As part of our “Post-Baselworld Interview Series”, Perpetuelle.com recently conducted an interview with Mr. Vincent Perriard, President of Concord. We are pleased to share this interview with you below in which we ask Mr. Perriard’s for his insights into Baselworld 2009, Concord’s 2009 collection, the rise of online media and more.
The Concord Exhibit at BASELWORLD 2009
Concord President Mr. Vincent Perriard
Perpetuelle: How was BASELWORLD 2009 different for Concord compared to prior years?
Mr. Perriard: In 2007 we have presented the first C1 designs and we finally started to deliver the pieces in early 2008 (14 months ago), so when we attended the BASELWORLD 08, we were just starting to have our first sales at the retail level. 2008 was a massive success with all watches sold in just 2 days. The market was hot, as we all know. Furthermore, we introduced the C1 Gravity, which became in November 08 the best design 2008 with the award from the Grand Prix de Genève.
So 2009 has been a good year because we have reconfirmed 95% of our backorders (the one that we were not able to deliver in 2008). The reason of this good Fair is also simply because we are re-starting the brand and we are opening in 2009 new markets (UK, Germany, Austria, …) so we can balance the bad economy in some countries with the opening of new accounts.
Perpetuelle: Please tell us about the philosophy behind the new 2009 releases from Concord.
Mr. Perriard: We have introduced a second project, from the so-called “C LAB SERIES” department. After the huge success of the C1 Gravity (75 units sold), we wanted to bring another level of creativity and we certainly wanted to surprise the market. The QuantumGravity is the answer to this objective. With 10 units produced, we have sold already 14… So we will need to say “no” to some of our clients.
The Concord C1 QuantumGravity
Perpetuelle: Would you please highlight a couple of your favorite new models for us?
Mr. Perriard: The QuantumGravity is the first watch in the industry to feature a Double-Axe Tourbillon which is externalized from the watch case. Also, this is the first watch ever created with a vertical Power Reserve, which – in addition – is filled with a fluorescent liquid (nano particles)…. The Tourbillon is hold by a series of cables that enable the Double Axe to work outside of the case…
The QuantumGravity’s Caseback and Nanoparticle Power Reserve meter
As you can see, we are here talking about pure innovation and know-how. This has been developed in joint-venture with BNB Concepts and the C LAB SERIES team at Concord.
I also love the line extensions that we are bringing with the C1 Chronograph on leather straps. The strap is covered by a thin layer of rubber that gives a twist to the watch itself.
Perpetuelle: What do you now view as the core strengths (and/or defining elements) of Concord?
Mr. Perriard: A clear message thanks to the C1 design and shape. Immediately recognizable. A strap attachment system unique in the industry: we have removed the logs that you find on every watch to hold the strap. With the C1, you have a very masculine and big watch on your wrist. But this one fits perfectly your wrist, regardless if you have a small or big wrist. That’s totally unique.
Perpetuelle: What are you wearing now?
Mr. Perriard: Right now, I am wearing the C1 Chronograph BLACK version (black case, black rubber) that we will launch this Fall world-wide.
Concord C1 Chronograph BLACK
Perpetuelle: Are there any areas that Concord will be focusing on for 2010 and/or beyond (for example, a focus on certain types of watches / complications / movements)?
Mr. Perriard: We will continue to surprise the industry with very complex and innovative watches (the C LAB SERIES) and we will come with a sub-line of the C1… the C1s… If you want to follow-up and enter in our mind… have a look at www.clabseries.ch.
Perpetuelle: Please tell us about the distribution strategy and geographical availability of Concord timepieces.
Mr. Perriard: We are expanding our distribution in every part of the globe. We still have a lot of work to do since Concord was not present in many countries. For example, we will open HARRODS in June in London with an exclusive partnership in the city.
We are also pushing a lot in the Latin American market since the demand on Concord C1 is really high today.
Perpetuelle: Can you tell us which, if any, geographies you believe will play in important role in the future growth of Concord?
Mr. Perriard: We are working hard to make sure that the business will be balanced 25% in each important part of the globe (Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia). Today, in this tough economic situation, Concord is rocking in Mexico and in key Latin American countries. We are doing really well in Italy and we will open in June Northern Europe cities. I believe with a strong design such as the C1, we expect to have a balanced business in all these key countries, including – of course – the Russian market (which remains strong for the high complicated watches such as the C1 Gravity or the C1 QuantumGravity).
Perpetuelle: What role do you see for online media (such as Perpetuelle.com, for example) and Concord? How do you see this role changing/evolving in the future?
Mr. Perriard: We are totally and completely sure that the web is now entering in a second phase for the watch industry. We are one of the few brands that have decided to massively invest time and energy to showcase the brand, to communicate with the watch community and to spread the news throughout the web. So, you will see us more and more. Check out GOOGLE to realize how present we are… after only 14 months of presence in the market place.
Perpetuelle: Thanks you for sharing your time and insights with Perpetuelle.com’s audience of luxury watch owners, collectors & enthusiasts. We wish you and everyone at Concord all the best in 2009 and beyond.