Q. Cartier was one of the first brands to successfully adopt an e-commerce strategy. What more will you do online and how do you plan to enhance that online experience?
A. When we were first telling stories, we launched a video on watches called "Shape Your Time", which was seen by 33 million people within three months. We made another story about romance, which is called "The Proposal". It's about the diamonds and the love between man and woman around the diamonds. So that's something we are also offering: [in addition to] selling online and [offering online bookings for boutique appointments], we are also telling emotional stories.
Q. What is your long-term strategy for Cartier's Métiers d'Art?
A. Métiers d'Art is really about the two worlds that we love - métier and art. Métier is craft, and we are very much invested in craftsmanship. We have the Maison des Métiers d'Art that we built in La Chaux-de-Fonds, an 18th century farm, completely refurbished. We have all the expertise under one roof. The idea is to invent new techniques, like we invented the micromosaic. We want to bring a real, unique piece of art onto your wrist.
Q. Given the volatile euro right now, we've seen some luxury houses starting to adjust prices. What's your view?
A. For high-jewellery pieces [creations over €100,000, HK$857,000], we always have one price, excluding VAT, local taxes and import duty. The same goes for watches. Obviously, when there is a big change in currencies, or the market is volatile, we make region-specific adjustments. We correct for volatile currencies out of respect for our clients and our partners when they travel.
Q. Cartier now has 30 in-house movements and is a major player in the field of mechanical watchmaking. Since you've joined, what do you think is the most successful strategy you have implemented?
A. I would say [emphasising] the idea of continuity of boldness, audacity and expertise. I believe the world needs experts in watches, and experts in jewellery. [We offer] something which is daring and bold in terms of design and, as experts, we are reassuring. Cartier has been the king of shaped watches, from Santos [square] to balloon bleu [circular], to Tank [rectangular]. Now we've come out with Cle, which plays with [oval and circle] shapes.
Q. What is your strategy regarding the use of semi-precious gemstones in your jewellery? How are they received in markets that have traditionally welcomed only precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds?
A. We have always used tourmaline or jadeite [in our pieces] and we are now launching the Amulette pendant collection in our boutique, which has proved extremely successful using [a variety of] stones in different colours. We always select the best quality stones, and [the result is that] you get something which is unique, a piece of art.
This maison has always brought the best there is of this world. [We offer a] design that is so unique, it is recognised the world over for its universality and forever timelessness. It explains why Cartier pieces are so sought after.