"Piaget is to say yes to life and we always walk on the sunny side of the street" – Piaget's CEO Chabi Nouri
A new stewardship
As one of the few female chiefs of a luxury maison in the watchmaking and jewellery industry, Piaget's CEO Chabi Nouri is in extremely elite company. Now, as she looks ahead to further elevate a global brand through a continued showcase of heritage and innovation, Nouri shares with Buro 24/7 Middle East her plans for the region, her legacy, as well as future trends...
It's been over a month since you officially took the top office at Piaget. How has the journey been since you took charge?
Quite exciting! It's a journey that I started more than two years ago, heading the communications, marketing and sales departments, so I had the time to really dive deep into the history and understand the maison. We have so many things to say and it's such a unique brand.
Your predecessor, Philippe Leopold-Metzger, had said that he concentrated more on building Piaget's reputation as a watchmaker, going back to its original roots. Are you looking to keep this direction or provide a more balanced approach between horology and jewellery?
Piaget is recognised as one of the most interesting watchmakers but today we want to accelerate the development of jewellery. We will try to have a balance but with our watches, sometimes you don't know if it's a piece of jewellery or a watch. I think the fact that we have that in our DNA makes it so much more interesting.
What can we expect from a Chabi Nouri-led Piaget?
A lot of positive energy! Piaget is to say yes to life and we always walk on the sunny side of the street. I hope this is what we will see more of in the future with me leading.
What legacies do you want to leave in the industry?
I think it's a little early to think about my legacy but I would definitely love to continue to have a family feel in the business and a company culture that really nurtures creativity and innovation while at the same time, a place where people have fun.
Innovation is key in the world of watchmaking and jewellery. Talk us through the recent breakthroughs by Piaget that have helped to change the landscape of the industry?
This year we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first ultra-thin movement, the 9P. It's a 2mm thin movement that was created in '57 and now 60 years later we are still using the same ultra-thin movement. As well, watchmakers were previously only playing with the bracelet and details around the dial but because Piaget's ultra-thin movement made the dial bigger, we could also work on the dial. This is a big innovation that Piaget brought to the horological industry.
piaget is forward-thinking and has audacity. It's a combination of a unique signature in terms of style, materials and stones
With Middle Eastern roots as well as present connections, would you say you have a good grasp as to what customers in this region want?
I'm half Swiss and half Persian so I might have an insight but more than anything it's the community of friends that I have that really talk to me. They are very expressive, both men and women, and through them I try to better understand the drivers for the Middle Eastern consumer.
Cycles and trends run in every industry. What do you believe will be the next big trend in jewellery and do Piaget already have a head start on trend-led projects?
The Piaget Possession bangles! This is a must-have because today we talk about stackability and these bracelets are perfect for that. Plus, you can play with the colours depending on your mood.
Sustainability is a buzzword at the moment. What does that word mean to Piaget?
It means a lot to the brand. We are trying to work the sustainability aspects not only in the way we source our gold and stones but internally too — we try to reduce the CO2 emissions in our production houses as well as share cars.
What are your plans for the Middle East?
Big plans! It's a very important region for Piaget and it's also very interesting because the Middle East consumers are early adopters. In terms of presence, we believe the number of boutiques (there are 100) around the world is quite well represented.
How have events like Arab Luxury World contributed in the sharing of insights within the industry?
I think events like these are very interesting. They give different perspectives on one subject especially since most of the time the topic is not clear science. It's a matter of hearing a lot and trying to craft your own vision according to what you think is relevant to your maison and employees.
Now, discover Piaget's novelties during the SIHH 2017.