Marc Montagne is the head of Digital Marketing and e-commerce for Vacheron Constantin, one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world known for their excellence in technical and aesthetic signatures. In this episode, we look at the rise of e-commerce, the development of smart watches and the impact that counterfeits have on the luxury watch industry.
Vacheron believes in the creating a luxurious experience when selling their products, and that’s why they enhance their interactions through various touchpoints like social media, e-commerce and messaging applications. The consumer can project the watch on their wrist with images of various wrist sizes wearing the product, as well as personal employee to client interactions using applications like WhatsApp. This elevated customer experience makes the shift to e-commerce swift for the clients of Vacheron and other luxury watchmakers that have joined the e-commerce space.
“There’s heritage in which brands are distributing their products…”
Most high end brands are still not selling online, which could be deemed a mistake. When you look at where customers are purchasing, a lot of it tends to happen digitally, at remote auctions, over the phone, on the internet through resellers. Marc believes that the Industries goal and purpose is to serve your customers, so if clients want to purchase online, they should be free to do so. However, he question we answer in the episode is : Does it take away from the brand?
The Counterfeit Market
In this episode, Marc talks to us about the counterfeit market and the effects they have on the customers journey. With watches that are highly-collectible and vintage being forged at an alarming rate, it’s crucial for the customer to to be cautious and informed of when purchasing luxury watches. The counterfeit watch industry promotes unethical practices, causes value deception, as well as a lack of craftsmanship with inferior materials and frequent malfunctions leading to a poor customer experience and dissatisfaction.
“It’s a massive threat to brands because You don’t want to project an idea of negativity… It’s supposed to be enjoyable, fun and about passion.”
The Smart Watch Movement
With Apple, Samsung and competitors emerging into the watch-making space, competition is rapidly spreading. Marc talks to us about witnessing the rise of digital watches, and how they have developed into becoming life-saving products. In this episode we talk about the conflict of craftsmanship in these watches, and his opinions on the movement.
“There’s a space for only one watch… So there’s tough competition…”
This article summarises podcast episode 97 “Luxury Watches and the Rise of E-commerce” recorded by CX Insider.
Written by Octavian Iotu
Full Episode Transcript
Octavian: On today’s episode of the CX Insider podcast, we’ll be talking to Marc Montagne, the head of E-Commerce and Digital Marketing for Vacheron Constantin. We’ll be discussing the premium watch industry’s rise in popularity, the breakthrough of digital watches, the consequences of fake watches on the market and much, much more. Before we get started, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and leave a like if you enjoy the video. It would mean the world to us and most importantly, your like will show us that you appreciate the content we’re putting out. Enjoy the episode. Welcome back to the CX Insider podcast. I’m your host, Octavian. I’m joined today by Greg and our special guest. Marc, could you tell us a bit about yourself, who you are and what you do? Sure.
Marc: So thanks for for having me today. My name is Marc. I’ve been born and raised in Paris and ten years ago I moved to Switzerland because I wanted to work within the watchmaking industry, which is a passion of mine. And so I started my career during the six years ago where I’m in charge of Digital Marketing and E-Commerce.
Octavian: Okay, great. Could you tell us more about the Vacheron Constantin brand?
Marc: Sure. So Vacheron Constantin is well known among watch collectors for being the oldest watchmaking brand that has been continuously operating since 1755. Being a watch enthusiast myself, What I can say is that compared to other brands, what is really interesting with Vacheron is that Vacheron is extremely rich as a brand. There’s been obviously a lot of watches that have been made over the centuries. But also today when you look at the offering, it’s extremely rich, as I was saying. So you have men’s watches, women’s watches, you have simple time only watches, much more complicated models. You have models in stainless steel up to platinum and all the gold watches where there’s a lot of craftsmanship involved with enameling, engraving, gem setting for, for example, up to a classic watches for us are still produced in small quantities. So yeah, I would say this is pretty much Vacheron Constantin.
Octavian: So why do people still buy and invest in luxury watches?
