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The Watches of Switzerland Group are proud to introduce the Longines HydroConquest Ladies models, exclusive to the Group until December 2023. To celebrate the launch, we were delighted to sit down with Matthias Breschan, CEO at Longines, to discuss the new pieces and to give us a unique insight to the Longines brand.
Thank you so much for joining us Matthias, could you start by telling us about you role at Longines and when you first joined the brand?
I joined Longines in 2020 as CEO of the brand, after having previously managed two Swatch Group sister brands, Rado for nine years and Hamilton for seven years. I am also a member of the Extended Group Management Board since 2005.
To me the watch industry is truly fascinating and the only place, I can think of, that is always looking back to its tradition in order to go further. Most industries need to adapt or fade away. With watchmaking, continuing to live a tradition is what keeps it alive. This is particularly true for Longines: a brand with a deep historic dimension, launching technically very performant products.
What can you tell us about the new Longines HydroConquest releases and what has been the inspiration behind these pieces?
The HydroConquest line combines technical excellence and traditional elegance, both hallmarks of the brand. These 32mm models preserve the traditional style of diving watches inspired by the unique requirements of the activity. The three pieces feature an elegant white mother-of-pearl dial composed of 11 diamond hour-markers. These are proposed on a stainless-steel case and bracelet or on a two-tone red or yellow PVD stainless steel case and bracelet.
Who would you say these timepieces appeal to the most?
The HydroConquest appeals to the active and modern explorer of the world. Longines actually has a long tradition of expertise in the fascinating world of water sports. The HydroConquest collection is based on this experience and its models are high-performance timepieces. They are designed for people looking for a sporty and robust watch with distinctive qualities such as water resistance to 300 metres, a unidirectional ceramic bezel and a screw-down crown.
Which piece or pieces, would you recommend to our audience in order to start building their Longines collection?
It depends of course on the personal taste of the person. Our collection proposes a wide range of products, appealing to female and male alike. For instance, HydroConquest is a great model for the ones looking for a sporty watch or a model, or The Longines Master Collection for a touch of classic elegance combined to technical excellence.
Can you share what inspires Longines as a brand and its pieces?
Longines' rich past is an inestimable strength. The brand's pioneering spirit, which has driven it to challenge itself and remain at the forefront of innovation and technology for almost two centuries, is an additional source of inspiration. Longines' contribution to watchmaking is unique, as is its pioneering role in the development of tool watches. For example, very few people know that Longines invented the GMT or the flyback movement and was for decades the leading brand in the field of high-frequency movements. Today, we use our rich history as a springboard for technical and aesthetic innovation.
In your opinion, what sets Longines aside from other luxury watch brands?
When joining Longines, I was very impressed with the long and rich history of the brand, which is a true treasure. We are privileged to have a unique and rich history of more than 190 years, which makes the brand unique in its contribution to watchmaking.
Today, Longines is a global brand established in over 150 countries, known worldwide for the elegance and high value per price of its watches. Our collection proposes a wide range of products, appealing to a large clientele, female and male alike, and we see a strong increase of young customers among our passionate watch buyers.
Our collection is not only equally appealing to men and women, but is also balanced between classic and sport models. Our rich history allows us to develop timepieces inspired by our authentic heritage, while at the same time using state-of-the-art technology. This is what sets Longines apart from all its competitors and makes it unique.
Finally, looking towards the future, what are you most excited about for Longines in 2023?
In recent years we have seen a huge and growing demand for vintage watches. For these customers, the most important thing is that the relationship with heritage and history is authentic and that you do not just launch a product by inventing a story. The legitimacy of Longines is proof of this.
At the same time, people have discovered that watches are one of the most sustainable products there are. I mean, nobody buys a watch to throw it away after six or twelve months. You buy it for a lifetime, or even for the next generation, and there's a good chance that the watch you buy today will outlive you and that new generations will enjoy wearing a wristwatch.
I think these two trends will continue and even increase in the coming years. And that can only be good news for a brand such as Longines.
We still have many surprises in store for 2023!
Discover the Longines HydroConquest ladies models exclusively at Mappin & Webb.
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