Change is in the air at Longines. After 32 years with former CEO Walter von Känel at the helm, the Swatch Group-owned brand closes one chapter as it opens the next, one that is to be written by Matthias Breschan, who may be new to Longines but not at all to the Swatch Group.
Breschan has spent nine years as CEO of sister brand Rado, and just before that seven years at Hamilton, bringing a wealth of experience into the top job at Longines. But it’s not so much experience as rejuvenation that the brand now needs.
The company he inherited from von Känel, the indefatigable Swiss army colonel-turned-luxury watch CEO, is the world’s fourth-largest by revenue after Cartier, Omega and Rolex. According to LuxeConsult’s 2018 Morgan Stanley industry report, Longines generated CHF1.65 million (SGD2.45 million) that year, with the same results in 2019.
This year, obviously Longines as much as all other firms within the luxury industry have taken a hit in retail sales as cities worldwide went under lockdown between March and June, along with continued political instability in Hong Kong. But things began to turn around for Longines as quickly as in July.
“In the past two months we have already seen strong signs of recovery. In China, for example, we are in 2020 already above 2019,” Breschan tells Esquire Singapore via email in September.
His appointment in the midst of a pandemic, however, wasn’t a corollary of the crisis wreaked by COVID-19. On the contrary, it was long in the tooth, and if the pandemic did indeed play a role at all, it was only to accelerate plans that were already in place.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
the fashion for the trees
Though 2020 forced brands to examine their own systems and behaviour, Ermenegildo Zegna was already well positioned for top to-bottom structural change, with sustainability built into the very ethos of the Italian menswear house, writes Mitchell Oakley Smith.
Actor Lawrence Wong talks about the motivation in creating his own skincare brand Grail and the importance of keeping skin hydrated.
round and around
With reusability in mind, Aesop partners with Christopher Raeburn on a sustainable roll-up for urban adventurers.
When Australian-Singaporean actor Desmond Chiam was just a kid, it was his dream to one day become Captain America. Though he won’t carry the red, white and blue shield, Chiam will this month star in Marvel television series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, bringing him closer to his dream than he ever imagined possible.
from Paris to the Far East
Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh takes the brand across cultures for his latest collection.
Garmin brings sports science to the world of competitive gaming.
‘Does it do anything?'
James Bond and his watches.
Besides DNA, music has bonded the De Torres brothers to venture the melodic unknown as Gliiico.
If Nike did home décor.
Just A Little Prick Inside Cosmetic Surgery's Zoom Boom
In an uncertain world, a new wave of non-invasive cosmetic procedures promises to give white-collar men a competitive advantage: the right look for the boardroom, and—maybe more importantly—the Zoom call. Don’t have a face that fits the corporate ideal? Now you can buy a ‘power profile’. And why stop there, when you can own Ryan Reynolds’s jawline for less than the price of a bespoke suit?