Marc: I mean, there’s a few reasons for that. So the market has completely changed for watches. When I started collecting myself almost 20, 15 years ago, you could come and go in a store, buy a piece, sometimes even with a discount. And it was done almost instantly. Today there’s it’s a matter of supply and demand. Basically, you have a much more people that are requesting watches than manufacturers are able to to produce because most of the watches are done with a lot of manual work. So you cannot scale this to infinity. Probably this has to do with digital social media. There’s much more visibility on watches as opposed to ten years ago. And so people are looking for for watches basically. And the brands are not always able to come up with the level of demand. So it basically means that more and more people are trying to acquire the same pieces and the capacity of productions are capped. So an alternative for people that are unable to buy the watch within what we call the primary market, they’ll find someone else who is willing to sell his piece that was acquired previously but at a higher price. And so this creates larger tension on the on the products and therefore prices that go up and up and up. Therefore, this makes some pieces a good investment. I should probably mention this also when I introduce myself, but I wrote last year a book called Invest in Watches, which is precisely talking about this topic of watch investment.
Greg: I ordered your book this morning. So it’s out for delivery. So I’m excited to read it. That’s so cool.
Octavian: I need to get that book as well.
Greg: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll read it and then give it to you and get another copy. But yeah, I’m excited. I am excited to read it. One of my friends has just started a business collecting and-
Marc: You’ve seen a lot of people that have been discovering a bit on watches almost as a passion. And then when they realized how the market was evolving, a lot of those new collectors and some of those collectors have eventually turned themselves into dealers as well. And this whole thing was also accentuated a couple of years ago. Manufacturing capacity of the brand were impacted. The production that was already limited became even more limited for some people. They had less opportunity to actually enjoy their money and do stuff with it because they could not travel or (make) these kind of purchases. No one could even simply go to the restaurant. So some also found a hobby of watch collecting and people were trading watches online, which had an effect in terms of the value of the piece, which kept rising as well. Over the past year this has, I would say normalised prices have gone down. But for the most desired pieces, most of them, if not all of them, are still trading over their retail price.
Greg: Interesting. A lot of people seem to buy a watch because of the brand and then the status symbol that maybe gives them. Do you think that’s true? Do you think people buy watches for a status symbol in some respects? Because like you say, some people will do it to appreciate the piece and as a collector and like someone who’s passionate. And I guess you can be both. But do you think people would do it also for that status? In some respects?
Marc: For sure, it is definitely happens. But what I found personally interesting as a collector is that there’s so many different ways that you can actually enjoy a piece. Let’s say if I was investing in in stock, it’s just because I want to invest and make a money out of this. And there’s nothing wrong, obviously with that. But it’s limited in a way. Versus watches, you can enjoy them for potential investment, for status, as you were mentioning, because of the history of the brand, because of the design, because of the technicality of the movement or because of whatever famous owner previously owned a piece or a similar one, because it was eventually your grandfather’s piece, there’s like an infinity opportunities to actually enjoy pieces. There’s also a lot of brands and myself, I’m fortunate of being involved internally at one of the most interesting brands that has ever been, but there’s a lot of other brands as well which are interesting in their own aspect as well. So it’s extremely varied, I would say, as a landscape, which makes it extremely interesting in my opinion.
Octavian: I wanted to talk a little bit about online shopping. So what effect do you think online shopping has had within your industry?
