At the age of 83, Luc Tissot is a passionate witness to the history of the watchmaking industry in the Neuchâtel mountains. A history intimately linked to his own journey, as winding as the Paraná River.
The creative behind Milus, Luc Tissot has pioneered the brand who place their passion, heart and soul to show beyond their borders that it is possible to create beautiful watches that combine technical excellence and precision while respecting our environment and values.
This brand is timeless, pardon the pun, and it’s clear why they have stood the test of time. We spent some time with Luc Tissot to find out more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching Milus…
Through a personal relation for 40 years when I was conducting a research project in Houston Advanced Research Centre, with the famous scientist and artist Dr. Dominic Man-Kit Lam. We always kept our personal relation. His family was a representative of Tissot watches in Hong Kong and when he heard about Milus he came to me and asked me to take over the company, he thought Milus had to come back to its original culture and country.
I always had the watch in my heart through the history of my family, the taste to face challenges and I accepted this challenge. I thought I could bring some new blood in the industry, with my experience in other industries, such as Medtech, and at the same time the immense heritage of the Tissot family.
What has been the biggest learning curve since launching the business?
It is what no market study could bring, it is experimenting a new business paradigm, developing the digital factory store model, whereby practically you manufacture the watch in alignment with your client. Total digitalisation allows the transposition of the century-old craftsman work into a today’s business environment without distorting its values. It is applying the bionic concept of great enterprises into a smaller company.
It is a fascinating and adventurous challenge. I am glad it has been well received until today.
There is so much history behind the brand, why do you think the company has continued to stand the test of time?
Excellence in all aspects of the activity, attention to every detail, constant innovation for creating beautiful and timeless pieces. We are continuing this path thanks to digitalisation, making every step of the supply chain transparent in the most efficient way.
Do you have plans to expand your product range in the future, if so, what will you add?
We want to keep our product line sober and shall just higher it up in introducing exciting new models in line with traditional Milus designs. Our company strategy is luxury timepieces at affordable and reasonable prices, as we believe that in the era of digitalisation, the old business model with too expensive pricing is not justified anymore for the luxury segment.
Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do different?
Looking back, we can always do better. At Milus we learn and challenge ourselves constantly with the aim to create a fair and authentic watchmaking model in close relation with today’s modern individual and its environment.
Talk us through an average day in your life
I like to get up very early, I think and write better during these calm hours and then I follow the normal daily rhythm together with my team, exercise a little bit, inform myself of how the world progresses, or not, keep in touch with my family and friends all around the world.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
I am repeating what everyone is saying, it is a huge revolution, as printing has been in the middle age, a complete change of life. I was not understanding it yet when I first met Tim Berners-Lee, in CERN laboratories in Geneva many years ago. Social media is fundamental like the whole digitalisation movement. I remember our advertising department at Tissot, our salesmen visiting 3 retailers per day, 100 general agents selling all over the world Omega and Tissot watches. And now we can have one person covering the whole world. It is just incredible. I also think to be a small and independent company is an advantage. To be 100 years old niche player with all its know-how, but at the same time being able to rapidly assimilate these revolutionary technologies is a fundamental competitive advantage.
How has Covid-19 impacted your business?
The Covid-19 created tremendous social and economic problems worldwide, but at the same time it supported our pure digital strategy for a personal and direct exchange with our customers and stakeholders around the world.
What’s your ten year goal?
Enrich our product line and our client community (Milus Family), get closer and closer to our customers and have them participating in our business development.
What does self care mean to you?
At Milus we care about a sustainable and long-term business model in a direct exchange with all our stakeholders such as suppliers, associates, and clients. Milus is strictly engaged to collaborate with local partners sharing the same sustainable and long-term values.
Have you had to make any pivots to survive the pandemic?
Like many other companies, we had to organise quickly, and in a creative way, our business without the direct social networking with our partners. All our team proved a great sense of solidarity to overcome the challenges of the pandemic.
Where can people find out more?
A detailed information on our company and timepieces are available on www.milus.com