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Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Man Behind the “Maverick” of Richemont Group

Roger Dubuis
Roger Dubuis Chief Advertising and marketing Officer Sadry Keiser

Sadry Keiser has some of the unusually authored biographies of any watch trade govt. To be honest, the Chief Advertising and marketing Officer of Roger Dubuis in all probability shares this function with a few of his colleagues as a result of it’s so very Roger Dubuis. The corporate calls itself the “unhealthy boy of the Geneva watch trade,” and it’s not tough to see why. Simply have a look at the watches, and Keiser’s official portrait. In Keiser’s personal official biography, which fits out to anybody who interviews him, Roger Dubuis can be described because the Richemont Group’s “maverick” whereas Keiser is described as a person with an “unexplained attraction to watchmaking.” Keiser himself described Roger Dubuis because the “wild baby” of Richemont in an interview with the retailer Watches of Switzerland within the UK. Properly, the watches actually increase the decibel degree, generally fairly actually.

Roger Dubuis
The Excalibur Blacklight Spin-Stone Monobalancier showcases the model’s modern skeletonising chops

In case your first encounter with Roger Dubuis is at a watch honest, comparable to Watches and Wonders Geneva, you would possibly truly uncover the model if you hear a racket of some kind someplace across the Van Cleef & Arpels and IWC cubicles. Otherwise you may be having a gathering over at A. Lange & Söhne solely to seek out your self speaking over a cacophony of what completely can’t be something associated to Swiss watchmaking. Besides after all that’s, and it’s all performed on function. Keiser tells us, by no means sheepishly, that Roger Dubuis creates a spectacle on the honest to attract a crowd; “I can inform you that 80 p.c of the individuals we see…in our boutiques usually are not solely new to Roger Dubuis, they’re new to watchmaking!” Keiser met with us on the Singapore ION boutique late final yr (2023) to interact in a free-ranging dialog in regards to the novelties of 2023; Roger Dubuis additionally inaugurated a brand new retailer at Marina Bay Sands late final yr however that could be a story for an additional time.

The youthful Keiser – his official data doesn’t checklist his age however that’s as anticipated of Roger Dubuis as a result of age is nothing however a quantity right here – likes to think about himself as a bridge between the technical aspect of the story and the design crew. In his position as Chief Advertising and marketing Officer, he’s additionally a bridge between the model and the media, and by extension, the general public. Keiser reduce his tooth within the technical area of watchmaking at TAG Heuer’s manufacturing finish, and that model’s analysis and improvement division. This expertise would show helpful to his later stint as Head of Product Advertising and marketing at Roger Dubuis the place he was “overcome by a wild want to return to advertising and marketing – and inject it along with his personal inflammatory watchmaking ardour…”

It was this promise of inflammatory rhetoric that drew our curiosity to participating in a prolonged chat with Keiser, who was on the town to introduce the Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph specifically. Fortunately, neither he nor the watch disenchanted us!

Roger Dubuis
The Monovortex Break up-Seconds Chronograph

Earlier than we get into issues correctly, inform us if the Spider Flyback Chronograph is the primary manufacturing chronograph because the Sympathy assortment?

No, there was a chronograph with a plain dial round 2011 or 2012, and it was the piece celebrating the one hundred and twenty fifth anniversary of the Poincon de Geneve <this was a restricted version of eight – Ed>. It’s much less attribute than (our now signature model) with modern skeletonizing (though it did have a tourbillon). The crew at the moment thought it was good to grasp the assorted problems however recognised that there are additionally different gamers doing the identical, possibly higher than us or extra identified than us. So, we would have liked to convey further worth…we centered on the tourbillon for easy causes: there are fewer elements so there’s extra space to have transparency and to discover completely different kinds. Then we went with automatics, then double tourbillons, and so forth. It took time to get again on monitor with chronograph problems, and to return to the roots of Roger Dubuis <in relation to the well-known Sympathy case chronographs that the founder created – Ed>. It’s a completely different form of recreation taking part in with a skeletonized method on the chronograph complication. There was little question for us on bringing again that complication however only a query of discovering the proper solution to do it. Now could be the proper time to launch the Flyback Chronograph, as a result of you could have by no means seen this type of watch earlier than!

No, after all not, so let’s dive proper into it!

For me, the Flyback Chronograph is an attention-grabbing method as a result of I feel we maintain the philosophy of the corporate – placing the mechanics first (and utterly seen). For sure, having an built-in calibre for us, that was completely obligatory. Additionally, taking part in with the structure of the calibre, maintaining the liberty of aesthetics that we like, whereas being respectful of custom…and maintaining the Poincon de Geneve in play.

What I imply by taking part in with the structure whereas maintaining components of custom is that the column wheel (should be current) for positive, however we put this on the entrance of the calibre <this distinctive ingredient is generally bridge-side – Ed>. So, as soon as once more reengineering the structure of the calibre to convey (and ship) particular signatures on the best way that individuals are seeing it.