Marc: It’s really interesting because obviously digital has changed everything in all the industries and watchmaking industry. When you compare it to other industries. Let’s say fashion, for example, is watchmaking is much less advanced. And there’s many reasons for for that. I suppose maybe one of them is the fact that as an industry, even if we are looking ahead of us, we’re also looking backwards to our heritage, etcetera, which we are extremely proud of. And there’s other industries where that are exclusively looking forward. And so we tend to be a bit less fast paced than other industries. And so we’ve been quite late at adopting e-commerce and digital overall. Most of the brands, especially at the higher end brands, are not selling online yet. I believe personally that this is almost a mistake, if I may, in the sense that whether we like it or not, extremely high end watches are already traded online. When you look at auctions, let’s say, where the most expensive watches are being traded or sold, this happens most of the time remotely. Sure, there’s people here and there that are within the auction room and raising the pedal, but most of the bids are actually either coming over the phone or over Internet. And so this is how customers are shopping, watches and pretty much anything. And so, yes, I believe it’s just a trend that people are living and us as an industry, but pretty much anyone and anyone would say when you’re evolving in the industry, your goal and your purpose is to serve your customers. And so if your customers are willing to purchase online, then so be it. Then my job will be to facilitate that. It doesn’t mean, however, that I should force people to buy online. No, people should buy wherever they want. And even at myself, I’m representing e-commerce. I’m more than happy if, thanks to the website, thanks to social media, I’m inviting people to book an appointment at one of our boutiques and and those customers end up transacting in our boutique that’s perfectly fine. Also something to consider is that with high-end watches, the distribution is limited because first the production, as I was saying, is limited. But you don’t see hundreds and thousands of boutiques around the the world or in a single country. It’s usually first brands are aren’t available in all countries and whenever they are, depending on the size of the country, it can be one, two, three boutiques, you know, but it’s never you won’t find a boutique in all the cities. So this is where obviously you see where I’m going. E-commerce can be extremely convenient because let’s say if you look at a territory like the US, which is extremely large as a territory, obviously we do have a few boutiques, but not enough to cover the entire country of course, which means that depending where our US collector would be residing, he or she would have to take the plane to buy a piece, which would not be convenient. So this is also a way that e-commerce can eventually support and be in growth as a service to our customers.
Greg: You were saying now about why some of these brands choose not to. Do you think it’s partly also because they feel like it takes away from their brand in some way in terms of holding on to the traditional, you know, go to a boutique, select your piece, try it on. Do you think they believe that it actually takes away from the brand experience? Potentially?
Marc: Yes, I mean, there’s definitely an element of that for sure. And I will say also again, it’s an industry that is not moving extremely quickly. And when you look at how watches were sold, I’ll tell you, I’ll go back a bit in history like back in the years and not that long ago actually watchmakers were just in charge of actually producing their watches, but they were not distributing their watches directly to consumers. They were distributing their watches to distributors who then in turn would have their relationship with the customers and distribute the pieces. And it’s been fairly recent that brands have started to have their own boutiques for some of them. And up to today, there’s still like big names in the industry who are still distributing their products to a partner. So yeah, it’s fairly recent that people that brands are doing D2C (Direct To Consumer). And so I will say the following evolution to to that is e-commerce. It goes a step further, but some brands have not done that switch yet already. And yet there’s this heritage, I would say, in the way that brands are distributing their product, which does not help. And for sure, as you were saying, given the price of our products, the complexity of those products as well as your brand, you would you want to ensure that customer experience is up to the level of of the product, of course. And so this adds an additional challenge. It’s actually rare to be able to see like the place where the product you have comes from. We’re surrounded by products, of course, but how many times have you visited the actual facility where that product was made? This is extremely rare or never happens, and even when that’s the case, it might not have all those elements of craftsmanship and manual work involved. And it’s extremely rewarding to see this as a customer for sure.
Octavian: So Marc tells us about the convenience of e-commerce to watch buyers and the customer experience that can be created. But how do brands like Vacheron create a luxurious experience when selling their products, and how is that customer experience evolving in the future when looking at the dynamic of boutiques versus the rapid rise of E-Commerce?
