Episode #17: The man behind the military brand shines a light into his world of watches
When you think about adventure watches, or those made for Special Operations use, you could be forgiven for jumping to Luminox. The brand has built up an enviable reputation for super tough time pieces which can take real punishment, whether it’s for an ultra-triathlon or diving to the ocean depths. Famous for being selected by the US Navy SEALs these watches require little introduction.
Much of this is due to the efforts of a gentleman called Pierrick Marcoux. For the last five years Pierrick has been the Head of Global Marketing for Luminox with roles including product development and launch, PR and digital work and relationships with ambassadors. He has worked closely with Bear Grylls, and the Icelandic Search and Rescue forces on strategic relationships to create some of the best Operational and Adventure watches of all time.
WatchGecko were lucky enough to sit down with Pierrick and pose some interesting questions:
1. What’s on your wrist at the time of writing this?
Our iconic Master Carbon Seal 3800 from the Navy SEAL series but I have customised it with an orange strap which we use on the Bear Grylls line. This is my own mash up mixing the Navy SEALs together with Bear. It’s a unique Pierrick Marcoux watch for today. This watch is not in the collection. It’s just one I did for myself for fun to test the strap and see how it feels to wear. I do that a lot, swap straps out, because consumers also do that. I see huge trend in this and brands have to think about it now.
2. What was the first watch you remember that left an impact on you?
Probably a watch that my farther bought for me when I was 17 or 18 when I graduated from high school. It was nothing really luxurious, it was a Festina and I remember it looked very sporty and had a yellow dial on it. I felt I had something really pricy on my wrist yet now I know 30 years later it was not. The yellow dial also reminded me of the Tour De France yellow jersey, and I love cycling.
3. How did you start working in and around watches?
I worked for Mondaine watches and I still feel so lucky they hired me for the role. I came in originally from Swarovski and that’s how I first was introduced to the watch industry.
Finish the following sentences:
4. The best kept secret in watches is...
In the Swiss watch world, everything is secret. From pricing to materials and I think that is why the world of watches is also appealing and fascinating. Now of course there is more transparency today but if you try to dig around you still don’t always get where you want to go, and that’s even coming from me as an insider.
5. The one watch that got away from me was…
Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Rule of 3 limited edition to 333 units. I wanted one for my best friend but by the time I realised this they were gone! I could not add even one! China and USA are our biggest markets and ordered 70% and the rest went globally. So, the Head of Marketing had no chance to get an example. My solution, in the same spirit in 2022 there will be a non-limited version so I will have to settle for one of those.
RB: Did Bear even get one? PM: Yes, Bear got one.
6. If I wasn’t working in watches, I’d be working in…
Show business or live events or something around sport. I am an amateur triathlete.
7. What is one thing you think is missing from the watch industry today?
This answer applies to me, my company, my brand, and the whole industry. We should be more daring! We should take more risks. We are still, I think, in a traditional business and we need to be more daring in designs and communication. There is an appetite for brands with more personality. A brand getting this right is, for example, Seven Friday. I must quote my father here. He always said take the risk or lose the chance. I would like to see more of this spirit in the watch industry.
8. Tell us about one watch that took your breath away recently?
My father-in-law recently gave me an Omega Constellation from 1961. I am not sure about the market value but for me the emotional value is huge.
9. What is your most prized possession in your collection?
See my answer above!
10. Date or no date?
11. What was your most recent watch purchase?
A Nomos Glashütte Ahoi Atlantik I bought last year. It’s funny as I work for a Swiss company and this is German made but I love the very clean, graphic, minimalist lines and I like to follow Nomos they do a good job in terms of marketing and communication. For me as a professional marketeer I find them inspirational.
12. What watch will you be adding next to your collection?
I’d probably consider a Breitling Endurance PRO or alternatively a TAG Heuer CONNECTED. Both of them would work well while preparing for my next Triathlon!
13. What is something you feel passionate about in the world of watches?
There is always something new to learn. If you have a curious mind there is always something new whether it’s the technical or business sides. For example, on the retail side it is changing daily from how we distribute to going on-line. Also, there are new watch brands almost every day. So, from distribution, to new brands to technical design - that’s what makes the industry extremely interesting to work in. For example, our new ranges will be made from recycled ocean plastic. Its technically very impressive.
14. What is one piece of advice for people out there looking to make it in the world of horology and watches?
Never give up! The Bears Grylls moto. This is true for many things in life.
15. Tell us about something you’re working on that is really exciting?
We are in the process of finalising 2022 novelties, in short there will be more Bear Grylls, more automatics and more watches made from ocean plastic.
We'd like to take this time to thank Pierrick for his time and for featuring on 15 Questions With.
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