One Very AP Man

At the recent opening of the Audemars Piguet exhibition in Shanghai, CEO François-Henry Bennahmias sat down with HK Golfer publisher Charles McLaughlin and shared his views on golf, hip-hop and the future of the watch industry

Chinese actress and singer Song Jia


CM: As well as reinventing the brand in new markets, you’ve said that the secret to longevity is to “grow slowly” and you’ve actually restricted production as others expanded rapidly. You also said that you wanted to expand the proportion of women who are buying watches. How's that going? I think at the time it was like 75/25, male/female?

FHB: Yeah, now we're at 70/30 and you have to understand when you say 30, that we don't monitor women who are buying men's watches. It could be more, because we see that more and more actually. Of seeing women buying men's watches, but overall it's getting there.

There is a big launch in a few days in Florence, in Italy with a new treatment on gold (called “Frosted Gold”), which is going to be huge... I showed pictures to women at a dinner with 20 VIP's in Hong Kong a few days ago, and I showed them pictures and the video of the watch that's going to be launched and they were blown away. I think we're on to something that's going to make a real, real statement.

I've been working for the brand for 22 years. I've never been so excited, actually, to launch a women's watch. It's not a new design, but it's a special treatment on gold that basically makes the watch sparkle without a single diamond on it. That's going to be sick.

CM: Yes, and then you're going to find men buying women's watches…

FHB: You know what? Potentially, because there are men who are looking at this and saying, "I want one." We are not expecting that, but the watch is really “wow”, and that's going to help us even bring in more women to the brand.


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