One-stop Platform for Brands and Staff Launches to Increase Knowledge of Historic Watchmakers.
At an event hosted by Foundation de Haute Hologerie, Watch Live — a one-stop app for end users to interact with the biggest brands in haute horology — was unveiled in the region.
The app brings together eight of the world’s leading horologists, including IWC, Vacheron Constantin and Baume & Mercier, to effectively collaborate on a worldwide initiative to increase the end-user’s knowledge of the history of high-end watchmaking.
The objective of the new platform is essentially to increase the desirability and awareness of high-end watchmaking and its history throughout the world.
At the launch, Mr. Alexander Schmiedt was officially announced as the regional delegate for the FHH. Schmiedt is also regional director for Vacheron Constantin in the Middle East.
Talking to Watch1010 at the event at the Emirates Towers in Dubai, Schmiedt said it’s not about getting watch brands to compete against each other, but rather a means of enhacing the message of haute horology in an increasingly digitised marketplace.
“It’s a very interesting initiative because all the brands are sharing this idea of improving the services the companies provide for their client base along the multitude of the various touch points clients have with their brands.
“From retail, wholesale and boutiques brands are traditionally using just one channel to get their products out there. So essentially, this came out of the notion that given the complete overflow of information we have going out all the time, to find one central source that can deliver everything, and that is essentially the role of the Foundation — to help the brands get their message out,” the regional director of Vacheron Constantin says.
Schmiedt will become the point of contact for all FHH activities and will closely collaborate with the partner-brands. He will develop new initiatives in the coming year to further increase values and knowledge of fine watchmaking in the region.
In four years, FHH Academy has provided training for 11,000 people worldwide from the United States to China, Russian and the UAE.
Today’s FHH Academy delivers 300 courses in the field each year, led by a squad of 21 certified trainers on every continent.
Classes and certifications are given in ten languages, based on brand-neutral content that develops participants' knowledge of watches and watchmaking from the essentials to specialised subjects.
Created by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, FHH Academy is aimed first and foremost at professional sales staff, to help them improve their understanding of the industry and, in doing so, boost t heir performance on the retail floor.
Engaging the customer in a digital world
With the increased presence of e-commerce altering the way watchmakers seek to do business, the sale of high-end timepieces has changed.
E-commerce means brands' brick-and-mortar distribution must adapt and offer not just the best in-store experience but also consistently meet the end customer's increasingly high expectations.
Sales staff must contend with a multitude of media and channels, making it hard for them to know where to focus and hard for brands to capture their attention – especially knowing that 75 per cent of downloaded apps are never used.
Watch Live, under the direction of the FHH, is seeking to make sales staff better informed, more motivated and more influential, always connected to the industry.
Watchmakers start the year with a bang at Geneva’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie.