Q and A with Matthieu Baumgartner Vice-President Marketing Longines
Regarding the Longines DolceVita, new products and industry.
During the recent event dedicated to the launch of the new Longines DolceVita collection, held in Rome, we spent some time with Matthieu Baumgartner, Vice-President Marketing Longines. We asked him three questions. Here is the outcome, and some of his comments were quite unexpected.
Q - this is the first event ever, I attend in Italy, that is specifically geared towards women. How much are women relevant in Longines' product portfolio today, and what should we expect in the coming future?
A - Longines create and sell products almost equally to men and women; it means that if you go through our entire collection, you will discover most timepieces are suitable for both men and women. Let's talk about the Longines DolceVita collection, for example. It is geared towards women, given its signature feminine foothold, yet it nonetheless features product variants for him.
However, if we take a look at the original model, all the way through the new colored straps just released, this is no doubt a female's collection. Other collections, like the Longines Master Collection, for instance, are more balanced between men and women. Interestingly, La Grande Classique de Longines showcases pure classic lines that are, in our vision, geared towards women primarily, but we have discovered there are plenty of men that love this timepiece too.
All in all, we believe we have a competitive advantage in the market since we equally appeal to men and women, it means the Longines' universe has the unique capability to appeal to all, and that is quite distinctive in the industry. From a marketing strategy perspective, that's the reason why we decided to invest in equestrian sports, as they appeal to a broader audience; men and women usually compete in the same race too, aiming for the final win.
Q - Longines has a legacy in the making of exquisite vintage-inspired timepieces, and I'm aware that the Heritage line covers roughly 5% of your current offer, yet it looks like you keep enlarging the product portfolio with new timepieces over and over again. Is something changing within your strategy, and will you keep reinforcing your historical foothold?
A - Since 1987, when Longines came out with the Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch's reissue, many have been the historic re-editions of watches that belong to our museum, hence to our history. Among the new timepieces introduced ever since I would highlight the Lindbergh itself and the Weems. Among the most recent successes, instead, I would rank the Legend Diver's Watch, which will soon come in a smaller size for her.
The answer is "yes," we'll keep reinforcing the history and legacy of Longines; many visitors to our museum are stunned by the history behind the brand, something they were not aware of at all. Our mission is to further enhance the Longines' history by releasing more and more new models. Stay tuned, as we have quite exciting new projects in the pipeline.
Q - Regarding the market and the current business model: the pre-owned online business model is paving the way for a new scenario, retailers are facing a hard time, and customer service is a key priority. How is Longines placing itself in this ever-changing scenario?
A - We are, of course, monitoring which initiatives our retailers, and competitors, are taking in this regard. We are now in the process of defining the role that we should play in this ever-changing scenario.
It is too early to say which the direction to take; we have a couple of ideas about the role played by the brand and how this combines with our heritage, know-how, and Customer Service.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Longines Watch)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®