Each watch brand has a different personality, and each CEO also has his own style. I first met Mr. Stéphane Linder, CEO of TAG Heuer, at a dinner held in Beijing late last year. Mr. Linder feels a bit ‘anti-bone’, it seems that no matter what happens to him, there is a way to solve it; an atmosphere of courage makes me feel that it is a bit similar to the brand DNA of Tag Heuer. I did n’t have a chance to talk with him last time. Until this time I was going to interview him, I realized that it turned out that Mr. Stéphane Linder has been working at Tag Heuer for more than 20 years, and the brand’s identity has become personal. portion. A few days ago, we were fortunate to have him interviewed during our busy schedule.
Mr. Stéphane Linder has been the CEO of TAG Heuer since June last year, so we first asked him if there was any difference or change between him and TAG Heuer this year.
‘I think what I brought to Tag Heuer is more like an evolution than a radical reform.’ He said without hesitation. ‘Because the brand itself already has very powerful assets, it does not require any major reforms, but rather further optimizes and enhances the original advantages. I see that we can improve our products or target the Chinese market. Progress and closer to the market. For example, the newly launched Carrera Carlibre 5 series, which has a slightly classic and unique design, has achieved very good results. The response and sales in the Chinese market are quite similar. Good. ‘Speaking of this, you can feel his voice excited with confidence.
‘In addition, in terms of research and development and manufacture of the movement, such as the CH80 automatic movement officially launched at the Basel Watch Fair this year, in addition to the timing function, it has a better power reserve and is slimmer. It has also been further strengthened and Strengthening Tag Heuer’s position in the field of professional watchmaking. ‘
‘We are constantly observing where our opportunities are, how to quickly develop our advantages, and continue to innovate!’ Having said that, he suddenly asked me, ‘You have seen this at the Barcelona watch fair this year. Our Monaco V4 Torbillion watch? ‘I nodded with a smile, and answered him,’ Of course, that is an impressive watch. ” Yes, we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of the V4, and launching it This tourbillon watch, which has no ancients and no later, is brought to work by leather, and once again proves the ever-evolving DNA in Tiger Heuer’s bones and the fruitful results it brings. ‘
Now that he talked about the new models introduced this year, I went on to ask him questions about the development of the models. From Mikrograph, Mikrorider, to Mikro Pendulum without a hairspring magnetic swinging device last year, to this year’s Monaco V4 Torbillion, TAG Heuer has made breakthrough achievements in the field of fine watchmaking; while comparing daily wearable watches, from 2010 The self-made 1887 movement, the launch of this year’s CH 80 movement, etc. also had very good responses, so I asked him in particular whether he had a clear plan for the movement, function or technology.
‘I think our clearest plan is innovation!’ Mr. Stéphane Linder said with a smile. ‘CH 80 is a more traditional, classic, higher-performance chronograph movement. It has a 80-hour power reserve but is slimmer. It brings higher value to brands and consumers. This is in the sense of more traditional watches. In addition, we are constantly looking for breakthroughs in high technology or high complexity. For example, the Monaco V4 Torbillion watch belongs to this category. ‘
‘The V4 series was launched in 2004 and officially commercialized in 2009. Since then, we have continuously explored 1/100, 1 / 1,000, 5 through the launch of Mikrogiaph, Mikrotimer, Mikrorider and other watches. The smallest unit of time, such as / 10,000, has set a threshold that no one can reach, and it is very difficult to cross. However, V4 is the best we sell in the field of advanced and complex watches every year! I think it is because V4 is unique Innovation, no matter in terms of concept, design, etc. We will continue to carry out research and development on V4. We will launch newer technology as soon as possible, maybe next year or in the following year, and of course we will try other aspects. ‘Suddenly, Mr Stéphane Linder smiled at me with a playful smile and said, ‘But, you know, such an innovative technology takes time …’
Mr. Stéphane Linder also revealed some plans for the new movement: ‘We are brewing and developing better and more innovative timing movements, which not only have good performance, but also can control the market price of the final product at around 60,000 RMB. This range makes it more cost-effective and makes chronograph watches more popular. We may launch such models around 2016. ‘
Potential Chinese market
For watches, the domestic market is becoming increasingly important, and the domestic economic environment and government policies also seem to have an impact on watch brands. Regarding this, Mr. Stéphane Linder said: ‘If the proportion of the Chinese market is about 4% -5% of the world market, if you add the Chinese people’s watch purchases when traveling abroad, it can be about 8% -10%. ‘
‘Compared to other markets, the Chinese market still has great potential for us.’ Mr. Stéphane Linder shared with us his previous experience as vice president of sales in North America. ‘The United States is the largest market for TAG Heuer, second only to Rolex. Its sales in the United States are nearly 4 times that of Longines and 2.5 times that of Omega. This shows the future potential of TAG Heuer in the Chinese market.’ He is very proud. Talking. ‘Changes in China’s economy or government policies will have a more serious impact on other brands that account for most of the market share in China. They are actually good for us. The main thing is how we can better product, market, channel, etc. The best judgment and control. ‘
Symbol of closeness to life
Since Carella’s 50th anniversary tour in China last year, the release of the film ‘RUSH’ and the recent global tour of the ‘Jack Heuer’ Time Museum held in Shanghai and Beijing respectively have made many people feel that Tag Heuer is closer. Design sense of people’s lives. So what does he think of the Tag Heuer design and the attitude of life he wants to convey?
