Den (Getat.ru): Is it hard to run a watch business in Germany at the present time?
Thomas Ickler: Business is good. We have steadily increasing sales over the last years. Despite the slowing economy in many parts of the world we reach the same figures as in 2012, which was an excellent year. Together with new models coming in the second half of the year we are very confident to get a successful business in 2013.
Den (Getat.ru): How much «German» are your watches? «German made» or «Swiss made»: what is better for business?
Thomas Ickler: LIMES and ARCHIMEDE have a very high German %age as eg the most expensive part of the watch — the watch case — is manufactured by us. Also the complete design and assembling is made in Pforzheim. Depending on the model the German manufacture will be 80% or higher.
I do not know if we would sell more watches if our brands were ‘Made in Switzerland’. We are very happy to manufacture our watches in Germany, based on the long tradition we have here in Pforzheim.
Den (Getat.ru): What is the connection between Limes, Archimede and Autran& Viala?
Thomas Ickler: Limes, Archimede, Autran & Viala and also Defakto (the brand of my son Raphael Ickler) are manufactured in our factory.
Den (Getat.ru): Who are your main rivals?
Thomas Ickler: This is difficult to say. Better ask customers and non-customers. There are models in our collections where we have more competitors, e.g. the Archimede Pilots watches, which we nevertheless sell excellently. If you look at the Archimede OutDoor or the Limes Pharo models there are not so many comparable watches on the market.
Den (Getat.ru): Please, tell about upcoming models.
Thomas Ickler: We just launched the Archimede Pilot Red / Blue / White
and the OutDoor with white full luminous dial
Next models will be the SportTaucher GMT (a ‘poor man’s GMT’ with Eta 2824 and a 12 hour rotating bezel), the SportTaucher Compass (with rotating bezel showing the cardinal directions and to use the watch as a compass) and the Pilot 42 B with a B-watch dial with small hours inside and large minutes outside.
For Limes we will launch several new models the Pharo line. An all new handwound model with the Eta 6498 and the Pharo Cartouche with the Eta 2824, which is a revival of a model Limes offered years ago with a different case.
The latest watch Limes launched is the Pharo DayDate
Den (Getat.ru): Some words for Russian customers and (who knows) some discounts for them:)
Thomas Ickler: The Russian market is very interesting for us but the awareness of our brands is not yet high enough. In the past we sometimes had problems with the shipping of watches to Russia, but since we use DHL it is running better. The price relation of our brands is excellent as many customers write in several forums all around the world. We never give any discounts. So we hope that we will get more friends in Russia even without special prices.
Best regards from Pforzheim, Germany