Made in Bastogne - it's time for some colourful projects!
Jean-Pierre Lutgen, CEO of the famous Belgian brand Ice-Watch, is bursting with projects! The brand wants to become more "Walloon" than ever before.
In the space of just a few years, this Belgian entrepreneur has distinguished himself on the watch market thanks to his unique concept. "We have brought the colour back into watches. Our designs are sober and recognisable and we have launched a 'colour attack'", explains Jean-Pierre Lutgen.
The project became a commercial reality back in 2008 and these fashionable watches have sold by the million in more than 100 countries around the world ever since. Ice-Watches are obviously most successful in Belgium, closely followed by countries as diverse as the colours of the watches. Jean-Pierre Lutgen, a man proud of his roots, adds, "I am living proof that it is possible to go from a small town such as Bastogne to developing a product that quickly develops a worldwide presence."
But the Walloon entrepreneur is not planning to stop there. The clock is ticking and now is the time to boost economic development in Wallonia. So Jean-Pierre Lutgen plans to create a factory in Bastogne and manufacture his watches in his native region, rather than in China as he currently does. By moving his offices from China, this new site will lead to the creation of around 100 jobs for his compatriots. "If we can increase productivity in Belgium with good machines, the cost of Belgian workers will be similar to that of their Chinese counterparts. There is no tradition of watch-making in Belgium, so we are starting with a blank page. But our ambition is for 'Made in Bastogne' and ' Made in Belgium' to become used as quality labels."
Despite a few obstacles in his way, Jean-Pierre Lutgen is not wasting any time and is continuing to innovate and expand his product range. In March 2014, the Belgian brand established a presence in the American and Korean smartphone markets. The secret to its success remains the same: the range of colours that made the brand successful and the very affordable price.
TRENDS - 10/10/2014
RTBF - 25/01/2014