“My dreams are so simple: To bring Zenith a better precedence than it had before. We have the potential to double our position, even to threefold from where we are now .For instance, I Think we are going to make better innovations in the new collections because we have very strong team to do it.”
Aldo Magada, new President & Ceo of Zenith, brings innovation to their brand with 35 year of experience in the watch industry. Jean-Claude Biver, the Ceo of LVMH Watch Group, emphasizes that Zenith is bound to benefit from the new Ceo’s wealth of experience in the watch industry. This is reinforced by his strategic intelligence, his expertise of product development and ample knowledge within production and manufacturing. We spoke with Aldo Magada about Zenith’s future plans.
WHO IS ALDO MAGADA?
-Born in 1958, Zenith’s Ceo, Aldo Magada started working at the marketing department of Vifor after he graduated of the Jolla University in San Diego. In 1984, he joined the Swatch group and became Vice-president marketing at Omega between 1994 and 1998. Then He left Omega to be Ceo of Gucci Timepiece in 2000. Two years later Magada left Gucci and was hired to manage Technomarine, Reuge and Badollet. He set up a consultancy Troubleshooting Management in 2009. A year later, he was hired by Breitling as an international Director of Sales and Business Development. Aldo Magada is married with two children.
– You have been in the watch industry for a long time and you work with Zenith now. How do you feel about it?
-Yes, I have been in the watch making industry for 35 years. As everyone knows, Zenith has a leading part in the watch industry and I have never come across such talent and innovation. This is both fascinating and dangerous hence, you would like to endeavor the latest novelties and make sure that you are doing the best all the time for your customers. To be creative is very important.
– Being a powerful manufacture, Zenith has 600 patented mechanisms. This is very important for watch making. What do you have planned for Zenith?
-I think Zenith as a manufacturer is magnificent. It focuses on people to impress them each time with a new innovation. The latest product with El Primero caliber is very impressive. My dreams are so simple: to convey Zenith to a better position than where it is now. We have the potential to double, or even threefold our position from where we are now. For instance, I think we are going to make better innovations in the new collections because we have a very strong team that has the capacity to achieve it. My aim is to contribute to ensure novelties are better than ever.
-Where does Zenith take place in LVMH group’s price category?
-Jean-Claude Biver described this classification; we are in the middle price category. We have a different price category than Hublot because we do not share their same customer demographic. Our price is between 4900 CHF and 400.000 CHF
-Jean-Claude Biver emphasized that your in-depth knowledge of manufacturing and product development expertise is bound to benefit Zenith. What do you feel about working with Biver?
-Biver is not only my previous boss but also my good friend. We worked together from 1989 to 1997. In that long period we became very good friends. We have been communicating all the time. As you know he is a genius in watch making and marketing. I had a great pleasure working with him every time. Working with him is the same enjoyment as playing tennis with Andre Federer.
-You specified that you have been in watch making industry for 35 years. Certainly, you made your own rules and missions. Of Course, Zenith is an old brand with its own mission too. At which points do you converge with Zenith?
-My mission is Zenith’s mission whereas I cannot have a personal mission. My purpose is to add another strong ring to the chain in which is formed in Zenith. They have been in the watch making industry for 150 years and will continue for another 150 and will be as strong as ever. I hope I will be a reinforcement link in the chain. In Zenith’s history, if I leave a recognizable footmark to contribute its innovation, that will be marvelous.
-You have a strong market in China. Furthermore, the region has some problems and crisis …
-In the world, there are always crisis everywhere. Ukraine crisis, Syria crisis, the problems in Moscow etc… Zenith’s one of the strongest markets in the world is China.
There is a conflict here against the corruption. Of Course, we endeavor to make great efforts in this regard, especially in gold products. Rolex, Omega, and Cartier sell a large amount from this presence in China, but Zenith does not. People who are interested in Zenith products purchase them individually as presents for themselves, their families or close friends. That’s why we are up in volume. As a result, we are active in very competitive market. However, it is not the end of everything.
-What do you think about the new generations’ watch style? For instance, Montblanc made a smart technic timepiece.
-Everyone works on something but nobody knows exactly how large this market is. Everybody said Apple’s watch is coming and of course it should come. Well, is this going to eliminate the watch sector? I do not think so. Probably it will affect the sector to small degree. Another point of view is it might be an opportunity for the youngsters to be exposed to the wrist watch, considering many youngsters do not use them. They say their phones have time and that is enough for them. Those types of innovation make them forget about carrying the timepieces. However I am sure people never will not be able to give up traditional timepieces.
-What about Zenith? Do you make innovations such as that?
-Even though Zenith is a brand that focuses on mechanical manufacturing individuals continue to work on new innovations all the time.
As a manager who sees the smart watch, I cannot say it is never been adapted. Because it is already exist. We will see what will happen in the future.
-Since we are talking about the innovation, who will be the face of Zenith this year?
-We are considering different things this year. Zenith’s face will not be well known via a Hollywood star or Athlete. Choosing a well-known personality can sometimes take away from the product so we want our product to be the focal point, not the celebrity. Bacause it already exists. No doubt it is up to the budget. Classical cars will continue to be the main attention this year and we will continue to use them.
-Finally, what do you think about the Turkish Market?
-I visited Bodrum and Istanbul on business and I enjoy it very much. Turkey is a rapidly developing market but it is not mature yet. People understand what we want to say easily.
Personal relationships are excellent and this makes you strive harder. Same as Switzerland, Turkey has two types of customer groups. As you know some markets only target to tourist in Switzerland. It is the same in Turkey, also.
It might be nonsense but nevertheless, I like this peculiar situation in a way. Everything is formed more clearly than five years ago. It is a big country and they recognize better and understand the easier every other day.