As a family run business, Chopard has added on to its centuries old legacy by a commitment to use ethical gold in all its watches. What does this mean for Chopard? What does this mean for you? What does it mean to be a family run business in today’s world? Hours & Minutes Australia finds out in conversation with Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard.
How was the year 2017?
2017 was a better year than 2016. We increased our sales. I remain very positive about 2018 as well! It has started off really well.
This year, Chopard has committed to using 100% Ethical Gold in its jewellery and watches…
As we approached our 150th anniversary, and as we think about the social responsibilities that we could take as a family firm, we decided to join the Responsible Jewellery Council back in 2010. We set out to do projects with fairmined gold. One thing led to another. We introduced products with fairmined gold. However, we realized we were limited by availability. I feel our communication effort was rewarded by other suppliers, who came up with certified gold. This led us to announce that we would use artisan or fairmined gold for all our products. It shows that where there is a will there is a way, and that a company of our size can also make a big difference!
Do you see that happening with sourcing of diamonds…
We also believe that there is room to improve. On a parallel basis we are thinking of other areas where we can still continue, and how. Given that our time and resources are limited, and we have the business to run, we are doing our best!
You are an independent family run business. What are the advantages of this setup in today’s times?
One of the clear advantages is that decisions will not be based only on return on investment, or rather, immediate return on investment. Issues and decisions can be based on long term ROI. We can plan for the next 10 or 20 years rather that the next six months because we would have to publish figures and consult investors.
Your association with Mille Miglia…
The association with Mille Miglia started about thirty years back. It began from pure passion for classic sports cars. At that time, it was reversed for limited number of enthusiasts. People would take off and drive and race! It is still a place for aficionados, passionate collectors. It has grown into a rather big event from a relatively small scale event which would be almost like something between friends. It now has world wide appeal. I believe we are also one of the drivers of this success. With the race, the collection named Mille Miglia also became a classic.
What does it take for a brand to remain relevant today?
For a brand to be relevant you have to be genuine and authentic. Particularly looking at the younger generation, your story has to be true! Of course, the products have to be very well-made, well designed and convincing. I think that is certainly very important. As a family concern we fulfill most of these requirements.
Your advice to young Australians entering the world of Chopard…
In the L.U.C range one of the XPS pieces which feature interesting and highly qualitative movements, would be great. It is revolutionary and respects the codes of fine watchmaking. That would be an entry point. The L.U.C Quattro is also a wonderful piece.
On this positive note, we wish Chopard’s journey in Australia continues to remain successful