Philippe Dubois, CEO of Rebellion Timepieces SA, shares his thoughts with the Paddock magazine on the changing watch market and on the company’s partnership with Manor Racing.
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How is the general luxury goods market doing today and what are your expectations for it?
The luxury goods market at the moment is suffering for many different reasons. However, I can talk more specifically about the watch industry. We had phenomenal growth the past year, which was not normal and the production was superior to the demand. As a result, today, there are too many products available in this market.
The way the customer is purchasing watches is also changing with e-commerce and not only for an entry price level. On top of this, a lot of uncertainty around the world doesn’t put the consumer in a mood to spend money on luxury products. Nobody knows how long it’s going to last but I’m confident that this should change soon.
As I can see today, our competitors are also struggling a bit. We are all on the same boat and we have to move forward.
Philippe, what motivates you in your work?
I have the privilege to work for a brand that combines watches and car racing, two of my sincere passions. When you have the chance to share your excitement and enthusiasm with other people, you don’t need more to be motivated.
Manor Racing is a solid Formula 1 team, particularly mentality-wise. What can you learn from them?
Manor Racing or Rebellion Racing are two “small” teams compared to the big teams like Ferrari or Mercedes. You’re absolutely right about the mentality: with smaller resources, you have to be more creative and do things differently if you want to have opportunities to succeed. This is a permanent challenge but also a real source of inspiration.
I have the privilege to work for a brand that combines watches and car racing, two of my sincere passions.
What’s most interesting for you personally inside Formula 1 as a partner?
Whether it is the Formula 1 world or the World Endurance Championship, this gives Rebellion an incredible marketing platform and great visibility. We have direct access to our potential customers who are crazy about cars and watches, so interacting with them, racing professionals and other enthusiasts is all I could ever ask for.
Finally, what’s there to look forward to your market in terms of technology?
Once again, if you make a parallel with high-end car racing, it’s still a mechanical engine with more and more electronic parts. An actual combination of mechanical movement, creative materials and specific electronics in order to give you precise information about how you’re driving and how you could drive better – now this would be something truly interesting.