INNOVATE or perish – such is the thought that most businesses believe in. Louis Erard however, is boldly taking a different
approach when it comes to the timepiece trade. The watchmakerseems adamant in playing to its traditional strengths.
“We have to focus on where we are,” says CEO Alain Spinedi in an interview with Star2, adding, “Louis Erard stands for Swiss
mechanical watches at affordable prices. Affordable luxury. That’s what we need to continue developing.”
His answer was in response to the question of whether the brand is embracing smartwatches. While hugely popular
amongst other key players of the industry, Spinedi remains unconvinced of the wearable technology trend.
“I’ve been told that when you buy a smart watch, you only use it for three months before you get tired of it. All of its functions
are already on your mobile phone or tablet. Why overload yourself with more devices?”
“Smart watches are not something for Louis Erard. To produce smart watches, you need to be a big brand to be able to talk to the
technology owners. If you are a small brand, you will always be in the second wave of innovators,” Spinedi adds.
As far as moving the business forward, Louis Erard is thus more focused on addressing the needs of its customers in different markets.
That, and delving deeper into the use of social media to increase its visibility.
“What I feel is that we have to have different, more eye-catching products. The approach of our classics is well suited for the
European markets. But sporty designs are nevertheless, visually better for social media,” Spinedistates.
“We need to better identify the consumers of each country and its trends too. In the Middle East we sell 50% of our watches to
ladies. In Malaysia, this figure falls to below 20%. Adaptations are always needed.”
According to Spinedi, getting the word out about the brand is very important. He thinks that not many people are aware about
Louis Erard producing its own in-house movements. This is where social media can help.
Pointing to some of the novelties unveiled at Baselworld 2016, Spinedi says that the brand has always been focused on pricing.
While that is set to continue, Louis Erard will also be offering something a little different in terms of classic designs.
The 1931 Chrono Vintage for instance, has a design steeped in heritage. Yet it is also a strikingly modern watch, from its assertive
all-over black or brown to its athletic contours, measuring 42.5mm in diameter.
Louis Erard is puting a new mark on the Excellence Regulator as well. Although hand-winding has so far been the preference for
this particular complication, it now makes its debut with an automatic calibre model.
“I think we can grow with what we have, and we must grow with what we have. We don’t need a revolution in technology. We
don’t have the structure for that. It’s about keeping to our DNA,” says Spinedi.
“At the end of the day, I believe Louis Erard will still be about affordable luxury. We are not changing our price
range. We are just adding a few eye catching pieces to our collections,” he adds in conclusion.
Louis Erard watches are priced from RM4,000 to RM10,000.
Watatime is the exclusive distributor for Louis Erard in Malaysia.
By BERVIN CHEONG