REVIEW: Stas: Live Your Passion – Building a Watch Manufacture – Frederique Constant

Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

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An In-depth Profile of a Relative Newcomer Among Swiss Watch Manufacturers

Live Your Passion – Building a Watch Manufacture – Frederique Constant / Lebe Deine Leidenschaft / Aufbau einer Uhrenmanufaktur – Frederique Constant. By Aletta & Peter Stas, with Gisbert Brunner & Alexander Linz (Editors). Fully bilingual edition (English/German) published 2013 by Ebner Verlag , Ulm Germany. ISBN 978-2-8399-1199-3. Hardcover (green cloth, dust jacket), 398 pages, 29 cm x 25 cm; close to 1000 illustrations, majority in color; Keyword Index. Available online for US$ 150 (plus postage), and further information at
www.frederique-constant.com/en/book-live-your-passion .


Starting from nothing, with no experience in the horological field, to succeed in building, within only 25 years a vibrant and successful family owned company that designs, manufactures and markets its own brands of Swiss made watches, obviously requires a combination of determination, skill?, luck and self-confidence. But a Dutch couple of expatriate business executives in Hong Kong, underchallenged in 1988 with their midlevel corporate careers, would say that they completed that unlikely quest because they had an abundance of one more ingredient: a “passion” for their product.

The book under review is a highly personal, first person account (as told to two horological journalists) of that unlikely quest. At the same time a corporate history – undoubtedly including some carefully crafted corporate image and marketing strategy elements – it is at its core a fascinating and revealing personal story of two young entrepreneurs diving headfirst into the world of Swiss watchmaking and all its related technical, marketing and managerial challenges.

Any reader interested in learning more about how marketing. product design and manufacturing functions inside a midsized player in the contemporary Swiss watch industry will enjoy this book, and for any watch aficionado with a particular interest in one of their three brands (Frederique Constant, Alpina and Delmonaco) this is a “must read”. There is not much published on how this kind of company functions, and the book contains many tidbits of information which should be of interest to any reader with an interest in the contemporasry watch industry.
This reviewer is not aware of any other watch brand that has attempted to combine the personal, technical, and commercial elements of its history in this manner in an effort to cement brand loyalty with its customers and fans. All in all, this book is a rather unusual, enlightening and entertaining addition to the literature on contemporary watch brands.

Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Sussex NJ -- January 2014
 
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