Ruben Mira stayed under the radar at Baselworld this year. Although Cyrus was present with a stand in the Baselworld Palace, issues surrounding the restructuring of the company prevented the newly anointed CEO from speaking publicly about his new role and what to expect from the brand going forward. With the structure of the company now much clearer (for the moment at least, Ruben Mira leads the brand as a one-man show), Worldtempus quizzed the new CEO about his strategy for the brand.
WorldTempus: Firstly, can you clarify the situation at Cyrus?
Ruben Mira: Cyrus remains an independent company. I don’t like to use the term manufacture in the horological sense and prefer to talk about our in-house movement, which is developed and produced by Chronode – an independent company that works for other watch brands but with which we have a privileged relationship.
“I want to keep the design of the Klepcys model for all future watches.”
What are your plans for the brand in the short term?
I think we need to clarify the identity of the brand with our retailers and customers. Prices have increased too much and this is what makes the difference. A watch has its fair value and as soon as a customer stops to think about the price and wonders whether it is too high or too low, then you have a problem. Customers used to care more about the brand name but since 2008 they are more focused on price. I think our identity is good but even if we focus on innovation, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we have continuously to change the design of the product. Aside from worrying our retailers, this also increases production costs. I therefore want to keep the design of the Klepcys model for all future watches, making it available in different dimensions.
And what about your plans for product development?
My basic strategy, for watches costing up to 50,000 Swiss francs, will be based on a strong design. Above this price level, we can do innovative things, perhaps in a more horological way than before. After all, it’s difficult to justify a 100,000 Swiss franc price tag for a watch that doesn’t have a tourbillon. Our product strategy is clear for the next 3-4 years, with a new chronograph and alarm watch planned for next year, to be followed by a double tourbillon skeleton and then a smaller version of the Klepcys.
How will you market the brand?
I’m not too keen on associating with personalities because I want to keep the identity neutral. When people see a particular person associated with a watch in an advertisement, they automatically tend to think that the watch isn’t too expensive. I want to avoid this pitfall. We also need to find the right balance between exclusivity and building for the long term.
I think the notion of exclusivity has lost some of its charm in the luxury industry. Is a five-star hotel still exclusive? Is a business class flight or a luxury car still exclusive when more and more people can afford them? I think that this is why there has been such an explosion in vintage watch and vintage car values, because they offer genuine exclusivity.