What CEOs and Founders In The Watch Industry Are Looking Forward To In 2024

As we enter a new year, watch industry chiefs share their past year’s highlights and the developments and challenges that 2024 will hold for their brands.
by Lynette Koh

Photos: MB&F, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Bulgari

What was one of your highlights of 2023?

Antonio Calce (CEO, Greubel Forsey)

Watch Industry 2024

Photo: Greubel Forsey

We are witnessing the ongoing evolution of how a brilliant, creative idea is taking shape to transform into a solid and enduring brand. We take pride in establishing the conditions for our staff to gain more autonomy, recognising that our success hinges on everyone feeling fulfilled.

Jean-Marc Pontroue (CEO, Panerai)

Photo: Panerai

We took horology to new experiential heights: Our Experience Editions once again transported our clients into otherwise inaccessible adventures. Also, our retail footprint expanded considerably with openings in New York, Milan, and Paris.

Ricardo Guadalupe (CEO, Hublot)

Photo: Ricardo Guadalupe

Our partnership with Takashi Murakami. The watches that we have created together are incredibly collectible. They are a true fusion of our watchmaking mastery with the unique art of Murakami. He is an artist of his time with a unique style and very loyal collectors.

Laurent Dordet (CEO, Hermes Horloger)

Watch Industry 2024

Photo: Hermes Horloger

Hermes has proven its resilience even in challenging times. Our 2023 figures show that we are following the right path (+24 per cent in the third quarter), and the launch of new Hermes H08 models was a great success.

Manuel Emch (Delegate board member, Louis Erard)

Photo: Louis Erard

The year 2023 has been one of my best if not my best, year so far. I travelled to some places I had never been before, I experienced a lot, and I successfully developed many new and exciting products, brands and companies.

Catherine Renier (CEO, Jaeger-LeCoultre)

Photo: Jaeger-LeCoultre

Emphasising the importance we place on education, in 2023, we partnered with the Michelangelo Foundation to create a new programme called the Homo Faber Fellowship. This scholarship programme is designed for duos of master artisans and young talents to facilitate the transmission of skills and enable the first steps towards a profession in the craft sector.

Wilhelm Schmid (CEO, A. Lange & Sohne)

Watch Industry 2024

Photo: A. Lange & Sohne

This year will be a year of anniversaries for us. Thirty years ago, in October 1994, we presented our first collection, including the Lange 1. The 25th anniversary of the Datograph, our first chronograph, is also coming up.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele (Co-president, Chopard)

Photo: Chopard

I am looking forward to the celebration of our ambassador, my long-time friend (celebrated Belgian racing driver) Jacky Ickx, which will be marked by the introduction of a special chronograph watch in his honour. We first crossed paths during the 1989 Mille Miglia. Over the span of three decades, our friendship has flourished, and Jacky has become an integral part of the Chopard family.

Antoine Pin (MD, Bulgari Watches)

Watch Industry 2024

Photo: Bulgari

Celebrating the 140th anniversary of Bulgari!

Nicholas Rudaz (CEO, Franck Muller)

Photo: Franck Muller

We will grow our collection with new designs and exceptional complications, as always. One of them will be an exciting Asia-Pacific exclusive with our distributor Cortina Holdings — a launch that will reintroduce a strong icon of the brand with a new vision and will appeal to enthusiasts of the brand while reaching out to a different audience.

Patrick Pruniaux (CEO, Girard-Perregaux)

Watch Industry 2024

Photo: Girard-Perregaux

In 2024, we are excited to celebrate the third anniversary of our partnership with Aston Martin. This collaboration has allowed us to push the boundaries of design and engineering, and we look forward to the future together with a common vision that will bring exciting creations to watch lovers and car enthusiasts worldwide.

Rexhep Rexhepi (Founder, Akrivia)

Photo: Akrivia

I can’t wait to realise a complication that I really care about. I’ve been working on it since 2006 and can’t wait to unveil it. I’m also proud that we started new specialisations in-house, such as producing bracelets and dials, and doing enamelling. They allow us to be better before our 12th anniversary this year.

What will be your biggest challenge this year?

Jean-Claude Biver and Pierre Biver (left) (Founders, Biver Watches)

Watch Industry 2024

Photo: Biver Watches

The biggest challenge will be to maintain serenity and optimism in order to navigate through the period of consolidation successfully.

Laurent Lecamp (MD, Montblanc Watch Division)

Watch Industry 2024

Photo: Montblanc

To be willing to expect the unexpected. Despite the uncertainty, I continue to believe that as long as one approaches the future with enthusiasm, commitment, and honesty, a successful outcome is never far away.

Watch Industry 2024

Photo: Urwerk

One challenge that we have to deal with more and more is that of copycats, and worse than that, bad copycats. When you see poor-quality timepieces claiming an affiliation with us, that‘s where it hurts.

Benoit Mintiens (Founder, Ressence)

Photo: The Hour Glass

Beyond concerns over production, component supply or talent recruitment, I believe that appealing to new generations should be a focus. Leveraging the potential of emerging technologies, such as generative AI, digitalisation, or robotics, to augment the work of human creatives and enhance businesses, products and services should also be a priority.

Max Busser (Founder, MB&F)

Photo: MB&F

Coming back to a non-hyped reality.

This story originally published on The Peak Singapore.

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