And final however not least, we discuss in regards to the vertical clutch, after all, as a result of as soon as once more, it’s following the great thing about, and respect for, custom. However on the finish of the day, throughout the very (modern) form of design that follows the spirit of the Excalibur Spider, there’s additionally an apparent to hyperlink to motorsport actions, paying tribute to our Italian buddies (that’s to say Lamborghini, a long- time period associate to Roger Dubuis – Ed).

Roger Dubuis
The Monovortex Break up-Seconds Chronograph

Why wait until later within the yr to debut the Flyback Chronograph if you had the possibility to pair it with the Monovortex Break up-Seconds Chronograph at Watches and Wonders?

A part of my reply must do with the Monovortex… (as a result of) it speaks to the philosophy of the corporate: to showcase the experience of the watchmaking trade and to incubate a fraction of our improvements in a single single piece. However if you put all the pieces in a single single watch – I’m speaking a couple of new regulator a brand new winding system, alongside a brand new show system as effectively…after which a split-second chronograph complication (a excessive complication that’s arguably extra advanced than the tourbillon – Ed) – the bar is ready fairly excessive. To be frank with you, we would have liked to go to the actual and tangible world, to see if all the pieces works because it ought to. However at the very least at the moment (through the present in Geneva), we received to show to the world and definitely to the connoisseur, as a result of each single particular person attending Watches and Wonders is delicate to effective watchmaking, who Roger Dubuis is and what we’re about. You’ll be able to see that Roger Dubuis is a critical participant.

Then once more, Roger Dubuis shouldn’t be a basis so all of us anticipated a business providing in some unspecified time in the future…

That’s proper! And we determined that the Goodwood Pageant of Pace was a superb philosophical match with the Spider Flyback Chronograph; motorsports normally are a superb match for the chronograph. We additionally didn’t need to hearth all our (advertising and marketing) bullets at one time…as an alternative we wished to create a dialog with the group that helped everybody perceive the sequence that we take into consideration, from idea to commercially out there piece. As a result of (each the Monovortex and the Flyback Chronograph) are new ideas, in a manner. You’ll be able to see from the Flyback Chronograph if now we have captured effectively that actuality behind (a few of) the ideas within the Monovortex.

Roger Dubuis
Shut-up of the Excalibur Spider Countach Double Tourbillon that calls consideration to the motorsports affiliations that Roger Dubuis likes

How do you method Watches and Wonders, or any honest actually, from the angle of introducing watches to the general public, or introducing it to companions? Is it gross sales first? Presentation first?

It’s a superb query. I feel these exhibits are transferring, allow us to say from enterprise to enterprise to client to develop into extra enterprise to client. For a few years now, we see the content material of such exhibits transferring on this course as effectively. As one of many operators at Watches and Wonders, we’re additionally following this pattern to (orientate) extra in the direction of being enterprise to client. You realize, we’re in that place the place we must be seen by a big viewers, however discuss solely to a couple, if you already know what I imply. From a advertising and marketing perspective, (the query is) how I can you should definitely attain a bigger viewers, the place that bigger viewers can perceive the rationale why Roger Dubuis exists. What’s our distinctive proposition and does my viewers get it? You realize, if everybody understands that we’re a pure participant doing modern skeletonised problems with Poincon de Geneve, then I’m in heaven!

However, there are a number of individuals the place we have to go a bit additional and dig into our personal worlds and convey further stuff to the desk. This implies explanations on the watches in a manner that we will ensure that we nourish and we domesticate the outstanding expertise (of Roger Dubuis). We all know that we aren’t the primary model throughout the collections of these individuals…and but there are these newcomers who’re very curious, not solely about Roger Dubuis however about watchmaking.

Roger Dubuis
The Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph in Profile

This can be a reference to what we spoke about: the individuals you draw with spectacle, just like the robotic canine that was the spotlight of Watches and Wonders? How do you talk the values of the model correctly as a result of these individuals might know what a skeletonised motion is, as a result of they will see it, however they actually is not going to know what the Poincon de Geneve is…

As soon as once more, one other good query! To be clear with you, I feel half is construction (the communications technique together with all means from promoting to partnerships) and the opposite half is far more spontaneous. There’s a solution to talk the truth that we’re a improbable different to the classical operators. At Roger Dubuis, we’re a bit schizophrenic. A fraction of what we’re doing is, allow us to say, very Swiss; the opposite half is ultra-contemporary (and that is the place conversations like this one are available). From my perspective, that is the great thing about a model of our dimension: now we have the luxurious of getting the time to converse with our purchasers and buddies. We aren’t all the time in pushing mode in a market the place we’re speaking about line extensions and all the pieces is transactional. As we mentioned, Roger Dubuis shouldn’t be a basis however we nonetheless must construct (particular person) conversations to begin relationships!

This text first appeared on WOW’s Festive 2024 difficulty.

For extra on the most recent in watch reads, click on right here.

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