10 Questions in 10 Minutes with Our Very Own Brand Manager, Brigit Bircher

Q1: Just to start off, we would love to hear about your background and the career path that brought you to Mondaine.

“I studied advertising and communications in Bern, worked in several agencies in Bern and Zurich. In my last job before I joined Mondaine, the agency specialized in communication for pharmaceuticals and food, including restaurants. Since the hobby of the owner was wine, he imported niche wine specialties mainly from France and Italy, and marketed them to wine aficionados and restaurants. This is where I found my interest and passion for “true” products. In the advertising you have lots of ideas and creativity but when you finish a campaign you do not have something that is “real to touch”.

And this is what I found with Mondaine. You can develop ideas and a concept while accompanying a team from the very first sketch to the final product and the communication package. And when it’s realized, you have a real product you can touch and also see on the wrist of people you do even not know. To me, this is great.”

Q2: Why did you choose the watch making industry? Why Mondaine?

“It was not particularly the watch industry that I was aiming for. I wanted to work for a company that produces something real, not only ideas. I find the watch industry to be emotional and fascinating and the passion that is behind this product I explored only later while working for watches.”

 

Q3: What is the number one thing you love about your job and working for Mondaine?

“This is difficult to say, as there are many interesting parts in my job. Certainly the fact that every day is different and that I have the opportunity to travel and meet lots of very inspiring people and cultures and to learn from them. Mondaine has a classic timeless positioning. But it is possible to vary greatly on this topic. The DNA of the brand is creative and at the same time, it must stay true to the origin and authenticity. Also, I like that there is lots of dispute about time in general in the watch business. Maybe because this small timepiece on our wrists reminds us that time is endless in general but limited for us. There are lots of philosophic topics in our business everyday about time. You just need to keep eyes and ears open.”

 

Q4: In your opinion, what makes the Mondaine brand so unique and special in this competitive market?

“Certainly the clear and distinctive look of the Swiss Railways clock for the SBB collection is a very strong element. The recognition of this face is unique. Once you have seen this dial you will always remember it.

For the Mondaine Helvetica line, it is the authentic background along with the subtle elements in its design that instinctively will remind you to something that you see every day and everywhere, which is the font Helvetica.These two lines are a perfect match. The SBB line is strong, graphic, and highly recognizable, while the Helvetica line is subtle and with the possibility of variation. Both lines were created with the same DNA and authentic Mondaine background.

Simple – Swiss – no need for more.”

 

Q5: Personally, which Mondaine collection or specific style adheres best to your fashion sense?

“We are not a fashion brand. We are a style.

The dial of the SBB watch is given. We do not want and cannot change its design. But we can celebrate it with different case designs, straps etc. With Mondaine Helvetica, we are more flexible as you can use this fantastic font in various ways. The only limitations are the dimensions of a watch…

But we stick always to our DNA – simple and timeless. This watch is an accessory that can even be a perfect match and complement to a crazy outfit.”

  

Q6: The Mondaine brand carries a very specific contemporary style and minimalist design. So, we are curious to know from where do you draw your inspiration for design? Are there any brands that inspire and motivate your sense of style?

“From everywhere. Just keep your eyes open in your everyday life. Of course we monitor the watch industry and its trends. But it is amazing and fascinating how inspiring it is to work with a clear core DNA. You are like, in a way, infected with the story and the content. 

There are of course some watch brands we admire very much, like e.g. Nomos, Max Bill etc. and we are inspired by their stringent design and positioning.”

  

Q7: As we know, Mondaine has created several incredible watch collections. From the stop2go and Helvetica collection to the Erik Spiekermann collection. All of these collections contain truly one-of-a-kind timepieces. Tell us, how do you go about selecting different designers to work with?

“The basic designs and the collection concepts we worked on are based on many years of collaborating with Martin Drechsel. He is very much familiar with the brand's DNA and understands very much the modest beauty of the brand concept. We believe that it is a huge advantage to have a long time cooperation and partnership with a designer. What concerns special editions, such as The Spiekermann collection, grows from the topics that we are targeting for introducing new models. Then we approach the person directly with the proposal.”

 

Q8: What is your secret trick or tip to keep you on track and on time throughout your day?

“Espresso. And of course the privilege to work with an inspiring and motivating team along with long time clients that are highly dedicated to the Mondaine brand.”

 

Q9: What is your favorite pastime these days?

 “Sitting on the back of my horse Nadia in the forest or doing some jumps with her in the jump garden.” 

 

Q10: What is some advice you can give to young professionals looking to break into the watch industry? 

“If you can try it, it is a fascinating industry. Stay true to your values and explore the time – in every sense of the word.”


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