6 THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE NEW CEO OF ROLEX, JEAN FRÉDÉRIC DUFOUR
1. He was with a Swiss bank in Hong Kong for six months at the very beginning of his career, but since then he has been in the watch industry. “I started in sales and then moved to the production side, and was in charge of developing production plans, then moved back to sales, then to marketing, and to product development. My whole life has been dedicated to trying to produce beautiful watches.”
2. He started a long way off a CEO salary: “One of my first roles in the watch industry was in sales at $3500 month.”
3. He can get touchy feely about watches. “People should buy a watch for the feeling that you get from [it]… a very pleasant feeling. Pure emotion and true pleasure.
4. He once famously described Zenith as ‘David’ vs the ‘Goliath’ of Rolex: “If you look at Rolls Royce and Bentley….for a time, they were being made in the same place. You had Rolls Royce that everybody knew. But the insiders, the car people, they were not buying the Rolls Royce, they were buying Bentley. And today, Bentley is bigger than Rolls Royce. For me, this is like Zenith and Rolex. We have David against Goliath. They are a big company and we are a small company. We cannot fight with the same tools.
“For me, it’s not good business to try to compete with them in marketing, but I can compete in product and I can compete in the history and the story and I can compete with my history and his energy. I really want to push Zenith in the direction where we become a company for a buyer who knows. Who knows watches.”
5. He believes in the internet: “It is key, and it is increasing month after month. Why? Because you can connect directly with the people that you want to touch. Now I can prepare information, and give it to anyone who wants it. If I wanted to buy a watch, I would first go to the internet to research, to see the quality, the history, etc. And we see that. Every time we come to the internet with information, we have better response. It is the media of the future.”
6. He wasn’t at Roswell for Felix Baumgartner’s famous jump, despite trying: “I went to Roswell for the jump as it was initially scheduled on October 8th. As the mission was interrupted because of winds, I had to leave for some important meetings. I was unfortunately not able to return to the location due to a tight schedule. The jump happened on a Sunday and it was the evening here in Switzerland, so I followed everything from home with my family.”
Quotes sourced formed from a Q&A originally published on Timezone.com and from an interview on en.worldtempus.com