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What do luxury watch CEOs think about Singapore and Singaporeans?

What do luxury watch CEOs think about Singapore and Singaporeans?

National interest

Text: Celine Yap


Hear from the men behind TAG Heuer, Jaquet Droz, and Corum Watches

As a market for luxury watches, Singapore is easily the most mature one in Southeast Asia, with some of the most sophisticated buyers in the Asia Pacific region (yes, there are plenty of crazy rich Asians here) and world class retailers too. Watch CEOs never fail to make a stop here each year – sometimes several times a year – just to stay in touch with their customers and the collectors. Singapore is also the city of choice for those brands to hold regional launches, exhibitions, gatherings and technical presentations, thanks to our reliable infrastructure and the safe and stable society.

So having been here this many times, and having done business with us for so many years, we'd like to think these guys would know our home country pretty well – and do they? Well, enough to have found some personal favourites apart from the usual tourist traps at least? Of course we're way past that "Isn't Singapore a part of China?" nonsense... These guys are much better than that. And although it's summer holiday season throughout most of Europe now, we managed to catch Jean-Claude Biver of TAG Heuer, Christian Lattmann of Jaquet Droz, and Jerome Biard of Corum Watches for a few words.

Jean-Claude Biver, TAG Heuer

Jean-Claude Biver

What comes to mind when you think about your next trip to Singapore?
When I think about Singapore, I would always think about the amazing people that I meet there, from the retailers who are such strong supporters of the brand and that I have known for many years, to the media, the customers and collectors, and my team. Everyone is so passionate about watches; I enjoy talking to each one of them.

If a two-hour free slot magically opens up in your schedule, what would you do and where would you go?
As my trips to Singapore are often short and less than 24 hours, a two-hour window would almost never happen! But should it happen, I think I would take the time to explore the parts of Singapore that I have never seen. The Botanical Gardens and the National Gallery would be on my list.

 

 

 

 

Why is Singapore an important market to your brand?
It is a key market as TAG Heuer is a first watch acquisition for many customers there. Besides being a watch hub for the South-east Asian region, Singapore is also home to many of our key partners that we have worked with for decades.

Buro Verdict: The Botanical Gardens and National Gallery! Mr Biver certainly knows where to get the best of what Singapore has to offer. We hope he checks out this link for upcoming exhibits.

Christian Lattmann, Jaquet Droz

Christian Lattmann, CEO of Jaquet Droz

What comes to mind when you think about your next trip to Singapore?
I'm excited to celebrate our 280th anniversary in Singapore and bring our exceptional masterpiece the Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch.

If a two-hour free slot magically opens up in your schedule, what would you do and where would you go?
A Singapore Sling cocktail in The Raffles Hotel would be a pleasant option if I have a bit of free time in Singapore. But I heard the hotel is undergoing a major renovation now.

 

Why is Singapore an important market to your brand?
Singapore is a very established watch market with a strong community of watch collectors. They are affluent across all the region of South East Asia and outside. On top of that Singapore stays to be a big travel hub and touristic place for many people all over the world. That's why it is important to have a proper distribution and presence in the City of Merlion.

Buro Verdict: Props to Mr Lattmann for knowing that The Raffles Hotel is closed for renovation, but we'd suggest he get that Singapore Sling at the airport, and hit up these new bars for kickass cocktails.

Jerome Biard, Corum Watches

Jerome Biard, CEO of Corum Watches

What comes to mind when you think about your next trip to Singapore?
Great place and great people and so many watch enthusiasts.  I also have friends living there which I like to meet.

If a two-hour free slot magically opens up in your schedule, what would you do and where would you go?
I would definitely go to visit the zoo by night.

 

Why is Singapore an important market to your brand?
Singapore has historically been an important market for Corum. Not only do we enjoy fantastic support from the retailers, but the locals are all very knowledgeable and are generally leaders and not followers. This puts Corum in an advantage as we are not a brand that follows the trends, but we create our own.

Buro Verdict: The Night Safari. Okay, Mr Biard has to get to know us better than that and to start, here's a popular Singapore dish he can try making at home.

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