Cartier’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer Arnaud Carrez is taking on dual responsibilities for image branding, communication and client strategy. He explains what it all means
To discover more about Arnaud Carrez and his role and the new novelties, Options caught up with him at Watches and Wonders in Geneva and asked him about the past 26 years he spent with Cartier. He replies: “It has been an exciting journey since 1997. The Maison has endless stories to tell regarding its historical background.” He admitted that even after 26 years at Cartier, he is still discovering new things, is constantly surprised by what he finds and feels fortunate to work with the right people.
The journey can be tiring, intense and incredibly exciting. He mentions that Cartier is widely regarded as one of the top luxury brands, gaining increased desirability worldwide across all generations. “It has been an exhilarating journey, and I am delighted to be a part of it alongside everyone else.”
After all these years, he feels the same excitement as when he first started his career with Cartier in 1997 after graduating from the ESCP Europe Management School (formerly ESCP-EAP) in Paris. He worked his way up through the ranks, and in 2005, Carrez relocated to Japan as the marketing and communication director for Cartier Japan. In addition, he oversaw the corporate image, curating significant exhibitions such as the Cartier Foundation at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo and the Cartier Collection at the Tokyo National Museum. He also played a pivotal role in the successful launch of Cartier’s inaugural e-commerce site in Japan in 2008.
Recognising his expertise and accomplishments, Carrez was promoted to managing director of Cartier Switzerland in 2009. In 2013, he assumed the role of managing director of Cartier Hong Kong and Macau, taking charge of the brand’s development and overseeing overall business operations in these crucial markets.
With his experience at Cartier, Carrez explains that this year’s Watches and Wonders collection follows the same strategy as previous editions. He says: “It is a continuation of our strategy, built upon two pillars. The first pillar revolves around our iconic collections as we nurture and expand them.” He adds: “The second pillar focuses on developing and strengthening our high-end offerings, particularly in the realm of high jewellery watches.”
All the novelties presented this year reflect Cartier’s ability to push the boundaries of taste, character, and creativity. The brand holds a distinctive position as the watchmaker of shapes. Carrez says everything starts with good design techniques, highlighting the importance of Cartier’s commitment to innovative and exceptional designs. Some collections we saw include the new Tank Normale, Tank Américaine, the Pasha, Baignoire, Panthère, Santos de Cartier, and Clash [Un]limited.
Cartier has always been synonymous with emotions and luxury; the new collection strongly reflects these values. The design creations offered in the new collection are aesthetically beautiful and evoke deep emotions. Carrez says: “At Cartier, we are in the business of evoking emotions. Whether people purchase our timepieces, accessories, or jewellery, they do so to indulge themselves or to gift their family and friends. Emotion is the primary motivator for many of our clients. Emotion is intricately linked to beauty and art, which are not universally agreed upon but possess character and style, making them key differentiators for Cartier.”
With changing tastes and preferences among the new generation, Cartier is actively engaging with younger customers. Carrez says that Maison is dedicated to transformation and has a strong presence on social media platforms. He further explains that Cartier emphasises being relevant to the present time, not only through creating new objects of desire but also through their various commitments, including family, art, culture, and social and environmental causes.
Carrez explains: “Cartier is a global citizen, and the adoption of this new stature has not gone unnoticed. It has sparked curiosity and increased attention. As a result, we need to be even more clear and transparent about everything we do. When discussing sustainability and our responsibility towards the planet, there is no alternative but to prioritise these values, especially for luxury brands.”
When asked what stood out to him in the new collection, Carrez highlighted the Tank Normale. He explained that it symbolises and resonates with Cartier’s philosophy as a watchmaker of shapes plus the softness and delicacy of the watch, whether in its strap or bracelet. He adds that the Tank Normale is a tribute to the historical piece and a modernised rendition.
With form and character
This year’s Cartier’s offerings at Watch and Wonders 2023 feature the Maison’s message on how the timepieces make their mark in the present and a perpetually evolving future. Arnaud Carrez, the senior vice president and chief marketing officer, mentions that Tank Normale stood out for him. Here we outline the reasons why.
• Created in 1917 by Louis Cartier, the Tank is considered one of the Maison’s most remarkable creations in watchmaking history.
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• The Tank Normale is the seventh opus in the Cartier Privé collection, a meeting place for collectors of the Maison’s legendary models.
• The Tank Normale introduced this year features an hour and minute version, retaining the original’s proportions and bevelled sapphire crystal.
• It is available in yellow gold on a brown alligator strap and platinum on a black one.
• The model can also be obtained with a yellow gold or platinum bracelet, incorporating satin and polished finishes reminiscent of the 1970s.
• Cartier has incorporated a skeleton movement into the Tank Normale and a 24-hour complication depicted by a skeletonised sun and crescent moon.
• While the minute hand completes a full rotation in one hour, the hour hand takes 24 hours instead of the traditional 12-hour rotation.
• The yellow-gold version has a brown and green alligator strap and a blue sapphire cabochon on the winding crown.
• The platinum version is accompanied by a burgundy and grey alligator strap, showcasing a ruby cabochon on the winding crown.
• The collections’ watches adhere to the original Tank’s design codes, including blued hands, a cabochon on the winding crown, rail tracks, and a secret signature.
• The skeletonised Tank Normale is a limited edition of 50 numbered watches.