Interview With Aris Maroulis, Managing Director Of Montblanc China, Recalling The 160th Anniversary Of Glory

In 1858, Charles-Yvan Robert (Charles-Yvan Robert) founded a watchmaking workshop in a small village in the Saint-Miles Valley. For the next 160 years, Minerva Watch Factory A series of developments have been made in the field of watches, especially in the manufacture of pocket watches and chronographs, showing precision watchmaking skills and high levels of innovation. Therefore, at SIHH 2018, Montblanc’s 160th anniversary in Minerva gave the brand a new interpretation of the classic 1858 series, star series and timewalker series. Watch House spoke to Mr. Aris Maroulis, Managing Director of Montblanc China, and listen to what he said.
Aris Maroulis, Managing Director Montblanc China
Watch House: This year marks the 160th anniversary of the establishment of Montblanc’s Minerva Watch Factory. Of the many new products launched this time, which one do you most recommend? What kind of spirit does the brand hope this year’s products express?
Aris Maroulis: I think for Montblanc, what I want to recommend is not just a special watch, but the spirit of a whole series, especially the 1858 series. Because this year is the year when the Minerva Watch Factory was founded, in order to commemorate the 160th anniversary of this year, we have launched five different designs in the new 1858 series, including: self-winding watches, chronographs , A self-made Geosphere world time watch, a 40mm slim watch with a 13-way single-button chronograph movement, and a new multifunctional pocket watch with a 16-way single-button chronograph movement and a 24-hour display. In particular, this pocket watch has a very vintage style and is also inspired by mountain adventures.
In addition to the 1858 series, our product line is also very rich. The new products include the new star series, timewalker series, etc., so not to say that a particular product is our focus, but to convey the concept of the entire 160th anniversary, we hope to The 160-year tradition of excellence in watchmaking inherited from Minerva’s glory continues, and it can open a new chapter in the future.

Montblanc 1858 series single button chronograph

Watch House: Is there anything new for women’s products this year?
Aris Maroulis: You know we launched the Baoxi series four years ago, and it was so successful that it was loved by a lot of women. This year coincides with the 160th anniversary of Minerva, so we focus on the new products of the 1858, the new star and the Timewalker series. Although there are no separate women’s watches, some watch sizes are also suitable for women. For example, the green strap and retro-style 1858 single-button chronograph we launched for the first time this year. It first appeared on the Only Watch in 2017 and received a lot of collectors’love, so we launched it again this year. The limited edition of 100 pieces is slightly smaller than the previous one. It has a 40mm diameter so that both men and women can wear it. The gradient green of the dial is matched with cathedral-style hands and the green alligator strap of the Montblanc Pelletteria leather workshop in Florence, Italy It looks very good and has become a very popular watch on our SIHH.

Montblanc China Brand Ambassador Yang Yang at the 2018 SIHH

Watch House: After Yang Yang spoke for Montblanc, how is the market performance? Have you met your brand’s expectations?
Aris Maroulis: First of all, he is very popular in China, especially among young people, so he has brought the Montblanc brand to more young people, which is very important for the Montblanc brand. Secondly, Yang Yang will often challenge himself. In addition to constantly trying new skills in the field of performing arts, he is also a person who is brave to explore in life. This spirit is in line with Montblanc’s long-standing philosophy. This year, Yang Yang came to the SIHH Montblanc’s showroom for the first time. Everyone was very excited. Yang Yang visited the Montblanc’s showroom design and also wore a new Montblanc star series full calendar watch to participate in the grand dinner.
Home of Watches: Before you have rich experience in many industries such as retail, fast-selling and light luxury, then which aspects do you think watches can compare with your previous industry? What are the differences?
Aris Maroulis: Compared with previous experience, there are still many differences in the watch industry. There will be a clear trend change in the fashion industry, and it is not a five-year or ten-year change. It is a change that is refined to each year, so it is unlikely to make a plan for the next decade in the industry. However, the watch industry is different. Although it also pays attention to design, it pays more attention to heritage, history, movement and other aspects, so watch brands will have longer-term planning and will not blindly follow the trend. But the same is that the products in these several industries have different price product lines, and there are similarities in marketing methods, such as cooperation with KOL, cooperation with celebrities, and attention to social media promotion.
Watch House: Montblanc’s official e-commerce platform has been open for a long time, and what results have been achieved? What kind of relationship do you think is reasonable and balanced between the e-commerce platform and offline stores?
Aris Maroulis: Online development is fast, and I really agree with it, so Montblanc is also the first brand in the group to launch online services. Although we have not yet cooperated with Tmall or JD.com in China, but in the global field We have cooperated with well-known online malls such as NET-A-PORTER, so Montblanc is a brand that will not be afraid to try new things and new challenges. At present, the ratio of online sales of leather goods and writing instruments may be higher, after all, watches are different from other categories. This also shows that online and offline are not conflicts for the brand, but cooperate with each other. Many customers will first preview online and watch the model they want before buying in the store. How to cooperate to better promote market sales is the key.