Carl F. Bucherer has been creating miniature masterpieces for the wrists of sophisticated men and women from their manufacture in Switzerland for over a century. This year, the dynamic brand celebrates its 130th anniversary. In the midst of the frenzy and mayhem that was Baselworld 2018, Karishma Karer caught up with the brand’s vivacious CEO Sascha Moeri to find out what’s in store.
What’s going on with Baselworld and what do you think is the future of Baselworld?
For us this year Baselworld has been very good to us. Very good mood in the market and global economics. United States is very promising as is Asia and Europe. Fantastic Baselworld this year, even stronger than the last few years.
As for the fair itself for us, it remains the most important watch and jewellery show globally and as long as brands like Rolex, the Swatch Group, Chopard and Patek are represented in Basel, it will remain the most important fair.
The purpose of the fair has shifted. 5-10 years ago it was about selling watches and getting orders. Today with e-commerce and online, this happens throughout the year so it is not just needed to sell watches but it is such an important marketplace where I can meet journalists and our friends and editors. Also suppliers, retailers, distribution partners and just all the people from the industry so for us Baselworld is very important.
Have you seen any groundbreaking innovation in the Swiss Watch Industry over the last two years?
I have! There is a company which is doing a tourbillon with a peripheral rotor and a peripheral system on the tourbillon cage.
The watch industry is super innovative. So many brands are coming up with new materials, new functions, colours, designs. I think it’s very innovative but of course you cannot expect a breathtaking novelty from each brand every year. For us, I can proudly say we have been here in this location at Basel for 80 years and each year we have announced something new to the brand and to the industry. I believe this is the duty of each brand and there are many good things out there.
In terms of trends, have you seen anything particular in Baselworld this year?
I think, when there is a trend then there are no more trends. It is really market specific like size, shape, colours. Of course sometimes there is more blue, more green, sometimes more bulky or sporty or sometimes classic. In general you can say that each market is very different in itself and the trend is that there is no longer a trend all over the globe. Maybe at the moment the most common trend is the vintage trend. You see a lot of vintage watches and vintage models, but we did this 2-3 years ago already.
Do you feel that the younger generation is moving away from mechanical watches and going into the digital space?
I don’t think so. I think they are more interested in smartwatches and crazy colours which is also good because as long as they wear watches on their wrist I’m very happy about it.
Also the Apple watches, I think help the watch industry. It’s very positive that people get used to wearing watches. I would be more afraid if people don’t like to wear any kind of watches. These of course would be our future customers as well.
How has your journey been as the CEO of Carl F. Bucherer so far?
Wow! A fantastic journey. It’s like a dream come true, working for a family company which has trust and belief in you and your team and give you the power to work in freedom.
We were selling and producing 6000 watches a year when I joined the company. Last year we ended up with 25000 pieces so its 4 times more. And with the new production plant in Legna, which you have already seen, we will easily be able to deliver 27-28000 this year and even go to 30,000 pieces next year.
A lot of luxury brands are now promoting and creating their own second-hand market. What are your views and thoughts on that?
I mean, CPO is super important – Certified Pre-Owned business. I think I am in a very lucky position compared to some of my friends or competitors because we as a retailer are very active in that field. Bucherer as a retailer, with acquisition of Tourneau for example in the United States. I think Tourneu is the strongest CPO dealer globally so we have this know-how internally and I’m very happy about this. I do not have to look outside the group for solutions.
If you had to put together a wardrobe of Carl F. Bucherer watches for a man, what are the 5 watches you would select?
The Manero Flyback, Manero Peripheral, the Manero Tourbillon. The Patravi Traveltec and the Patravi Scubatec
Who is a Carl F. Bucherer man?
A lot of them are frequent travelers, watch aficionados, connoisseurs, hedonists, people travelling all around the world with an open mind and they just love watches, love timepieces but also love nice things, the best quality. And in regard to age, it’s very open. It’s from 25 upto, there’s no ending 50-60 there’s no problem.
Who can we expect as friends of Carl F. Bucherer for this year?
Now I think we have a nice set-up so far and we stick to the ones we have.
Anything exciting planned for 2018?
So many things! It is our anniversary, 130 years of Carl F. Bucherer so there will be a heritage road show throughout the world, specially in Asia and the US and this is certainly super important for us.
Anything in India?
Our biggest advantage is our highly professional partner in that market and they have many interesting ideas about the roll-out of this vintage concept so with our distribution partner we will do what we do all around the globe in India.
The holder of 2 MBAs, Sascha Moeri started his career at the Swatch Group, crediting industry legand Nicolas Hayek with giving his career a clear direction. He joined Carl F. Bucherer in 2010 at the helm and is passionate about what he does. Sascha has been instrumental in the growth of the company and forsees even more growth in the future.