Spanning 20 countries across Europe, Asia and America, Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the most iconic fine watch brands, renowned for its innovative mechanisms and eye-catching models. We met Renaud Pretet, regional brand director for the Middle East and Turkey, to talk about the stylish boutique on Nişantaşı’s AltÄ±n Sokak, and the increasing interest in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s ladies watches.
When did Jaeger-LeCoultre enter the Turkish market? What was the main motivation behind this move?
We have been present in Turkey for quite some time, and in our archives we even have some some historic pieces recalling Turkish design, such as the back case of the iconic Reverso. However, the brand's presence had been relatively small until 2008. By then, the brand had opened a boutique in the Nişantaşı area, and its investments in the Turkish market continued smoothly and surely. Turkey is a country where there are many watch connoisseurs and collectors, and Jaeger-LeCoultre, a point of reference in haute horlogerie, needed to cater to them with a proper boutique and a dedicated local team.
Why did you pick Nişantaşı as a location, instead of other luxury shopping centres?
Nişantaşı is a classic location for shopping in Istanbul, like Place Vendôme is in Paris or Fifth Avenue in New York. It is full of heritage and tradition, a place where most of the world's luxury brands are present. In this sense, Nişantaşı is very similar to Jaeger-LeCoultre's brand values: it is an icon in fine watchmaking, and has expressed traditional values since 1833. Nişantaşı is also where we have 'time' to welcome connoisseurs and watch lovers, discuss our passion and present our latest creations within a perfect environment.
How would you describe the typical Jaeger-LeCoultre connoisseur in Istanbul?
Nişantaşı caters for Turkish connoisseurs: most of the people entering the boutique know our brand, our history, our models and why Jaeger-LeCoultre is an important name in Swiss watchmaking, having produced more than 1,200 different movements to date and registered close to 400 patents. Recently, we have also seen an increasing number of women inquiring about our latest jewellery creations, the Rendez-Vous line featured on actresses such as Diane Kruger.
Which Jaeger-LeCoultre models are bestsellers in Turkey?
Istanbul is a crossroads of civilization, so the bestsellers are very diverse: Reverso and Master Control are iconic models in Europe so they are loved by Turkish connoisseurs as well. On the other hand, newcomers to the brand prefer our sport watches, especially the Master Compressor Extreme Lab lines, tested in extreme conditions, or the AMVOX line, inspired by the world of Aston Martin. These models combine the technical innovations of their state-of-the-art cases with the sturdy reliability of high-end watch movements.
What are some of the new products that you would recommend this season?
We usually present new products twice a year. Once during January’s Salon International de Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, where we focused on an extremely technical, yet elegant watch this year, the Duomètre à Sphérotourbillon; and once during the Venice Film Festival, where we unveil some of our stunning creations for women. This year, a new high-jewellery Rose as well as the latest Rendez-Vous line will be unveiled and worn by the stars in Venice.