There have been a lot of shifts in the watchmaking world lately- behind-the-scenes shifts that is. CEO’s and brand presidents are moving around – hopefully for the better. TAG Heuer just got a new CEO, as did Jaeger-LeCoultre, Bulgari and a few others. Ditto in the USA, where Audemars Piguet has a new president and so does Dewitt. We are taking some time to talk with these new brand executives to determine their take on brand positioning and news. Here, we spend a few minutes with the new TAG Heuer president and CEO, Stephane Linder during the America’s Cup races in San Francisco.
“TAG Heuer is all about innovation and cutting-edge technology, “ says Linder. “This is exactly what we want to be. We want to be known for breaking the watchmaking principles and inventing new ones.” He gives examples such as the MonacoV4 catch. “All watches had gears, and we introduced a concept of using belts. We did it because watches are not necessary in today’s world. Instead, we need to innovate and we need to deliver to consumers a dream, a work of art and architecture – always something different.”
The Monaco V4 began as a concept watch and is now being made in extremely limited numbers, with each piece selling for approximately $65,000. Another extreme-performance timepiece that is truly innovative from TAG Heuer (but also holding a higher retail price point ) is the new high-frequency TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph 1/100th of a second chronograph. “Now the idea for us is to offer these innovations not just at the high end, but at prices that consumers today can afford; prices between $5,000 and $10,000 for these innovative works.”
For Linder, this is a key focus in his new position. He may also be dabbling with new marketing campaigns and a few new strategies that as yet are under wraps. About the sponsorship of Oracle Team USA and the America’s Cup, Linder says it is a perfect fit. “The America’s Cup is all about technology, design and performance – values we at TAG share.” Linder says the relationship is great even if Oracle Team USA doesn’t win. “You can’t always win in sports, but you can learn from not winning, and we all must continue to learn.”