Q: You once embodies Tag Heuer’s fine watchmaking, but now you have led it to a more people-friendly path. Is this contradictory?
A: In spite of this appearance, in fact this is not contradictory. Ten years ago, I got involved in the watch industry by chance. I was fortunate enough to launch the V4 series of watches and take root here. TAG Heuer values my experience in technology, but I also excel in administration. When TAG Heuer’s fine watchmaking led me to travel the world, form a team, deal with the media, visit customers and meet representatives of subsidiaries, the side of business management in my character was revealed. I usually talk about topics that go beyond fine watchmaking, and I myself am immersed in the distribution of products that can deal with countries.
Guy Sémon (right), general manager of TAG Heuer and Jean-Claude Biver, head of the watch division of LVMH Group and CEO of TAG Heuer
In addition, in my R & D department, ‘R’ (research) has always been the focus of everyone’s attention, but ‘D’ is also important, especially when launching standard quantitative products. I have always been actively involved in the R & D of engineers-especially in the lead-time development stage of large-scale quantitative watches-approval, quality certification and control of production costs. Focusing on the brand’s next goal, we have done a lot of preparations-seeking resources from the research results of fine watchmaking to benefit the further development of Tag Heuer. My mission in this chapter has been written at the top of the pyramid. I am ready to turn a new page and follow the guidance of passion to move towards a wider world.
Then Jean-Claude Biver became the head of the watch department of LVMH Group, and everything happened too quickly. I am 52 years old this year, but there are not many people who can impress me, and Mr. Jean-Claude Biver is the most important one. Earlier, I had the honour of meeting him in a private setting and was deeply impressed by his charisma and leadership. In addition to the ‘genre arbitrary’ and marketing talent, 45 years of practical experience has made him fully proficient in various businesses, which is really amazing. Mr. Jean-Claude Biver is far-sighted and I can learn something new from him every day. He also knows that under the leadership of Tag Heuer, he will continue to move in the right direction.
I did participate in the development of the brand’s high-end expensive watches before, but now we must turn to the rapid development track of industrial scale, quantify the production of commercial products, benefit more and wider consumers, and maintain the brand’s subversive attitude. Now I have been given greater powers, including the previous R & D department, as well as the operations, procurement and commercial levels. I believe that Tag Heuer can rely on the cooperation of outstanding talents to create new glories.
Q: What is the future development of TAG Heuer?
A: Through innovation, promote the brand within an affordable price range to achieve a broader, especially younger customer base, while respecting the genetic heritage of Swiss watchmaking. In addition, TAG Heuer will remain humble and cautious. We are not Patek Philippe, not Rolex or Omega, and that is the truth. We must be clear about where we are, just like sailors and athletes, and it is by maintaining humility and continual effort to get them to their final destination.
In honor of the founder Edouard Heuer, the new Carrera Heuer 01 chronograph is specially launched
Q: Can it be said that Haute Horlogerie will disappear from the development territory of TAG Heuer?
A: Just to say, we will no longer be keen on competition in the field of fine watchmaking. R & D in the field of fine watchmaking allows us to dive into the details, truly feel the pulsation of the watchmaking industry and increase the vibration frequency limit. The innovations of Mikrotourbillon and Mikrogirder helped us form a team, improve our technology, and even won the Aiguille d’ Or award at the Grand Prix d’ Horlogerie de Genève. Considering that many powerful traditional watchmakers and talented independent watch brands are also participating in the competition, it can be an unexpected surprise to be awarded. This part of the model will be abandoned, the technology must serve the development of new products with high quality and low price. The V4 is different. This year, the V4 will appear in the Basel watch exhibition in the Monaco Phantom series.
Q: Please talk about the development of smart watches in the future.
A: TAG Heuer is taking a more modest and cautious attitude and is working seriously because we have no previous experience in this field. The release of the Apple Watch is bound to have a huge impact on the men’s and women’s quartz watch market. In any case, the price of a Swiss quartz watch will not be five times higher than the Apple Watch. It will take some time for the development of smart watches. Different models will be full of flowers, but only a few can survive when the dust finally settles.
TAG Heuer’s latest image ambassador-supermodel actor Cara Delevingne
Q: What are Tiger Heuer’s best-selling watches this year?
A: As in previous years, it is still our historical bestseller Carrera. We are ready to launch the new 1887 series at this year’s Basel watch exhibition. This is a completely different watch, so the name will change accordingly. My responsibilities also include ensuring that the production workshops in Chevenez, Jura are up and running. The 1887 series will have a new look and competitively affordable prices. In the women’s market, we are fortunate to invite Cara Delevingne to act as the ambassador to give Calera collection more inspiration and vitality.
Overall, Tag Heuer will cut the number of series-five is too much. The F1 series is entry-level, while Aquaracer, Carrera, Link, and Monaco are high-end series. Each series has multiple watch products at different price points to serve a wider customer base.
Q: How do you define the new development trend of TAG Heuer?
A: For a project that just started six months ago, it is too early to talk about complete control. Around the ‘Don’t crack under pressure’ advertising campaign where everyone can participate, we have won a younger and broader customer base-our core goal is the 25 to 40 age group , But also includes potential consumers aged 15 to 25.
TAG Heuer has been rooted in four main areas, fully displaying brand image and value-art (such as modern music and street graffiti), lifestyle (such as socially influential individual Cara Delevingne), sports (racing and other Adrenaline-inspired movements) and watch collections that highlight the brand’s professional watchmaking history (such as Calera and Monaco). TAG Heuer will usher in a major change!