Friday, December 21, 2012

A Few Minutes with Sascha Moeri

As we approach year's end (and as the sun came up this morning, hopefully not the world's end) it seems a good time to catch up with some of the folks behind the brands.

And now, a few minutes with Sascha Moeri of Carl F. Bucherer -
Courtesy of Carl F. Bucherer
James Henderson - What was your first watch? Was it a gift? Is there a story behind it?

Sascha Moeri - My first real watch was a gift from my parents for my confirmation when I was
fourteen or fifteen, and I was very proud of it. It was a Rado, and I wore it for quite a few years. I hung on to it as a keepsake but then found a good reason to get rid of it at a charity auction. The very first watch I owned, though, was made by a brand called ATB. I was twelve years old and won it as first prize in a mountain bike race.

JH - As a boy, what did you want to be "when you grew up"?
SM - As a child, I wanted to be an athlete: either an ice hockey player or a professional skier.  Actually, come to think of it, there was even one point when I wanted to be a tennis player.

JH - Where did you go to school? What did you study?

SM - I studied economics and marketing in Bern and Zurich. I then did an MBA alongside my job. It was a joint degree course of studies at the New York State University in Albany and at the Lorange Institute of Business in Zurich.

JH - What was your first job in the "real world"?

SM - I started my apprenticeship in the finance department of a construction company ending with a degree in Business Administration.

JH - How did you get started in the watch industry?

SM - My first job in the industry was as a Credit Control Manager and Controller in the Finance Department at Swatch AG, with the Swatch Group.

JH - How would you describe the essence of CFB, its DNA?

SM - I have a formula that would explain Carl F. Bucherer’s success and it’s based on five pillars.

First, Bucherer’s history dates back to 1888, when Carl F. Bucherer opened his first watch and jewelry store in Lucerne, Switzerland. The company has remained in the family to this day and is now owned by the third-generation sole shareholder, Jörg G. Bucherer, the founder’s grandson. This unique historical background has ensured continuity and consistency all down the line.

Second, we’ve always combined leading-edge watchmaking skills with practical functional features. Our watches are still the product of the same philosophy and engineering that went into their predecessors and even feature some of the same components. For us, it’s the essence of pure Swiss watchmaking. As we move into the future, our timepieces will continue to blend state-of-the-art technology with forward-looking design and expertise. We are keenly aware of our tradition but driven by innovation.

Third, a central factor in Bucherer’s heritage is top-quality jewelry-making. It’s given us the expertise we need to make outstanding jewelry watches that appeal to lots of women.

Fourth, the products themselves: the moment you see and touch our watches, it’s virtually impossible not to fall in love with them. They’re a perfect combination of outstanding design and feel. One thing’s certain: we’ve never made compromises on quality and never will.

The fifth, but by no means least important, factor is first-hand encounters in Bucherer stores. They’ve traditionally been a source of invaluable information about consumer behavior and remain so to this day. The feedback obtained enables us to design outstanding products that appeal to our customers.

If we continue to keep sight of these factors, Carl F. Bucherer will always maintain the integrity, value and heritage that the market demands from an authentic, luxury Swiss watch brand.

JH - What is Bucherer's strongest market right now?
SM - Asia is our strongest market at the moment, but this is a fairly widespread phenomenon in view of the global economy. All the same, there is a difference, and it’s this: the CFB brand has been established in China for decades. We have deep roots in the market, very solid brand awareness and a solid extension of our family-minded business partners.

JH - 
I realize it might be hard to choose, but what is your favorite model?

SM - I have a particular liking for the Manero ChronoPerpetual, which is available in an edition limited to 100 pieces. The perpetual calendar, with correction-free indication of the date, day of the week, month and moon phase, remains a technical challenge that can be met by only a handful of watchmakers. The mechanism recognizes the different lengths of the months and knows when the next leap year is approaching. My personal favorite is the latest Manero ChronoPerpetual in rose gold with a
classic anthracite dial.

Another is the Patravi TravelTec FourX in red gold, which we are launching in a limited edition version of 125 pieces to mark the occasion of Carl Friedrich Bucherer opening his first retail store in the very heart of Lucerne in 1888. This dynamic timepiece features a combination of four exclusive materials: 18 K red gold, ceramic, rubber and titanium. The intricate skeletonized dial features three time zones and has a chronograph, hour, minute and small seconds hands as well as a date display.  The unique integration of movement and case calls for watchmaking skills at the highest-possible level.
Courtesy of Carl F. Bucherer 
JH - It seems you’re a good salesman as well, considering that our former Governor is wearing a Carl F. Bucherer watch. What’s Arnold Schwarzenegger like as a customer?

SM - What was amazing about meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger was that we share an admiration for fine watch making. He genuinely admires CFB for all we represent, namely our history and credibility. And he has a real appreciation of our products.

He is a true watch aficionado. And, naturally, we are grateful to anyone who wears Carl F. Bucherer and is so passionate about the product and the CFB family.

JH - What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

SM - I really enjoy outdoor sports, mainly snowboarding and skiing. I started skiing when I was eight years old. In Switzerland it’s part of our lifestyle and parents usually start teaching their children to ski at a very early age. I took up snowboarding, in my pre-teen years at the age of 12, and since then snowboarding’s been my very favorite sport.

Apart from sport, I really enjoy smoking a good cigar. It’s something I took up in my early twenties. I was actually very curious to find out more about the entire process, and over the years I’ve learned a lot more about the culture, business and appreciation of fine cigars.

But the thing I enjoy above anything else is spending time with my close friends and family. And that’s what I do whenever I have the time.

JH - If you weren't doing this, what do you think you might be doing?

SM - If I weren’t in the watch business, I think I’d want to be involved in the cigar industry. At grass roots level, perhaps running a farm somewhere (laughing).
Courtesy of Carl F. Bucherer
JH - What advice would you give new CEOs in the Swiss watch industry?

SM - First and foremost we need to remember that we represent business entities which have a long history of innovation and technology and are famous throughout the world. When it comes to fine timepieces, Switzerland’s watchmaking industry leads the way. A CEO in the Swiss watch industry has a responsibility to ensure that our ethical foundation and traditions are preserved for generations still to come. If we maintain these standards of integrity in everything we do, the daily business of decision-making should be easier to handle and our industry will continue to strive long into the future.

1 comment:

  1. Now that's a fine brand and a CEO who is in the lead!

    Congrats, beautiful watches, great tradition, a lot of technology, in-house movements....GREAT!