Marc: So for me, this is about like, again, going back to this idea of service and increasing the level of smoothness of every transaction and every interaction. And what we see is that customers are interacting with the brand in so many different touchpoints, whether it is obviously social media, the website, they are emailing, there’s our boutiques, we have concierge over the phone as well. And so customers are interacting all those many different touchpoints. It’s sometimes a challenge to be able to identify the customer across all the touchpoints and really be extremely efficient in the way we are answering any kind of request query or whatever. And so I was mentioning the website, the idea is to get the highest level and all the aspects of, let’s say the website. So it means that if we go to content, then content must be in terms of quality, the highest quality. Of course, when you’re in the context of a watch, let’s say, especially within e-commerce, you want to help the consumer project him or herself with the watch on the wrist. So you need to include the pictures of the watch being worn ideally on on different sizes of wrists. It’s always extremely hard to especially if you’re a bit inexperienced to really from the simple figure of the diameter of the watch to understand / project yourself with the actual fit of the watch on your wrist. You’d be surprised when you look at websites of watch companies. Some of course include those kinds of wrist shots I was mentioning. But it’s not systematic, you know, and it’s extremely complicated for customer to really be able to to understand the actual fit and look and feel of the product without these kind of shots. So you want to have excellence in the assets that you are producing. You want them to show the quality of the finishing of your product. You want to have something that is extremely smooth. We also constantly monitor the way our users are interacting with our website because we want to understand if there’s any pain points on the website. And sometimes we see that people are taking on areas of a page which they believe is a button which actually isn’t. So it means that for us our website needs to be slightly tweaked to compensate for this behaviour. So you basically want that in all the ways that people are experiencing our touch points. And was elaborating on the website, you want to make their lives easier. And going back to the E-Commerce aspect, you want to make sure that you propose the relevant payment options, the relevant delivery options as well, so that you’re basically removing any kind of friction.
Greg: And what about your boutiques? So how do you deliver such a high quality of service in a boutique? Do you do anything different or like magic as such, as, you know, such a premium brand? Or do you really just do a lot of the things quite simple but very well. How do you sort of approach your boutique experience?
Marc: I’m not myself an expert of Boutique and Retail, but what I can say as well, there’s a lot of training involved in our staff are extremely knowledgeable, know extremely well the product. What is extremely interesting is that customers that are looking for these kinds of products are people that really enjoy watches like no one buys a watches, especially these kind of watches out of necessity. You know, it’s because going back to the reasons why people were acquiring watches that we touch upon and at the beginning. People really enjoy watches. The analogy that I often make is that there’s a lot of people that use a car every day that absolutely hates the car driving, getting stuck in traffic, whatever. They just need it to go to work, you know, versus when you see someone wearing a watch, you know that person, that person made the choice of actually wearing the piece on the wrist. It’s because that person loves watches. There’s no other reason why, you know, I mean, there’s so many other ways, maybe, I’ll admit, even more convenient of getting time. So if you’re actually wearing a watch on your wrist, is that you’re really into into watches. So customers are really passionate about our products. And what I’ve seen myself within the boutiques is the staff is extremely knowledgeable and extremely good at sharing that passion and nourishing that passion that customers already have, and they’re extremely good at supporting this as well.
Greg: Yeah. What role do the account managers play with your customers?
Marc: It’s really possible for an actual customer to know the sales staff he or she will be interacting with. Like if you purchase a watch from someone, eventually you buy a second watch a couple of months of year later, you probably still buy it from the same person, you know, which does not happen (usually) you know where know I’m wearing my AirPods here, I don’t know if I’ve ever interacted with a human when I did the purchase. And should I buy another Apple product at some point I’ll probably buy it from someone else, you know, And because of the scale, of course, I mean, there’s millions, tens of millions of of AirPods being sold each year. And this is a single product within a single brand. You know, the scale for watches, luxury watches, handmade watches is completely different. So it means that there’s a a level of connection and interaction with the staff, which is incomparable as well. Our customers are collectors and they enjoy talking watches with their sales staff. There’s really this relationship that is being created and I see it myself because in a way I’m on both sides because I’m a professional, but I’m also a collector myself. And so I see it from both sides and it’s not rare at all. I’d actually say it’s been quite common for a customer to chat over WhatsApp with his sales associate, you know, so the relationship is completely different, but I would say it’s aligned with the level of product that we are talking about.
Octavian: When we think of buying watches, we usually think brand new and fresh out the box. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s go through the different types of watches that are available on the market right now.
