Known for its celebrated designs, fashionable wristwatches and exotic orientalist designs, Cartier boasts a pioneering past and innovative future. Since its foundation laid by Louis-François Cartier in 1847, the company has been clocking topline growth unmatched by its industry peers. It has set precedents envied by its rivals. Cartier is now expanding beyond its core markets and plans to add 20 new boutiques across the Middle East. We sat with Cartier President and CEO Mr. Bernard Fornas to explore company’s precious past and strategies ensuring its fruitful future. “There is no one like Cartier – the King of Jewellers and a big player in Haute Horlogerie,” proudly says Mr. Fornas. Excerpts from the interview:
Bernard Fornas, Cartier President and CEO: We are still the King of Jewellers and Jeweller of the Kings. Look at our high-end jewellery and watches confirming our belief. There is no one like us.
Cartier is the most creative brand of all the watch-making industry. We are by far the number one brand in high-end ladies watches. For Haute Horlogerie men watches, Cartier was not there for a long time even though we knew how to do it. Now we are number three tourbillon watch seller in the world. We were able in two years to put 36 new references and 12 new movements. This year, we have 12 new watches with new calibers, and for next year we have everything signed and scheduled for development. Cartier is creative in all segments of watch-making.
It’s not easy to be on top level in all segments. We are building up the legitimacy and credibility. That’s not easy and needs time, but Cartier is moving fast. We are big players now and will remain dynamic.
Sure. I always wanted to grow but securing and preserving my image at the highest level. Growing without losing selectivity and excellence is a golden rule for us at Cartier.
Very good. Cartier dominates the market now but I believe we can do better because we have done very well in China.
Good results in China force me to adopt a policy that helps me avoid over dependency. We should push better in the Middle East and the Americas that would give us more comfort.
We need bigger boutiques, more products and improve our retail management. We also have to improve our position in Saudi Arabia. Now we are going to open a very big boutique in Abu Dhabi, spanned over 500 square metres and to be managed by Cartier itself.
To me, 20 seems a reasonable figure.
Of course it can. Qatar is the world’s largest gas producer and in a few years it will host the FIFA soccer World Cup. The country will develop and we have to go along with it.
Excellence in the different Middle Eastern markets.
The crises brought back a number of clients to Cartier. When the economic mood is bad people intend to go back to legitimate brands.
Our 2011 novelties showed the world and collectors that Cartier is now a main player in the Haute Horlogerie and jewellery market as well. Our collections give a wide choice of designs to have a better emphasis, by doing so we would definitely contribute to prove that we are a serious player.
Beauty has no border. Cartier products are for the whole world and we will not do that – at all.