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Ulysse Nardin to set up shop in the Middle East



Patrik P. Hoffmann, CEO, reveals plans for the upcoming year and opening an office in the Middle East.


What are the most important markets for Ulysse Nardin?

The two most important markets are actually Russia (and the post-Soviet states) and the US.

When you look at the Middle East, I think there are certain steps that we should still take; we are not yet where we should be and we are going to take a major step in September to open our own representative office.

In China, we were not so strong; we only had approximately 25 per cent turnover in China, which was a positive thing for us, because the Chinese market did not grow. It slowed down, but it did not hurt us, because we were not so dependent on it and that is a positive thing there.


You said you still have some work to do in the Middle East. Is it about education and exposure?

Yes. The only thing we are lacking is the fact that we do not have our own people and our own office [in the Middle East]. That is a step we are taking now to be closer to the action.


Dubai always comes up when talking about Middle Eastern markets, but how’s the Saudi Arabian market for you?

Saudi is growing quite a bit as well. We have certain individual projects there for specific customers. This year is going to be a good year for us in Saudi Arabia in terms of personalisation.


What are the main messages put forth by Ulysse Nardin this year?

One represents innovation, which would be our newest models that we are showing, and the other is our continuous step to become more and more independent in the manufacturing of our products. And there, of course, is the Dual Time Caliber 334, which clearly indicates the direction being taken. This means, in three to four years, we want to produce 95 per cent our own movements.


What is the reason for the brand’s continued success so far?

It is because of two things: independence and innovation; they go hand-in-hand. We can be very innovative, because we are independent, and we can stay independent, because we are innovative.


What do you see as the upcoming trends for men’s watches?

In men’s watches, I think what happened over the past five to six years is that there was a trend that moved from highly complicated pieces to more normal and functional features. Nobody really cared about the benefits; it just had to be complicated. Today, I think people are, once again, looking more for true value, the real history and DNA of the brand.


What do you think is going to be the biggest challenge for you next year?

Right now, it is probably the political situation in Russia. That is definitely something that we have to watch – it could become a challenge for us.




Originally published in Aficionado, a sister publication of

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