— After less than three months in his new role, the General Manager of Perrelet presents his overall vision for the replica watches brand.
Industry veteran Tristan Boyer de Bouillane has spent twenty years in the Breitling replica watches industry, notably working for Charriol for eight years and at the high-end brands Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta for ten years until they were eventually fully absorbed into Bulgari’s watchmaking division.
One of the cornerstones of Perrelet’s communication up until now has been its disputed heritage as the inventor of the self-winding movement. Mr Boyer de Bouillane admits that this claim is contested and is therefore seeking to redefine the positioning of Perrelet as a “horological brand with its own movements, but not high horology”. We can therefore expect the product offering to broaden in scope, the new boss suggests.
The main thrust of the brand’s new strategy will be the exclusive use of in-house movements produced by the MHVJ (Manufacture Horlogère de la Vallée de Joux) on Soprod base movements. Like Perrelet, both the MHVJ and Soprod are subsidiary companies of the H1 Festina Group Switzerland, the Swiss branch of the Spanish watchmaking conglomerate that produces some 4.5 million Swiss replica watches per year, generating sales of 237 million euros.
All models in the 2015 Perrelet collection equipped with mechanical movements will therefore use an in-house movement. “I am not ruling out quartz movements altogether,” says Mr Boyer de Bouillane, “but they must be intelligent quartz movements”. The price range for this reorganized collection will span from 2,500 to 8,000 Swiss francs.
The distinctive spinning blades of Perrelet’s Turbine rotor will remain one of the cornerstones of the brand’s collection. But Mr Boyer de Bouillane has his own ideas about how this collection should evolve. “The Turbine should become functional, for example to arm a power reserve,” he says. The latest incarnation in this collection, presented ahead of Baselworld 2015, is the Turbine Skeleton. Although not functional in itself, the aluminium turbine in this model combines the playful element of the spinning effect with an insight into the mechanical movement, since once the blades reach a certain speed of rotation, the skeletonized movement is revealed in all its glory.
The Perrelet Turbine Skeleton has a 44mm diameter case available in steel with a black PVD coating or a 4N pink gold bezel. The inner bezel ring ensures optimal readability thanks to luminescent Arabic numerals and hour-markers. The hour and minute hands are coated in Superluminova, while the red seconds hand stands out clearly against this backdrop. The timepieces in the Turbine Skeleton collection are fitted with innovative black bi-material straps: calfskin leather with a polyurethane core to guarantee ergonomics and a comfortable feel on the wrist; or black rubber for a resolutely sporty look.