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Interview: Montblanc CEO Nicolas Baretzki

As far as the iconic figures that shaped the 20th century automobile industry are concerned, Enzo Ferrari ranks highest alongside Henry Ford and Ferruccio Lamborghini. Ferrari has become his own brand, with a greater personality than the real thing, due to the oversized aura of motorsport and its always exotic, expensive and rare production vehicle. This is a mark that has succeeded in maintaining its position as one of the most coveted and ambitious brands in the world. Headquartered in Hamburg this year, Montblanc, one of the world’s leading luxury writing instrument manufacturers, has decided to partner with Ferrari for its new collection. “It’s a story that started many years ago,” explains Montblanc CEO Nicholas Barretsuki about the origin of the collaboration between the great powers of Italy and Germany. “We started talking and understanding how we could tackle this from a Montblanc perspective to create a story to tell together. Obviously, going through a great character. [collection], [highlighting] As an individual and the founder behind the car maker, I thought it was the best way to approach it. “

Montblanc Great Characters Enzo Ferrari Edition

The Great Characters Enzo Ferrari Special Edition has cones engraved with two dates, 1898 and 1923. The former is the year of Enzo’s birth and the latter is the year he won his first victory on the racetrack. The Great Characters Enzo Ferrari Limited Edition 1898 features a Ferrari 125S engine grill-like cap and metal used for the barrel, a wheel-decorated Au750 solid gold rhodium-coated nib with a rollerball and fountain pen. It can be used as both. Ferrari 250 GTO.

The Great Characters Enzo Ferrari Limited Edition 98, on the other hand, has only 98, but with the bodywork design elements of the 1952 Ferrari 500 F2, won the first F1 championship in Scuderia.

Montblanc Great Characters Enzo Ferrari Edition LE98

As Barretsuki says, the collaboration between Montblanc and Ferrari has attracted enthusiastic interest. He gives an example of an Italian client who traveled to a Swiss boutique because he couldn’t find the product in his home country and paid a down payment of € 25,000 to secure the parts. He sent an email to Baretsuki to let him know, and he said the CEO had returned a down payment, but there was no more down payment.

The collaboration with Ferrari does not end with this collection. The two brands have announced a multi-year partnership, but the scope and consequent products are still obscured. “I didn’t want to have just one collaboration. When I talked to Flavio Manzoni, Ferrari’s head of design, he was an Italian, a design enthusiast, a story lover, with Ferrari about Montblanc. He said he felt the same. It really put us at exactly the same level. “

Montblanc Great Characters Enzo Ferrari Edition LE1898

Other than collaboration, businesses are starting to boom. “Covid is over from a business perspective and is no longer a reference before Covid,” Baretzki triumphantly declares. Recent research by Bain & Company may support these claims. The personal luxury industry has witnessed a V-shaped recovery this year, according to Bain’s report released last month. It grew 29% to reach € 283 billion and the size of the market increased by 1% compared to 2019. And while Omicron was able to put in a spanner for Bain’s predictions made weeks before new variants were identified, the personal luxury market is still 360 billion by 2025. It is estimated to reach 380 billion euros from the euro and have an annual growth rate of about 6-8 percent.

Montblanc’s parent company, Richemont, does not share individual performance figures for the brand within its portfolio, but the overall level of product deployment and physical expansion provides a measure of business robustness. .. For example, in April of this year, Montblanc opened a new flagship store on Madison Avenue. This is in stark contrast to other luxury brands that have been called one of New York’s most coveted retailers. Because Bain said in a recent report that the Americas is now the largest global market, worth € 89 billion, or 31% of the world market, ahead of China, which accounts for around € 60 billion or € 21. The decision to swim against the tides of the ballet seemed foresight. Percentage of pie.

More recently, Montblanc has opened its first independent boutique in Nigeria. “The success of Montblanc was built on very often being one of the first luxury maisons to enter a new market. We were the first to officially enter India 25 years ago. We were one of the first Maisons to enter the Brazilian market and one of our first Maisons to enter the Chinese market with our own subsidiary with a history of more than 20 years, “says Baretzki. ..

Regionally, last month Montblanc opened a new boutique in a mall in Oman, Muscat. The boutique is managed by the Rivoli Group, the 13th Montblanc boutique operated by Rivoli in the region in a 26-year partnership. Here in the UAE, Montblanc unveiled a special limited edition watch, the Star Legacy Orbis Terraram LE71, to commemorate the country’s 50th anniversary. He also produced a short film titled “Inmy Time” that explores the relationships that six prominent Emiratis, including Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice President Saratarak and marine conservation activist Mohammad Alfalashi, share with their home countries. “I don’t know one country in the world that has a 50-year vision. And when you can see what’s happening and why we can be confident. It’s certainly the market we usually invest in, “says Barretsuki of the UAE.

The day he met at a brand boutique in The Dubai Mall last month, he enthusiastically pointed out that the Maison would renew its website in Arabic and revamp its e-commerce service to offer the same. -Daily delivery. As Bain pointed out in the report, after a 50% increase from 2019 to 2020, online channels continued to increase by 27% from 2020 to 2021, reaching an estimated market value of € 62 billion this year. Importantly, brand-managed websites now make up about 40% of the online segment, up from 30% in 2019. In short, brands need to double their e-commerce efforts rather than relying on them. An external e-commerce site for turning wheels for them.

In Montblanc, E-Commerce has significantly expanded its reach with the CEO, citing the example of China. “In China, we have independent boutiques in 70 cities. Last year, we delivered to 360 cities through e-commerce in China. [E-commerce] It’s a completely different vocabulary, a completely different understanding of what the future is, “he says.

Montblanc Star Legacy Orbis Terraram LE71
Montblanc Star Legacy Orbis Terraram LE71

Writing instruments and accessories continue to be at the heart of Montblanc, but watchmaking is also one of the biggest components of the business. Laurent Lecamp became Managing Director of this division earlier this year. Montblanc will return with a physical presence at the Watches & Wonders exhibition next March. Baretzki is looking at the evolutionary model of the upcoming watch trade fair. “We really need a watch week for a moment in a year. This is the point where the world knows that the focus is on watchmaking and is the place to put together reference brands in watchmaking.” He dismisses the idea that watch trade fairs are no longer relevant and emphasizes the need for powerful digital content. Accompany a physical event on the ground in Geneva. However, it is the physical event format and positioning that Baretzki now wants to reduce transactions and gain experience. “This is no longer a wholesale event, nor is it a place to welcome and sell products to all retailers. It’s about talking about the Maison and showing novelty. Still behind to see some of our clients. There are several rooms in, but it’s no longer the main role. When you enter the Montblanc booth, you’ll see 80% of the dedicated space for exhibiting your collection. “

From a creative point of view, the next few months at Montblanc will be revealed by Marco Tomasetta’s full effort to seize the brand’s artistic reins just a few months ago. “His Montblanc’s first collection was completed in six weeks. This is what he did. [working in] “The world of fashion,” says Givenchy’s former creative director, Tomasetta Barretsuki. “The first thing I did [look for in a creative director] Having someone I believe can have a real creative vision of what Montblanc is. And understand Montblanc, not his creative vision, and translate it into products and global plans.It was really amazing [of his new collection] He has succeeded in defining code that can be used not only for this one collection, but also for defining elements that are meaningful to tomorrow’s Montblanc. “

https://gulfbusiness.com/interview-nicolas-baretzki-ceo-of-montblanc/ Interview: Montblanc CEO Nicolas Baretzki

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