, unlike the other brands.
Being an iconic brand with its strong legacy how do you address your the offline and online customers.
The motto is simple. We need to offer best of experiences, be it offline or online. The level of service has to be same. Conceiving a strategy is difficult. Because some visit the boutique and order online while some do the exact opposite i.e. check online and buy from the boutique. We have to be cautious what we offer on both platforms. We have already launched e-commerce in Japan, Europe and the USA. We recently launched e-commerce in China. China has a very thriving digital market. We began with the social network and have now the ecommerce payment system. We are adapting to the new world well. Our objective is to offer the same client experience irrespective of the platform.
What are your observations about the Indian market?
I have yet to visit India but I am told by my colleagues that our Indian clientele is very sophisticated, discerning and demanding too.
The interview was conducted during SIHH, held January 2016.