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Interviews

Montblanc’s mighty watch men: CEO Jerôme Lambert

Montblanc CEO Jerôme Lambert

From idea to watch. This realisation is a process in which the CEO, the Watch Division Director, the Creative Director and the Ambassador step onto the stage and play a leading role with devotion, dedication and love. These past four years a lot has happened and changed at Montblanc when it comes to watches. 0024 WatchWorld talked to four initiators of these changes. In this first of four episodes: CEO Jerôme Lambert.

When I was finally able to distance myself a bit more I saw some things I didn’t like. And so we started all over

“We are now in my third year as CEO. The first year was easy. Doing surprising things is relatively simple. Coming up with a subsequent collection in the second year was a little harder. We knew that many eyes were upon us and that obviously generates extra pressure. The third year is a period of growing up, of maturing slowly, and that is a difficult process. In my opinion the new 4810 collection is a successful line with a clear design and an amazing nine different movements. The watches clearly have a form that follows functionality without becoming mechanical. Realising the collection was hard work. The collection represents traditional and classical values, but translated into today’s standards. Elegance is an important element so I went looking for famous and not-so-famous classic watches for inspiration and to study their proportions and their appeal. The entire collection was finished in April 2015. The procedure is that you present the collection to the Richemont committee at this point; after all, Groupe Richemont is the owner of Montblanc. This presentation was very successful and we were given the go-ahead to take the proposed collection into production. But somewhere deep down I wasn’t completely satisfied. I was too close to the process in which the watches were given shape and when I was finally able to distance myself a bit more I saw some things I didn’t like. The balance wasn’t quite right. And so we started all over.

Jerôme Lambert wears the TimeWalker Urban Speed Chronograph e-Strap
Jerôme Lambert wears the TimeWalker Urban Speed Chronograph e-Strap

And now it’s looking ahead and preparing for my fourth year. Montblanc is still a relatively young player in the watch market. This makes us very ambitious and so are our objectives, obviously. The ambitions within Montblanc are shared ambitions. I think it is very important to share things within the manufacture.

Every Monday morning all the 160 watchmakers come in and they share the same ambitions that I do; to put Montblanc on the map by making watches that matter. And by recruiting Davide Cerrato as the Watch Division Director  we have significantly boosted our team. He is an ambitious man with vision, who has previously proven himself at Panerai and Tudor, but still demonstrates total drive. All in all I am looking at that difficult fourth year with a large amount of confidence.”

 

Tags : Jerôme LambertMontblanc
Lex Stolk

The author Lex Stolk

Lex Stolk studied Journalism in Utrecht and it was during his time as a student he developed a passion for mechanical watches. He has spent his entire career in the publishing industry working for a wide range of publications before entering the watch world professionally seven years ago. His work for several watch publications made it possible for him to combine his love for both watches and magazines.