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Our principle was to break the codes of traditional watch-making


 Jean-Marc Pontroue

Jean-Marc Pontroue

The CEO of Roger Dubius, Jean-Marc Pontroue, recently visited the country on his official visit to the Polo Luxury Boutique in Lagos. In a chat with the media, he spoke about the luxury watch brand and its positioning in the niche market

WHAT are the unique qualities of your timepieces?
Roger Dubius, which is a Geneva lifestyle brand, is known for its skeletal designs, sophisticated and mechanical engines and is designed for individuals with a flair for class and exclusivity. We have over 160 dealers worldwide and Polo Nigeria is one of its dealers.

What is principle behind the architectural skeleton movement?
The brand was developed 21 years ago; the principle was to break the codes of traditional high-end watch making. For many years, the more you wear high-end brands, the more you are classic, the more youíre open to price, the more youíre creative. Roger Dubuis was one of the first operators to break these principles and has created very creative watches; watches that are also powered with very creative and very powerful movements. That is one of the pillars of our development today; the brandís capacity to develop higher complications that are very creative with a recognized mechanical content.

What is the Tourbillion mechanism?
Tourbillion is a principle; when you move everyday, either by running, jogging, jumping, playing golf or just walking. This has an influence on the precision of your movement and the way to compensate gravity has been to create a cage, which frees the precision of the watch from what you are doing. When you have speed like that, this cage is protecting you or its movement from its precision. Roger Dubuis was the very first specialist to develop Tourbillion, Double Tourbillion. It is the first watch to put Roger Dubuis on the map. At the beginning, Roger Dubuis was a brand but suddenly because of the Double Tourbillion skeleton, the brand is on the map.

Kindly define the ideal Roger Dubuis client?
It is targeted towards a league of young entrepreneurs- young, successful, very self-confident customers who have proven themselves in their social and professional lives. Those that have a record of success in their businesses, in their social lives, political lives etc. and they want to have an exclusive accessory to make statement.

The differentiation in what weíre doing is very important. The people we are selling products to are people who do not want to see others wearing the same thing. The level of exclusivity and uniqueness for them is very important. So this is the profile of people who know what they want; you donít try to influence them. They know very well what they want in terms of cars, in terms of suits, in term of shoes, in terms of hotels and in terms of travelling experiences. These are the same type of people who are very demanding in exclusivity because they know what our brand is proposing.

Does the company offer any after sales services?
We have the normal standard of two years but we offer an additional year warranty. As a brand, when you sell such luxury products at high prices, ensuring that the customer is happy is the most important factor. Why do I say that? Because the best advertising we have in the world are customers who are happy, who are influencing their best friends. We always remember that anyone who wears a Roger Dubuis watch could either be our best or worst ambassador. If youíre not happy with one of our products, youíll say to your friends and family: ìnever buy thisî. If youíre happy, youíll say to millions of your friends and family members that this is the best brand you have. And so, to reply your question, we offer three years warranty on paper but, in reality, my real target is how to make sure that the customers who are selling our products are people who are proud, are happy to explain the brand to their friends.

Going by the price, what investment benefits does one enjoy in owning a Roger Dubuis watch?
First, today, the prices of many items are reduced because they make them in mass production. The more you make mass production, the more the price is reduced. In our business, everything we do in a watch is made exclusively for us. Beyond the price and value, you have the assurance that you are the only one or one of the only ones in the world to have this type of exclusivity. If you buy Rolls-Royce, if you buy contemporary art, you buy it for the beauty of the eyes and you buy it also for the equation of exclusivity; to make sure that youíre one of the very few who own it.

It is a feeling that is very difficult to express as long as you have not experienced it yourself. It is the beauty of owing something which has been made for you, not for hundreds of people; for you only and that comes with a price. We do that in very limited quantities according to the Geneva seal principle and they come in very precious materials-gold and diamonds. We cumulate all the ingredients of rarity and exclusivity and this has price.

Who is a Roger Dubuis woman or man?
Who is he? Well, someone who has made it or is rather young, 30 to 50 years old. He has made a success either in social, theatre, movie, literature, real estate, banking, insurance or oil and gas, you name it. They have a business, which is significant, and they want to wear a watch that is in a class of its own. The Roger Dubuis man or woman is someone who has already achieved something in life and the accessory itself tells the story.

Personally, which piece is your favourite?
Well, the watch I like very much is the double Tourbillion Skeletal watch.

Do you intend to go into other luxury lines?
Well, in this business, if you want to make high-end sophisticated creative watches, it requires a lot of energy, a lot of financial empowerment. So before we jump on something else, we want to be very strong in what we do now and that will make me an additional 30 years to make it happen. So, perhaps, in 30 years, we will go for other products but in the next 30 years, we will still stay on watches.

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