Brave, bold and technically sophisticated, Swiss watch manufacturer Roger Dubuis is governed by an audacious mindset that drives innovation while cultivating profound respect for traditions. Here, RLI spends some time with company CEO Nicola Andreatta to learn more about the brand and what its future plans are.
Since its founding in 1995, the company has consistently pushed technical boundaries and shown an unswerving commitment to boldly go where no other watchmakers have gone before.
Roger Dubuis timepieces bear the unmistakable imprint of an effervescent and passionate approach to design that supersedes constraints and conventions. Materials, shapes, colours and components are the golden threads masterfully woven into a vivid tapestry of exhilarating, avant-garde designs. The company divides its effort between retail and wholesale, the company has thirty points of sale, and these thirty retail stores are situated around the world, along with a total of 150 wholesale partners. Roger Dubuis has a presence in the US and South America along with a large presence in Asia, and plans are in place to continue developing worldwide in the next two to three years.
“The brand was created 25 years ago and this year has been the best ever for the company,” explains Roger Dubuis CEO Nicola Andreatta. “There was not a better year for me to join the business, as our message is resonating very well with our existing clients and with new prospects in general because we have seen a large growth in terms of customers and new customers choosing the brand, so we are definitely doing something right!”
In the last year new boutiques have been in very specific places, in locations that capture local crowds but are also seen as key tourist destinations. These new boutiques were opened in Monte Carlo, Monaco in the south of France and in Aspen, a highly affluent destination. In Asia, the company also added locations in Xi’an, China World and Korea, where they already have a strong presence.
“Being one of the smallest brands in the Richemont Group, we need to catch up with the others and we are looking to accelerate our openings. We plan to open another five to six this year, with the first one opening very soon in London on Bond Street,” says Andreatta. Looking ahead, new markets for the business will also be in Asia in locations such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Australia. Places where the luxury world is developing very fast are the next targets in terms of geographical presence.
To keep the company at the very pinnacle of the watchmaking sector, combined with the complexity of what they produce, the development cycles are very long and they don’t always end with a solution. To this end, the company must always have a constant flow of different projects that they manage concurrently at the same time.
When it comes to the social media output of Roger Dubuis, Andreatta believes that the most important thing is to be consistent. He wants the company to become more focused in this area, and that streamlining the message is of key importance. Instagram is the social network where the brand expresses its messages directly to the client through creative content, but they are also looking at other apps such as LinkedIn and WeChat.
So why does he think customers are loyal to the brand and what does he consider to be the key drivers behind the success of Roger Dubuis? “I think it has to do with reassurance. When a customer finds what they like, it can be difficult to jump ship into a brand that they do not know and trust, as an alternative brand may not represent them or their values. We have built
customer loyalty be creating not only a product, but an entire experience that goes with the brand that make people want to come back.”
Since beginning with the company at the start of December, Andreatta has worked a lot on the branding and the positioning of the brand, and he feels the brand can be summed up by the word excess. This represents what the brand is about, this idea that the company will always go beyond and look to exceed expectations in everything they do. The challenge facing the recently-installed CEO is that of continuing the good work that has gone before, to maintain this and even exceed this in the future. “We want people to experience and approach the brand and understand the fact that we are really different from anybody else in the watch market. So I encourage whoever has any curiosity for this amazing world Roger Dubuis is representing to get closer to us, it will be worth their while,” Andreatta concludes.