Have you ever thought that wheels can take different shapes than just a circle? According to Wikipedia, a wheel is “a circular device that is capable of rotating on an axle through its centre, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load (mass), or performing labour in machines.”
Well, here’s the big news: a Swiss watchmaker Maurice Lacroix has recently revealed a new watch model, Masterpiece Regulateur Roue Carre, which contains a S Q U A R E W H E E L to display the hours!
Being somewhat of a geek, I found this engineering and design innovation funky enough to trigger my interest in finding out more about the brand. In addition, having already written about Maurice Lacroix’s recent brand endorsement campaign featuring Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, I strongly felt that yet another Funky Brand Interview was about to materialize. And here you are, today I am happy to publish my interview with Martin Bachmann, CEO of Maurice Lacroix.
SCHMOOZY FOX: Martin, how would you characterize the brand of Maurice Lacroix in a couple of sentences?
Martin Bachmann: Maurice Lacroix stands for contemporary watchmaking, manufacture excellence and is oriented to authentic consumers with modern lifestyle.
SCHMOOZY FOX: And what do you mean by “authentic”?
Martin Bachmann: Authenticity is staying true to one’s values, not being afraid of standing out from the crowd, sometimes following a bit of a different direction from everybody else’s. It’s also about achievement and success.
SCHMOOZY FOX: And is authenticity something that unites the three brand ambassadors who have recently endorsed Maurice Lacroix -- Jimmy Wales, Bob Geldof and Justin Rose?
Martin Bachmann: Yes, authenticity along with achievement and success are the qualities that unite these brand ambassadors who, as you point out, have recently participated in our brand endorsement campaign. We were happy to identify them because they pinpoint the qualities that are also inherent to the brand of Maurice Lacroix and, we are convinced, our consumers.
SCHMOOZY FOX: Were there any specific profiles of people you were looking for? Did they have to belong to a specific field of knowledge, or profession?
Martin Bachmann: The most important factor for us was to identify strong personalities, people with charisma and a track of achievement throughout their lives. As far as backgrounds go, we looked for achievers in science, business, sport or entertainment. An important criterion was to identify unique personalities. Even in entertainment, we considered some individuals, but the originality of character was more important to us than the mainstream celebrity status. In this sense, Bob Geldof, who has had an amazing career as a musician, and who is a speaker on various issues from politics to entertainment, sought by corporations, fit the bill very well!
SCHMOOZY FOX: Besides brand endorsements, you also talk about partnerships on your website? What are they all about?
Martin Bachmann: You must have seen a series of interviews published in cooperation with Monocle magazine. For instance, we have interviewed Leo Liu, a wine-grower from China. We’ve also collaborated with various designers outside of the company who have brought in a fresh perspective on contemporary design and created some very successful watches for Maurice Lacroix. In this sense, Maurice Lacroix is always on the lookout for fresh ideas, and co-operation with inspirational people. All of them are unique in the sense that they have chosen to follow a very original path in their lives, for example, Leo Liu.
SCHMOOZY FOX: In this respect, this willingness for co-operation, partnerships and openness for fresh ideas is an important element of all funky brands!
Martin Bachmann: Yes, indeed! We also believe that this openness is a way to keep our company innovative. It also builds our team spirit immensely!
SCHMOOZY FOX: Is Maurice Lacroix all about men’s watches? I have seen a couple of beautiful models for women, but the majority of your watches are for men. Is this why your brand endorsement campaign focusing primarily on male brand ambassadors?
Martin Bachmann: Indeed, men’s watches are our core product, although eventually we plan to have about 25% of our turnover come from women’s watches. This explains why currently we seek mainly male brand ambassadors. But I surely don’t exclude an opportunity to have a female brand ambassador in due time!
SCHMOOZY FOX: Finally, Maurice Lacroix is all about tradition and excellence of watch-making. Besides, your company also communicates about being contemporary. How do you manage to combine the two -- tradition and the spirit of modern times?
Martin Bachmann: Our watches are about tradition in the sense that they are all hand made according to industry standards in craftsmanship, some of which have not changed in centuries. But the design is where we want to show contemporary trends! Here we are far from the traditional. For instance, instead of producing only traditional yellow and white gold watches, we often create watch cases with more modern materials, for instance titanium or steel that is treated with a ceramic coating or apply innovative decorations and color codes on our movements, like e.g. black gold.
SCHMOOZY FOX: Many thanks, Martin, for sharing the brand spirit of Maurice Lacroix on the SCHMOOZY FOX blog, and I wish you the best of success further on!
Martin Bachmann: Thank you!