It’s been barely six weeks since Jean-Marc Pontroué arrived in Geneva to take over at the head of Roger Dubuis. Executive Vice President at Montblanc for 11 years with responsibility for product development other than writing instruments, he was behind the brand’s rise to prominence in timepieces including fine watches. Now new challenges await.
Jean-Marc Pontroué, CEO, Roger Dubuis: Coming after 11 years in Hamburg, it’s obviously a huge change for me. I’m getting to know fine watchmaking the Roger Dubuis way, including the Manufacture’s buildings which, architecturally speaking, take the same out-of-the-box approach as its timepieces. This is an important moment for the brand, with the 2012 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie just two months away. A year and a half ago, Roger Dubuis upped its game and has been diversifying its products around four “worlds” that we will be presenting at the SIHH.
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 that we’ve called Pulsion; and the diva for our lady’s watches. All the pieces in the puzzle are falling into place. We’re laying the foundations of Roger Dubuis for the next ten years, which our new ad campaign confirms. It draws on new technologies and will, I hope, make a big impression. It introduces an original scope and vision for each of our collections in an atmosphere that manages to be both intimate and grandiose. This kind of storytelling is an essential part of our communication.
These four worlds have one thing in common, and that is the quality of our 24 mechanical movements. These are all exclusive, manufacture movements. They have been stabilised, brought into line with standards, and offer guaranteed performance. Remember that we are the only watchmaker to hallmark all its timepieces, both men’s and women’s, with the Poinçon de Genève. The Poinçon recently announced new criteria, and we will be training our staff to ensure they fully understand what this hallmark entails and can adequately communicate this to others. At the end of the day, the Poinçon de Genève is the ultimate signature of a Roger Dubuis timepiece. It’s what sets us apart in fine watchmaking and justifies our prices.
Excalibur truly is the symbol of Roger Dubuis, in particular its skeleton double tourbillon which is a man’s watch through and through. Roger Dubuis is one of the leading fine watch manufacturers with respect to sales of tourbillon watches, still considered one of the finest complications. In a way, this makes us all the more proud to have won over the judges with a lady’s Excalibur. It too demonstrates our uniquely avant-garde style, is high in horological content and, of course, is hallmarked with the Poinçon de Genève. Increasingly, women want to own this type of watch, one with this degree of legitimacy.
Roger Dubuis personifies the very spirit of the brand. He is an extraordinary watchmaker who will bring that little extra soul and an awareness of the brand’s history for its customers. He was extremely moved to return to the brand and renew contact with our teams. He is totally in tune with what we are doing today, and with the products that owe him their existence.
The brand has experienced b growth and 2011 will be an extremely positive year. Our 13 Roger Dubuis stores have turned in some unexpectedly b results, despite their highly competitive locations. In terms of sales, this reflects a brand at the head of its own flexible, leading-edge manufacturing facilities with complete control over every strategic component.