Marc: So there’s watches that you buy brand new, and what I would call like second hand., and then I will make a distinction with vintage. Second hand would be like a modern piece. You can also be one just bought and that eventually sell shortly after or watches that were bought a couple of years ago and that are sold. So it’s pretty much modern watches that are being traded. And then there’s actual vintage watches. And for some brands that have been out there for centuries, it could be like really old watches. You know, it can be watches that are literally centuries old back to pocket watches, for example. And here there can be the notion that you mentioned of restoration, you know, you would not really restore a modern timepiece. You would service it as you would service regularly, let’s say a car.
Greg: And it’s fascinating to watch pieces or watches be restored. It’s so fascinating because they do it at such a minute scale. And when you see these advanced pieces that they create and how many extremely small pieces make up a complication within a watch or whatever it may be, it will blow your mind if you’ve never seen it before. And I spent hours like, you know, just watching them.
Marc: I completely agree. And I see the kind of content you’re referring to. And indeed, even myself being surrounded by watches on a daily basis, I’m still as captivated as the first day. But when it comes to like real vintage watches, some of them need actually to be restored. And something that I’ve always found extremely exciting at Vacheron Constantin, that the brand has been around for 268 years now.
Marc: So a lot, obviously, but the brand is still able to completely service, repair, restore literally any kind of watch, even those back in those days. The trend as a market and collectors have picked up a lot on on vintage watches. And this is something that I developed in the book as well. There’s like so many vintage pieces that people have started getting really excited about and where the value has been increased a lot as a collector. Those watches are also interesting to acquire because of the heart that goes with the acquisition of such pieces because. I would say the actual process today of purchasing a modern piece can sometimes be a bit frustrating in the sense that, as I was saying before, we don’t always have the stock for the piece because there’s too much in demand. So you have to inquire for the piece. And eventually after a couple of months, sometimes even years, you get the piece. It delays a bit the acquisition of the piece. Sometimes for some models it’s really multiple years and you might probably won’t even get it because you know, the demand is so high that, you know, after five years, who knows if the product is still being produced anymore? You know, who knows if you’re still interested with the piece as well at times. Modern customer journey of acquiring a modern piece can sometimes depending on the models, etcetera, be a bit frustrating. On the other side, when you’re looking into really not the modern second hand, but really vintage pieces, this can be really exciting because you discover models whether they are being offered at auctions or by other collectors or at watch dealers, etcetera. You never really know what’s going to pop in their shelves or at auctions. Also, those watches back in the days were not produced to thousands or even hundreds of pieces. Sometimes for some of them it was only a handful. So the products are actually rare.
Octavian: According to news reports by Luxury watch specialist Watchfinder and Co, over 1 million watches were identified as counterfeit and circulating the UK, with a whopping 40 million counterfeit watches being sold worldwide annually. So what role does the counterfeit market play when it comes to the watchmaking industry and the selling of premium watches?
Marc: Obviously it’s illegal to start with. So it’s a nightmare. It’s a phenomenon that touches more some brands than others because obviously people that will be counterfeiting our watches will do it for the purpose of money, which goes without saying, of course. And so they will target either watches that have massive volume (value) because it means that there’s a lot of customers to basically rip (off) and also sometimes for extremely highly collectible watches, vintage pieces where a single detail on the on the watch dial, whether it is like the font of of the brand back, how it was made back in the days etcetera like those super small detail can completely change the value of your piece and it can like triple the value of a piece, a piece that was already a couple hundreds of thousands, you know, So it can really make a massive difference. So there’s indeed some counterfeiters that are really specialised in changing a bit like those watches to make them appear as more valuable, more rare, more whatever, and sell them for a massive profit. And there’s a lot of crazy stories that you have seen even recently in the news of counterfeited watches that were eventually sold at auctions or stuff like this that went almost under cover until they were exposed. So it’s a massive threat because for brands, you don’t want to- I mean, you don’t want to project an idea of negativity and issues, etcetera. It’s supposed to be something enjoyable, fun and about fashion, etcetera, and not about counterfeiting and illegal stuff. You know, as brands, you want to protect this. And this is why you were mentioning also vintage secondhand restoration, etcetera. When brands are involved with restoration, they are also acting as an authenticator of the product. So this brings trust to the market and this is what collectors are looking (for). So it’s a it’s an issue that penalizes both customers and brands and that everyone needs to to tackle at some point.
