An interview with Dimitri Gouten, Asia Pacific President of Piaget. Featured

The Polo FortyFive Chronograph, the latest in luxury watches.
by 14 October 2009

As a true pioneer in combining jewellery design with watchmaking, Piaget has been an important player in the luxury world ever since its founding in 1874. At SIHH 2009, the Swiss brand presented the Polo FortyFive Chronograph. This titanium model is a first for Piaget, one of the many innovative watches that it has launched over the past century. We have the pleasure of interviewing the President of Asia Pacific of Piaget, Dimitri Gouten, who tells us about his passion for the luxury world and his love for Asia.

What are some of the things we must know about Piaget?
Watch-making know-how is how we got started as a company. We do all our own jewellery design, setting, and the entire manufacture of high jewellery pieces. Sometimes we combine both to create a high jewellery complicated watch! Creativity allows us to come up with very diverse products. This year at SIHH we debuted our very first titanium watch. Back in the 70s, we came out with the world's very first cuff watch, for example. You can expect anything luxurious from Piaget!

Can you describe Piaget’s presence in China?
Piaget as a brand has been in China for a long time. We've been in Hong Kong since the late 60s. From our studies of the China market, Piaget ranks as one of the top luxury brands in the Chinese people's perception of luxury. With both the mainland Chinese and in Macau we have been successful because we have a good distribution network.

What is the Chinese market like?
Markets like Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, etc, are more mature. The huge growth of the market in China really started about five years ago. Not just the main cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, but also second-tier cities like Shenyang and Dalian. Macau remains a huge market for Piaget. We have a boutique at Wynn Macau, The Landmark Macau and The Venetian Macao.

How do you see this market in the near future?
Lots of people see the trio of Hong Kong, Macau and Shenzhen as a vision of the future. There is synergy between these three cities. In my opinion, there's no doubt that Shenzhen plays an important financial role, while Macau will be a great protagonist in this region too.

What are some of your favourite restaurants in Hong Kong?
L’Atelier de Robuchon remains truly one of the best places to enjoy French and European cuisine (Tel. +852 2166 9000). For Chinese food, I like to explore local places like "dai pai dong". This is where chefs set up their own restaurants and create exceptional dishes. In Shanghai I liked "El Willy" a lot (Tel. +86 21 5404 5757). Asia is a great place to live.

For a list of Piaget boutiques, click here.

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