IWC Marketing manager Franziska Gsell Etterlin in an interview about the new pilot clocks, the retro trend and the prices on the watch market.
Since 1868, there has been the international Watch company, short IWC. The world-wide acting Swiss watch company is building its success on six watch families, each one for its own type watch. This includes the pilot watch family, the Portuguese and Portofino collections, the Aquatimer, as well as the engineering line and The Da Vinci series. Each year, one of these lines undergoes a revision. 2016 put IWC’s focus on their pilot clocks. With Franziska Gsell Etterlin, chief marketing officer of IWC, Melanie Feist, responsible online editor of Watchtime.net, talked about the current models, the ongoing retro trend and the current price developments on the watch market.
Watchtime.net: Last year IWC revised the Portuguese line, the year before the Aquatimer collection and this year the pilot clocks. Other brands bring out so-called talking pieces, IWC is instead revising the entire collection. Why?
Franziska Gsell Etterlin: In every collection that IWC revises, there are also talking pieces that are particularly prominent. But we are certainly different from other brands that we have six watch families that tell their own story. We want to continue to develop these watch families and not close ourselves to new developments. Our goal is to preserve our history and develop new ideas and innovative product concepts. That keyword is “better”, not “new”. And that doesn’t just include a single watch, but the entire collection.
Watchtime.net: Among the new pilot watches there are some models, for example the big pilot’s Heritage Watch 48, which recall the original pilot clocks of the 1940s-years. How do you estimate the retro trend?
Franziska Gsell Etterlin: I think a certain retro trend in watches will always exist. Clocks tell stories, personal and historical, and are emotionally charged. We are convinced that if you follow a retro trend and decide to recreate a watch, you have to tell a credible story. IWC established its first pilot watches more than 80 years ago. This not only gives us the right to work with the retro style, we are also particularly credible in it. Watchtime.net: How hard is it to relate to an old model and to translate it into today’s time? What do you have to do?
Franziska Gsell Etterlin: IWC has been successful for many years. For this we study our vintage models very carefully and ask us some questions: what elements do we want to receive? What are the roots of this family? What made the line strong? So we’re looking for the DNA, according to the design code. And then we try to translate the clocks into today’s time.
Watchtime.net: “Almost as complicated as a woman. But on time. ” This was just one of the advertising slogans that IWC caused a stir in the late 1990s. Will it play such campaigns or does IWC dissociate itself from these somewhat provocative advertising formats?
Franziska Gsell Etterlin: Humor still has IWC. It belongs to the DNA of the brand. We’ve only grown up. IWC is now a global luxury brand and accordingly, our humor may be a bit more mature. We continue to make strong statements.
Watchtime.net: This year, there seems to be some price consolidation, and some price reduction. Also at IWC?
Franziska Gsell Etterlin: We have always had a good price base, which we have now expanded further in the course of the new edition of our pilot watch collection. Our entry-level position is now more broadly positioned.
Tags: flying watches, IWC, IWC Aquatimer, IWC Watch, IWC Portuguese, Retro Watch, Swiss watches