Apple Watch has recently become the focus of public discussion, but it should also be remembered that it took the Silicon Valley giant 40 years to launch its first watch; Longines, which is located in St. Somia (St. Imier, the brand of the quiet town, has been dedicated to watchmaking since 1867 to the present day. In addition, Apple may claim to be the most valuable brand in the world today, but Longines’ flying wing hourglass logo is the oldest valid registered trademark of the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Walter von Känel, the current CEO of the brand, joined Longines in 1969, and is still stationed in Sri Lanka after nearly half a century (46 years), so it is not surprising that he dismissed the Apple Watch or generalized smart watch. ‘We have also tried digitization during our 46-year Longines career. After all, LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is a Swiss patent,’ he said. ‘Then we made some LED (light emitting diode) watches. Museum. Later, with the ETA digital / analog movement, we launched Speed5. ‘
‘In my opinion, manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung and other smartwatches are just a supplement to our work. I firmly believe that the fundamental function of a watch is no longer just a signal of time, it is also a symbol of identity and taste. Why choose Patek Philippe, not Swatch-because of the desire to show off. ‘
However, regardless of reputation or value, there is a huge gap between Swatch and Patek Philippe. The world’s largest private collection of Swatch (5,800 pieces) sold for only a quarter of Patek Philippe Henry Graves’ super-complex menu. So where is the position of Longines at both ends of the balance?
‘Clocks and watches are an emotional consumer product,’ explains Hokeno. ‘This is also the point where we spend a lot of budget to establish a sponsorship partnership, and the ambassadors are actively promoting it.’ In fact, through cooperation with equestrian, tennis and ski sports Longines has ensured a stable news appearance.
Hokino and the brand’s elegant ambassador Aishwarya Rai at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
The background of Huoke Nuo’s background in sales also makes profit and loss become the primary consideration of the brand. During the Basel conference, Hokenau always carried four essential items with him: a stack of plastic-packed forms (sales data, best-selling models, and ledger by country or product line), pencils, sharpeners, and A set of precision calipers dating back to 1969. The old school who lived aloof, frankly, ‘I don’t have a computer, and my mobile phone is also an old guy (old communication equipment in the pre-intelligent era), and I won’t even reply to text messages.’
His sensitivity and focus on sales are amazing, and those key statistics seem to be imprinted in his mind, and he still remembers them. It is also this sensitivity and focus that has contributed to the birth of the brand’s ‘fifth pillar’-a new series created specifically for equestrian sports.
‘If we plan to invest millions in this area and can appear in equestrian events every weekend, chronographs alone are not enough,’ explains Hokeno. ‘We need to develop new ones, especially Women’s collection, and we also have a special watch for the obstacle course. ‘
New Comcast Classic Moon Phase Ref.L2.798.5.72
Even if he asks personal questions such as favorite watches, Hokeno can return to sales. ‘This year, our investment and promotion focus is on the Concas classic series (accounting for 7% of Longines’ total sales). This model is a steel and gold two-tone moon phase watch, and I should be consistent with the brand image and lead by example. ‘It seems that it is no longer necessary to guess what watch the Longines CEO is wearing.
Even considering Hookeno’s sales background, people were taken aback when he announced that Longines set a new sales record last year. In the troubled Hong Kong market, Longines recorded a strong growth record of 10% last year, when mainland tourists turned to support the Hong Kong markets of South Korea and Thailand. So, this year’s economic environment is full of uncertain factors, can this rally continue? ‘It looks like it!’ Hockenor predicts confidently on the opening day of Basel International Watch & Jewellery.