‘I think the TAG Heuer watch has a more outgoing DNA and closer to life, and has a classic design, but also more lively and lively, just like you!’ He suddenly laughed and half joked with me Said. ‘Just like your upper body blazer with dark jeans and canvas shoes on the lower body today, it’s a bit of a lifelike but polite, and not too serious.’
I held back my embarrassment and continued to listen to him. ‘Of course, we also know that the current Chinese consumers prefer a slightly more traditional and elegant design, so we will also make some adjustments to this part. Like the previously mentioned Carrera Carlibre 5 series, it has achieved quite good sales. And repercussions, 4 of the 10 best Tag Heuer watches sold are of this series. Through watches and other methods, we are constantly communicating with consumers an idea: when you wear Thai Ge Heuya, you will have a choice different from your father’s, you will be more different and more ‘cool’.
‘As more new generations of Chinese people know how to pursue their sense of accomplishment and richer life content, and when they know how to dress themselves and choose their own lifestyle, more people will become Tag Heuer. Lovers. Whether it is the next cooperation with world football superstar Ronaldo, or Tag Heuer as the official partner, the world’s first electric car event, will come to the FIA Formula E electric car championship event in Beijing in September Wait, it’s all about conveying this meaning. ‘
Constantly challenge yourself
It is rare to be able to work in a company for more than 20 years, so he must have personally experienced the development and changes of Tag Heuer over the past 20 years. In this regard, he said: ‘In fact, the changes in the past 20 years are really not small. Twenty years ago, due to the market, most of us were producing quartz watches, and there were relatively few mechanical watches. Later, we changed to It mainly produces mechanical watches, and has begun to innovate watch products and even brands, gradually develop our specialty stores and sales channels, build our own watchmaking factories, and develop home-made movements such as 1887 and CH80. Wait, we even launched V4, dual tourbillon, etc., which cost more than 200,000 Euros, high-tech ultra-complex watches, etc. If you took a photo of the Tag Heuer factory at the time, etc. 20 years ago, If you compare today’s developments, you may think that Tag Heuer is the fastest-growing watch brand in the past 20 years! ‘
Having said that, Mr. Stéphane Linder paused for a while and then said, ‘I think we are constantly challenging ourselves! So we can survive the crisis of the end of the company in 1986 and become one of the most powerful watch brands in the world to this day. First, and continue to challenge and innovate. ‘
‘I think my personality is the same. I like to innovate, I like to challenge, I do n’t like to just follow the past. I may never be satisfied with the status quo, but care more about what we can do next. Of course I attach great importance to what we have done. The results are just that I think we can always do better and more innovative than before. This is also my concept of life. I also often do things that others think are crazy. This seems to be a bit similar to the brand, so I think I am particularly suitable for Tag Heuer, haha! ‘With that said, we all laughed in unison.
Towards the end of the interview, I asked Mr. Stéphane Linder to try to describe Tag Heuer with a few simple keywords. ‘Innovation, Avant-Garde avant-garde, and from 1860, constantly accumulating and challenging!’ He nodded, and said to me in a very affirmative tone. We also ended this interview in this conversation worth pondering and thinking, and the last photo taken.
From then on, I often think about the word ‘progressive’ by Mr. Stéphane Linder from time to time. No matter whether it is a brand or a person, I think the protagonist also has some ‘anti-bone’ characteristics, and I have self-confidence. Challenge the status quo to yourself, the surroundings, and the reality in order to make an insistence different from ordinary people and an innovative performance different from ordinary people! Looking forward to the activities of Tag Heuer in September, I also hope that I will have the opportunity to meet Mr. Stéphane Linder again.