Greg: I think we could do an entire episode just about that, that part of the industry because the lengths people must go to in order to forge and counterfeit must be incredible, because if you have such a rare piece, like you say, the level of detail going into the actual making of the piece, but then the box, the paperwork, the authentication that then comes with that, people can go to extreme lengths to get it through like you say, an auction house.
Marc: Yeah, for sure. And you mentioned box and papers, but those can be counterfeited as well. But also the good news that says that you can also trade a watch without those box and papers. So so it’s not necessarily a blocker. I would make the analogy with painting. You probably heard or seen stories of crazy and those people were actually talented, you know, actual painters that were able to reproduce crazy paintings as if it was 1341 or whoever, you know. But it touches it’s something that touches art. And I would say watchmaking is a form of art as well. So yeah, for those really high end vintage pieces, which are almost similar to a painting, those are basically the same issue.
Octavian: Marc You’ve you’ve mentioned Apple products and for a few years now, Apple has also dived into the world of watches. What is your opinion on digital watches like the ones that Apple make?
Marc: That’s a super interesting topic, which I suppose could also make up for a full episode, but I’m happy to comment on this. Yeah, it’s an interesting thing to witness because ultimately, though you have two wrists. You mainly there’s mainly one wrist where you’ll be wearing a watch. I mean, of course I’ve seen here and there collectors or people wearing two watches, but it’s not a big use case. And the point I’m trying to make here is that there’s this space for one watch. So it’s a- there’s a tough competition in a way, you know, but the products are completely different. Out of curiosity, I’ve bought myself an Apple Watch two years ago, not just at the beginning i thought the product back then was quite disappointing. Eventually it improved quite, quite a lot. And it’s just a good product ultimately, and it has great features which are honestly hard to compete with because probably seen in the news as well, stories about Apple Watches that have literally saved lives. That’s quite a strong statement and one that is hard to to fight against. It’s interesting to to follow how this segment is evolving because it still has flaws as a product like Power Reserve, the battery is extremely minimal. You know, it barely covers a full day, you know, but eventually there will be a time where it will be maybe a full week or even solar powered, and then it will be an almost perpetual it’s a complete different product. Like you don’t get the same pleasure of wearing a luxury mechanical watch. And ultimately today I’m wearing it for two reasons whenever I’m playing sports and alarm to wake me up in the morning because I’ve found it’s more I prefer being gently seeing the gentle vibration it does on the wrist in the morning versus like a massive alarm that wakes me up already mad and they haven’t even started yet. But that’s pretty much the only use cases I do, and I don’t really get any pleasure. It’s a piece of plastic and electronic. It has nothing to do with the level of craftsmanship of the mechanical watch which I wear every day and haven’t seen myself in a single day like switching the watch. I literally would never get this with a smartwatch. So yeah.
Greg: It’s a good question, Octavian, and it’s an interesting world. It’s almost like comparing a car to a pair of shoes because they’re just completely different thing. They both help you get somewhere, but they’re completely different.
Octavian: And that concludes the end of the episode. I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to the podcast. If you have, don’t forget to like share or subscribe to the podcast on your preferred channel. If you’d like to let us know what you think, comment down below and follow us on LinkedIn for regular content centered around the episodes. Also, this episode is brought to you by ACF Technologies, the global leaders in CX software. Now let’s get into some quick fire questions. Do you remember your first watch?
Marc: Yes, of course. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the brand. It was quite popular in France. It’s called Flik Flak. It’s basically watches for kids, you know, So it’s it’s a brand from the Swatch group. And it’s really their line for kids. So it’s almost a tradition as a kid to learn how to read time with this watch or as soon as you’re able to read time on a proper clock, you get gifted the swatch. So I remember it extremely well. Actually, it’s a smaller Flik Flak plastic watch.
Octavian: My next question What’s your favourite place to go on holiday? Have you got any specific sort of activity that you like doing?
