< CEO SPEAK >
Jean Marc Pontroue CEO, Roger Dubuis speaks to Mitrajit Bhattacharya on Geneva Seal, the brand’s association with celebrities and much more
Can you take me through the four-pronged product strategy at Roger Dubuis?
We’ve invented four imaginary worlds whose protagonists are the gambler, for the La Monégasque collection launched at the SIHH in 2011; the warrior represented by the Excalibur collection; the adventurer with a new line of casual outdoor watches called Pulsion; and the diva for our ladies watches called Velvet.
At Roger Dubuis we deal with ultra luxury. While Velvet is for the sophisticated lady; Monegasque is an elegant dressy watch. There’s a twist of extravagance in Excalibur as well.
Geneva Seal is tough to achieve butyet an integral part of Roger Dubuis. How important is the Seal to RogerDubuis to establish it at the top?
We are the only watchmaker tohallmark all our timepieces, both men’s and women’s, with the GenevaSeal. At the end of the day, the Poinçonde Genève is the ultimate signature of a Roger Dubuis timepiece. It’s this which sets us apart in fine watchmaking and justifies our prices.
Roger Dubuis as a brand was really not known for using Hollywood or Bollywood stars to market its products. But of late you have acquired new friendships with some superstars.
Yes, we have celebrities like Gerard Butler, who is representing the world of Excalibur. We have the world of Pulsion represented by Tomer Sisley of Largo Winch fame. We believe in the strength of the brand. However, we are very keen to be linked to celebrities to spread a buzz about the brand. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a customer of Roger Dubuis. He wears an Excalibur Skeleton with Double Flying Tourbillion.
What is going to be your marketing strategy for the next couple of years?
We have a worldwide approach. The Richemont Group, of which Roger Dubuis is a part, is working with a longterm strategy. We want Roger Dubuis to become the reference brand in the ultra luxury segment.
India is a good market for Roger Dubuis. It’s probably one of the top 10 markets for us. The tourbillons, double tourbillons and skeleton movements do very well in India. Yes, we give more priority to India, other parts of Asia and the Middle East, compared to the traditional markets. As a brand we are more exposed to some new countries which are growing faster than the mature countries. However, Europe remains important for us.
What are your priorities?
I want to get to know how a Geneva ultra luxury watch manufacture works, giving equal priority to both design and production. When you are at the highend, movement is the key story and the design has to complement it. At Roger Dubuis our mission is to make the design as strong as the content.
A lot is happening in the world of marketing, thanks to digitalisation. How do you see things happening in the digital space for Roger Dubuis?
We have hired someone to create a full-fledged digital department. We believe in the importance of communication. It’s not just about the print media, but also about the Internet and social media.