Watch this space- Christoph is interviewed by Lux magazine

2013.03.19

 

Below is an excerpt from Christoph’s interview with Lux. For the full text please visit our press page.

 

> 1. How would you describe the design philosophy you bring to Tag Heuer?
Relentlessly improving and innovative, whilst respecting the past. Merging HEUER’s inspiring past with the best technologies, science and design of today to create the best products for tomorrow.

 

.. Do you prefer your heritage or your more radical designs?
I think that too luxury many brands are too sentimental, marketing copies of their own past. At the beginning of most of todays luxury brands are inventive founders who broke the rules, capitalizing on the latest technologies, creating the best fountain pen, timepieces and suitcases. Rather than glorifying the past they should ask themselves what would their founder do if he would be a young man in 2012.
Luxury needs to be less about the best of the past and more about the best of the today, if it wants to have relevance in the future.
Imagine if Porsche would have stopped in 1963 to improve and evolve the 911. Porsche never got sentimental, they always did the best 911 possible in terms of technology and design. Thanks to that spirit they have designed an evolution of era defining benchmarks in the 70s, 80s, 90s till today.
This is the same philosophy we have at TAG Heuer, which is why TAG Heuer has broken more movement records and won more design awards than any of our competitors in the last 10 years.

 

> 3. Why are consumers fascinated by watches ?
For a man, a watch is one of the most personal and lasting products he owns. Watches are one of the most technological and aesthetical refined objects per square centimer money can buy. They are our perfect alter egos, they dive deeper, fly higher and most likely will be reliable and ticking while I am long gone.

 

> 4. Is it complicated to design a watch?
The challenge is not to design a pretty product someone “fancies”, the challenge is to design a product which you continiue “to love” over years and decades.
The quality of todays TAG heuer’s is so good that you will only stop using them because you get bored with the design.
I can’t let that happen. So we are obsessed with the design, with little details which are not obvious but you might discover them a year after you bought it. Everything has to be perfect and the design still needs to relevant in 20 years time. So we design for today and tomorrow all at once …easier said than done.

 

> 6. What other fields do you design in?
We are decidedly unfaithful to any category. We have designed 130ft solar yachts with an on-board desalination plant, mobile phones with a battery life of over 1 month, shoes with active suspensions, perfume bottles made by 3D printers, concept watches and toilets to use less than half the water. We love design and whatever we do we will always try to do the very most with the very least.

 

> 9. What would you dream of designing?
The list is and endless…the 21st century aluminium airstream (trailer), the perfect steering wheel & dashboard, a floating “zero impact” solar resort for the maledives, jackets which power my phone, lightweight skis, low-cost desalination plants, inflatable solar housing, the perfect watch….

 

> 7. What captivates you in the world of design?
The future will demand a much closer collaboration between the arts, technology and sociology to tackle the issues ahead. Currently I find books on physics, technology and sociology more interesting than design magazines. My father is a scientist and my mother an artist. For me, design is the perfect merger of art and science to create the new.

 

> 10. Why do you employ designers with no experience in watch making?
Too much of todays watch design is too centred around the past. Creativity needs to be fearless – I want young designers to ask interesting, weird questions and challenge the status quo and me.

 

> 11. You have designed many products, what is special about designing a watch?
It is the ultimate challenge for a designer – you have about 4 square centimetres to express yourself and you are against a competition of close to one thousand products in any given watch shop. It is the most personal product most men buy, and I still feel very proud whenever I see someone choosing one of our designs.

 

> 14. What fascinates you about solar energy?
Energy is at the beginning of everything we do – be it kinetic (automatic watches) or electric. I love products which are “alive” and do not sit still.
More importantly designers today are responsible to showcase new ways to move, work,.. using less resources and less energy.
Solar energy allows us to be independent and the list of possible applications is only limited by our imagination.
Solar makes us independent from gas stations, plugs, energy providers and as such delivers the ultimate luxury – freedom.

 

> 15. How can you make solar power sexy?
I don’t believe in alternatives – I believe in better.
I believe that seduction is a much more powerful tool to change behaviour than rules and rational. Our ferries are more beautiful, quieter and magic than any other messy, diesel boat. People love the design and experience first, and often only later discover that it is solar. We need more designers and designs out there which are exciting, fascinating and sustainable.

Categories: Interview , Solarlab , TAG Heuer , Watches
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