Marc: These past years with the crazy busy lives that we’re all living? I’ve enjoyed more and more going somewhere extremely remote where there’s not a lot of people around and just taking time to rest, to, to read, to, to write and do these kind of activities. But there’s not a single place where I like doing this. It’s more different places that I happen to discover by doing this. But if I had to name one place, it would almost sound opposite to what I was just saying. I’m a huge fan of New York, and so it’s clearly a busy place.
Octavian: Incredibly busy
Marc: Incredibly busy indeed, quite far from Europe. It’s not a place that you go like there just for the weekend, but I just happen to absolutely love the energy of the of the city. And there’s always so many different things to see. And what I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated with the city is that whatever you like in life or any passion you have or any whatever food you want to taste or whatever, there’ll be not only a shop, but sometimes even a full neighbourhood full of that, you know, so, so you can really enjoy a lot of things and a lot of many completely different things. And obviously there’s a lot of crazy watch dealers there outside of watches, whatever you’d like you’re certain to to find it there. And I absolutely love it.
Greg: What about coffee or wine?
Marc: I’d say more. I enjoy both. And I’m French. Obviously, wine is part of our culture, even though I’m not a massive expert. I’m a bit of a coffee geek and I like, you know, having the. How do you call the-.
Marc: Beans. Thanks. Yeah. So I like, purchasing, like, the whole beans and and putting it in my espresso machine and finding beans from different suppliers and trying them out and testing them, etcetera. Mostly every day. Have coffee. I don’t have one every day.
Greg: French food or Italian food.
Marc: So that’s a tough one. But I must admit, Italian food has maybe a slight edge on the French food. And I’m saying this as a pure French guy myself. French is really amazing. And there’s something about Italian food that we love and that will maybe place Italian food slightly, but very slightly ahead of French food.
Octavian: What’s your favorite sport, either to watch or to play?
Marc: I’m a huge soccer fan, both to watch and to play. So watching coming from Paris. I’m a I’m a Paris Saint Germain fan, obviously. Oh, yeah. And I play it every week, actually. But indoors, you know, five on five. And this I enjoy quite a lot and I’ve been playing again another sport table tennis. I’ve been I used to play it as a kid. As a teenager, I used to do a competition as well. Completely stopped for a really long time. Six months ago, I started playing again and really enjoyed it and I felt I needed simply to add a bit more sports within my life. And it was a nice complement to the soccer I was practicing. I’ve happened to to discover the Lebrun brothers, which are two young brothers, younger than 20 years old, and both of them are in the top 20 world. So it’s crazy. They have like a massive level. And with the Olympic Games in Paris coming up next year, they’ll be obviously representing France and they have, I hope, chances for medals. So I’ll be looking at it and rooting for them, of course.
Octavian: You must have been upset about the World Cup final.
Marc: Yes, of course.
Octavian: With France.
Marc: Yeah, indeed. But the game was fantastic. And in all fairness, I mean, the first 80 minutes were completely one sided and were for the Argentinian team. So of course, as a French supporter, I was upset and I would have much preferred France to win a third title. But clearly in that match, for sure, that game Argentina deserved it. So yeah.
Octavian: So aside from watches that you own, what would your dream watch be? Have you got one in mind or have you got all your dream ones already.
Marc: So clearly I have room in my heart for many more watches. It’s not about that one single model that would end it all. It’s more just like living the journey, you know, and discovering new and new watches. Whether it is from new brands that I don’t know or don’t own yet or watches from brands I already have and like to explore a bit further their history. So it’s, yeah, more about the journey and learning new stuff. And sometimes there’s like crazy pieces that pop in at auctions. I did not even know I wanted them, but I see them and I’m like, okay, I need to get them. Obviously I’m not able to acquire all of them, but still, it’s fun to see watches coming in. And sometimes just knowing that they’re around, even if I don’t own them myself, just knowing that they’re part of a collector’s collection that enjoys the watch is already enough for me. And it’s the journey more than the possession of a specific watch in itself.