Peter Hug has taken the reins at Swiza, a Swiss business with a history of producing Swiss Pocket knives and more recently rugged timepieces. The company aims to build up a significant wholesale business in the UK, and is already working with Terry Cordy at Classic Time to build a network of retailers. Given Hug’s former role as CEO of Wenger, it is expected that Swiza will only benefit from Hug’s involvement. To find out more about the brand’s future plans, WatchPro’s Joshua Corder spoke to Mr Hug in this Quickfire Q&A.
WATCHPRO: What is the plan for Swiza in the UK?
Peter Hug: The UK, being one of the most important countries in Europe is a key market for us. Just because it is so, we didn’t rush building up our distribution structures but rather look for the best solution. Our watches are distributed in your country by Terry Cordy, Classic Time for a bit more than a year.
We are looking to appoint a new distributor for our knives not later than next spring to complete our network of distributing partners.
WATCHPRO: Are you working only through retail partners or selling directly to customers?
Peter Hug: Our distribution partners are applying our multi-channel strategy. This said, we are offering our products direct to consumers as well as through traditional retail channels.
WATCHPRO: How is the brand being promoted in the UK?
Peter Hug: Besides smaller promotion activities with retailer, our on-line campaign and the participation in national and regional trade shows, we have not actively promoted our brand in the UK yet. Now with the introduction of our new brand strategy in connection with our new watch and knife products we will become more active again.
WATCHPRO: Can you give us a bit more background on Swiza?
Peter Hug: Founded in 1904, Swiza has been developing and producing clock movements, alarm clocks and table clocks in Delémont in Switzerland.
2015 marked the start of a new chapter in the history of Swiza. The brand diversified its products range launching modern, high quality and Swiss made watches and revolutionising the design of the traditional Swiss pocket knife.
The idea was to create a new, authentic Swiss brand to be marketed worldwide and to develop urban style products for people on the go.
The pocket knives are produced and assembled in Delémont. The watches design and production are fully Swiss made. The development of the pocket knives and watches are managed by Helvetica Brands SA, based in Delémont. The production of alarm and table clocks remains independent.