Daniel Compton, Audemars Piguet General Manager UKBy Tracey Llewellyn
How long have you been with Audemars Piguet and what has been your progression through the company?
I have been working with Audemars Piguet for almost five years. I started in a commercial role, looking after sales in the UK and late last year I became the Country General Manager. It has been an incredible journey so far. I have been in the luxury goods industry for my entire working life and have always had a passion for watches, so working for a manufacture such as Audemars Piguet is, of course, a fantastic opportunity for me. It feels very special to evolve within a family-owned business as opposed to a traditional corporate structure. The bond among the team is close, as are the ties between the markets and Head Office. You just know you are part of something special.
How is the job going and what has changed for you on a day-to-day basis?
The job is going well – although it is only the beginning. The most significant changes include looking after my team, as well as getting to grips with aspects of the business that I didn’t touch upon before. And I am really enjoying it. Operations and marketing take up a significant part of my day-to-day job, given our plans for retail expansion in the UK market. Watch this space…
What changes have you implemented so far?
We’ve been recruiting team members for our new UK boutique. Furthermore, we have introduced a number of changes internally regarding responsibilities within the team. We are also moving towards targeted customer-focused activities, following our global strategy. All of this is just the beginning. The UK is one of the leading markets for the brand and we are constantly trying to improve and innovate: as such we are also developing a new “Private Lounge” concept, which we will unveil soon to welcome our customers and offer an exclusive experience with Audemars Piguet.
Tell us more about this.
This concept is important to us, as it allows us to offer an exclusive and private experience to our customers in the heart of London, one of several key cities for Audemars Piguet. The location of the Lounge has not been confirmed yet, but what we can say for sure is that it will be unique. This new retail experience will help us consolidate our current network of clients, and offer a space for those who want to try something different outside of traditional boutiques. It encourages different types of buyers and we want all friends of the brand to feel welcome and at home.
What else is Audemars Piguet doing to appeal to a new generation of watch buyers?
Watchmaking is built on traditional artistry and savoir-faire. As a multi-century legacy, it is important to get the younger generations to appreciate the craft and detail that goes into our watches. Education is key here, as mechanical watches are objects of art that will last a lifetime, unlike most fast-moving consumer goods today. We reach out to this younger crowd through our money-can’t-buy experiences, by offering tours of the manufacturing facility and museum in Le Brassus. We are currently building a brand-new Maison des Fondateurs, in collaboration with Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. We hope it will open in 2020, so stay tuned for more activations to come.
The Carolina Bucci Frosted Gold collaboration has been amazingly successful, are there any more watches in the pipeline?
Carolina is great and we have a very close working relationship with her as she is based here in London. The partnership between the two brands has grown stronger over the past couple of years and we are delighted with the enthusiastic reception for Frosted Gold locally and globally. I am positive that we will develop more projects with her as the partnership is an ongoing one. As you know, we aim to build long-term relationships with friends of the brand and we look forward to seeing this collaboration evolve in the coming years.