Marc De Panafieu, Regional Brand Director, Jaeger-LeCoultre remains confident of the brand’s sales in certain key markets despite the economic slowdown and turmoil
For those who have been captivated by the horological mastery and creative talent of Jaeger-LeCoultre and its reserved seat in the hall of excellence, globally, it may seem that the job of a brand director with the Grande Maison would be piece of cake. But none other than Marc de Panafieu knows that every second, new challenges sneaks in through doors which he knows he has to leave open. And he takes every challenge, every day on his stride; after all, he is the face of the brand in the Middle East and a contended one at that.
For Marc, preciousness is followed by a threat of safeguarding it and while his time is often taken up overseeing market research, development, and evolving marketing strategies, he knows that at the height of his responsibility lies the profoundness of keeping the brand unaffected. “Jaeger-LeCoultre had faced several adverse market situations in the past but has continued to remain on top. If the clients, instead of buying four watches in a year, decide to buy only two, our challenge is to remain in that two and we are quite successful in that so far,” he says.
Of course, he has the prescience to know the Middle-Eastern market’s shaky trends. According to him, they were indeed affected by the drop in oil price as well as the general slowdown in the world economy, but Greece came to the rescue. “The country saw a high tourist traffic and we did well there. The local market here has a lot of potential though we may not be growing at rapid speed in the last two years,” he admits.
Understanding market dynamics has been a niche that Marc has mastered and so when Jaeger-LeCoultre launched its Geophysic line, he knew he had a range that was apt for his domain. “Geophysic line was originally launched in 1958 to celebrate the successful experiment of sending a submarine to the north pole. An antimagnetic watch, its demand grew and since the brand has grown,” he notes.
The line has two new models — True Seconds and Geophysical Universal time. Explaining about them, Marc mentions that they are in all respects an ideal companion for those who are frequently on the move. “Geophysic True Second is adjusted in an extremely intuitive manner and the seconds hand ticks like in a quartz watch instead of slowly sweeping,” he points out.
The other in the line, Geophysic Universal Time watch, has the world on its face and enables simultaneous readings of the time in all 24 time zones by means of its mobile disc. “The city disc with its perfectly readable names is fixed so as to help users get their bearings,” he says.
With an aggressive approach to drive the Middle-East market with the Geophysic line, Marc is quite optimistic of the future.