30 minutes with Bruno Grande COO Jeanrichard
Combine the charisma of a top manager with the charm of a new challenge to an old maison in La Chaux-de-Fonds, and you will get a unique result: Bruno Grande. We are talking about the charismatic manager to whom the Sowind Group committed, nearly two years ago, the re-launch of the JeanRichard maison, whose coat of arms, within the restricted group of true manufactures was, in spite of this, inversely proportional to the perception watch connoisseurs had about the brand. During our recent visit to the Sowind Group, not only did we get a chance to sightseeing the whole manufacture, but to meet Bruno as well and had a conversation with him about the present and future of JeanRichard. An exclusive interview and, nevertheless, Horbiter’s first one!Would you imagine how anxious we were while asking the Chief Operating Officer eight questions, about the present and future of the maison! And if you think eight is only a few…please read through!
HB: nice to meet you Bruno! – JeanRichard has fully revamped its strategy, by undergoing a re-branding campaign; which the main pillars of this strategy?
BG: we started from the strengths of a brand whose founder is among the founding fathers of La Chaux de Fonds. We reviewed the brand’s positioning from scratch, redefined the brand’s identity and re-interpreted a successful milestone such as the TV Screen. Working out of the four natural elements: water, fire, earth, air.
HB: how did you express this concept through the revamped JeanRichard’s line-up?
BG: we just started up with a simple idea - one single platform to be shared by four product lines, ranging from the Aquascope up to Aeroscope and Terrascope, ending with the 1681, run by the prestigious JR1000 in-house caliber, our premium model.
HB: JEANRICHARD watches are neat, colourful, sleek with a high-end craftsmanship, who is the JeanRichard’s targeted customer?
BG: our goal was to create an “authentic” product enriched by a long standing tradition, a timepiece worn by “Ordinary people who do extraordinary things ”. Look at our ambassadors, they are with no doubt ordinary people, yet they do things out of the ordinary!
HB: the actual JeanRichard’s line-up, as stated, is TV Screen based, is there room in the near future for square cases again?
BG: square cases are not compliant with our design language, for two reasons - they are not modular, thus not cost-effective and could puzzle our customers.
HB: what is your technological trend on mechanical movements, and which complicated calibers do you foresee for JeanRichard’s future?
BG: our line up is widely powered by movements sourced on an industrial base, a technical choice driven by quality and reliability. This choice guarantees high quality for a nice price tag, with the 1681 playing as high-end. We do not exclude to introduce Power Reserve complications in the future. We believe in a step-by-step technical growth along with an increase in our brand awareness.
HB: what to expect from JeanRichard at Baselworld 2014?
BG: I can’t tease you with any news but expect a step up in the use of high-tech materials which are a trend in fine watch making today: take a look, for example, at the Aeroscope.
HB: sales, in the European market, are slightly declining, which role will JeanRichard play in such a difficult period?
BG: JeanRichard is a global brand with a strong potential, showing a consistent growth anywhere, especially in emerging countries and Northern America, but a brand whose roots are set in fine watchmaking, without forgetting a market, such as the Italian one, made out of pure watch enthusiasts.
HB: in a recent article we used to define JeanRichard as “easy-chic”, the luxury timepiece fits for any occasion, would you agree?
BG: yes, indeed (he smiles), I would prefer “sophisticated chic”
Thank you for your time Bruno and see you at Baselworld 2014!
Mariarosaria A. @Horbiter®