Paul Kupelian

Prestige Watches Guide, July-August 2015

Time is in his hands. He is one of the masters of the Lebanese watches market.Prestige met him to evaluate the market and to understand the culture related to watchmaking. Maria Nadim asked Paul Kupelian. Here’s what he said.

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Paul Kupelian, COO Retail Operations, Holdal

Some Lebanese are real watch amateurs looking for a heritage brand

How do you assess the Lebanese watch market? How did it evolve over the years? In the mid to high- end segment, the Lebanese watch market has developed tremendously with all the major brands being now present in the market.

How does the current political situation affect the market? Local customers are still passionate about fine watchmaking. The most important factor is the lack of tourists from the Gulf markets, which have been absent since 2012. Unfortunately we haven’t done anything to attract other tourists that are known to be big shoppers like the Russians or the Chinese, knowing that most European and American tourists are either business men or tourists who are not clients of fine watchmaking.

What does the Lebanese look for the most in a watch? Many non-connoisseurs are after statement and wearing an ostentatious logo or brand. You simply need to look around in a social gathering and you will see a lot of people wearing the same brand as a sign of belonging to a certain social class… but in reality it is not always the case. On the other hand, some Lebanese are real watch amateurs that understand the value behind fine watchmaking and they will look for a heritage brand, a specific complication, an innovation in the mechanism or in the design, a limited series, a classy and subtle dial, etc. They basically buy the watch first for their own satisfaction, often as an investment building their own heritage, and not only to show it off.

Cadrans has adopted a multi-brand boutique strategy. Why? What are the advantages? Until now, we have taken the choice of having one of the finest destination flagship in the world, as multi-brand Maison with an exclusive corner for each of our leading brands. This enables the customer to have a unique experience, discovering a wide selection of brands in the most elitist environment.

Cadrans will soon reopen its doors in Dbayeh, where it all started. Can you tell us more about that? Cadrans will be going back to its roots! The first Cadrans store opened in Dbayeh in 1979 and we’re now opening a second Cadrans in the same location to come closer to our customers that are living in the Metn and North area. Having said that other exciting projects will be announced in the near future.

How would you describe the «Cadrans» experience? The Cadrans experience is one of a kind in Lebanon: from the entrance, you are immersed in a world of refinement and luxury, with branded corners for brands that are amongst the most prestigious brands in the world of high end jewelry and watches. A team of professional Sales Associates are there to understand your needs and guide you in your choices. The aim is to offer our customers the most self-rewarding experience which would make them feel they want to come back!

Your go-to watch for the day? VacheronConstantin Overseas Chronograph in stainless steel for a day spent at the beach or A. Lange &Söhne Saxonia Dual Time for a busy day at work and during my business trips.

Your go-to watch for the night? The latest Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (Ref. 5270) or any other Patek Philippe complication watch depending on the circumstances.

Feminine watches, with or without complications? Without complications for the day, I would say the Chaumet Class One Paris and definitely with complications for the night. I have a special weakness for the Patek Philippe Ladies Chronograph (Ref. 7071) in white gold.

If you have to choose one complication which would it be? Why? It would be a perpetual calendar, the smartest mechanical complication of all. It holds all the functions of a calendar in it and only needs to be adjusted once in a lifetime.