Franck Muller takes ‘Luch’ forward

Swiss company Franck Muller, which owns 80 percent of shares in Minsk Watch Plant, plans to preserve the ‘Luch’ as Belarusian brand, according to its Director General and co-owner, Vartan Sirmakes, speaking at the opening of the factory’s new store, presenting next year’s collection of watches
By Andrey Trofimov

Mr. Sirmakes noted that past investments have allowed the brand to retain its reputation in the CIS.  “We’re pleased that we’ve preserved ‘Luch’, which is famous across the post-Soviet space. Our very competent personnel can help us move forward,” he underlined, adding that good understanding exists with the Belarusian Government in all issues. The company is keen to produce beautiful watches at a range of prices.

Belarus’ First Deputy Prime Minister, Vladimir Semashko, emphasises that he sees serious potential in the ‘Luch’ trademark and believes that Swiss Franck Muller can lead the company into the next century. He admits that work lies ahead to convince buyers of the quality and prestige of the ‘Luch’ trademark. “We still have to convince people that ‘Luch’ watches equal those of ‘Franck Muller’ in quality,” stresses the Deputy PM.

Mr. Semashko also noted that the decision at Presidential level to sell the controlling share in one of the world’s most respectable watch firms was taken with definite hopes of taking the enterprise into the 21st century. “Jointly with shareholders from Belarus and Switzerland, we’re studying our first quarter results, which show financial stabilisation. We can raise salaries at a rather good rate and, more importantly, have agreed a joint system of development through until March 2013.” This envisages ten-fold increased production volumes, using a new line. “This may seem fantastic but it’s necessary and we can achieve it,” Mr. Semashko asserts, explaining that modernisation and good marketing will take the Minsk Watch Plant in the right direction.
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