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Part 2: Luxury Watch Market, interview with Ulysse Nardin CEO Patrick Hoffmann


Last December, one of the prestigious Swiss watchmakers based in Le Locle, Ulysse Nardin settled in Nigeria, opened its mono brand boutique in the heart of Abuja. The opportunity for Magnates Place to find out more about this subject from Mr Patrick Hoffmann, CEO of Ulysse Nardin, who was kind enough to answer my questions a few days before the Baselword event.


Magnates Place : Ulysse Nardin has recently opened a flagship boutique in Abuja, Nigeria. Could you explain your strategy and the reasons of this approach?


Patrick Hoffmann: The initial idea of opening this monobrand boutique was initiated by our partner, Zakaa, in Nigeria. It didn’t take us, the management of Ulysse Nardin, long to say yes to this entrepreneurial venture.

Being represented in Abuja in a multibrand store for some time enabled us to get a better picture of the market and to meet some of the potential customers.

Our partner, Zakaa, and we soon realized that we needed to bring the story of Ulysse Nardin to Abuja. With the recently inaugurated monobrand boutique our customers and friends of Ulysse Nardin can feel, touch and learn about our product first hand and experience the brand in a luxury and exclusive environment.


Ulysse Nardin in Nigeria

Boutique Zakaa in Abuja, Nigeria


What is the potential of the luxury watch industry on the Sub-Saharan Africa market? What is your market share? Ulysse Nardin creates timepieces that are unique. We have found a good number of customers who appreciate our timepieces and understand our brand. 

Therefore, I believe that the potential for a niche brand like Ulysse Nardin should not be neglected.


Congratulations, Ulysse Nardin has just celebrated 170 years of existence. Would you accept to share with us your longevity secrets? What are the next ambitions of the brand? Ulysse Nardin stands for pioneering spirit for innovation and independence in the manufacture of in-house movements, applying new materials and technologies. These core elements will take us into the next decades.


We can notice that numerous small manufactures of the watchmaking industry are subjected to the pressure of the performance curves of the balance sheets. How can these luxury market actors be protected? We have continously invested into new and innovative products. At the first day of Baselworld we will introduce a new advertising and communication concept which will reflect the heritage of the sea Ulysse Nardin has.


The watchmaking industry uses, among other techniques, twice as much imagination to cope with a declining activity. What are the assets on which your company counts on?

History, tradition, true values and innovation are driving forces for the brand.

Classico Monkey

The Year of the Monkey 2016 – Classico Monkey – Ulysse Nardin –

Classico Collection

Year of the Monkey – Classico Collection – Ulysse Nardin –


What are you passionate about in the watch universe? What would be the definition of a beautiful watch? A timepiece that is perceived and valued by its owner as a piece of art.


Could you share with our readers your three 2016 favourite watches? Grand Deck, Annual Calendar and FreakWing


 Some interesting figures about Ulysse Nardin? 1846 – 2016 : 170 years of company history. 1996 – 2016: 20 year anniversary of the iconic Marine Collection. Over 300 passionate Ulysse Nardin watchmakers, engineers and artists crafting exclusive and genuine manufacture timepieces with outstanding design and aesthetics.


What watch are you wearing today? I just returned from a wordseries race leading to the America’s Cup in Oman and therefore, I am still wearing one of the Diver Artemis Limited Edition timepieces. 


Diver Artemis Limited Edition - Ulysse Nardin -

Diver Artemis Limited Edition – Ulysse Nardin –