ELLE Canada:The media are always touting the It handbag. Does the same buzz apply to watches these days?

Alexandre Peraldi: “Yes. It’s somewhat sad because fashion is one thing, but luxury timepieces shouldn’t be driven by fads.”

EC: You make luxury watches. How do you define luxury?

AP: “There has to be a conscious wanting, like in a romantic relationship. There has to be a bit of that love.”

EC: How can you judge if a watch is “good” or not?

AP: “Perceived value is the most important thing. In the luxury category, the quality of the timepiece must be irreproachable. Beyond that, it’s about design, details.”

What was the first watch you bought for yourself?

AP: “A Swatch.”

EC: How many tries does it take before a style you design makes it to the market?

AP: “We do an enormous amount of prototypes. There could be 40, and then we narrow it down to two.”

EC: And then what?

AP: “We do three focus groups: one in New York, one in Milan and one somewhere in Asia. It has got to work for all three markets.”

EC: Do you introduce certain design elements that make it difficult for counterfeiters to copy a style?

AP: “These days, counterfeiters can copy anything. But since their margins are small, they don’t use the same quality of materials.”

EC: Why do you wear skirts?

AP: “I practise kendo, and I just found that I preferred this Japanese style of dress. My favourite fashion designers are Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, so the whole Japanese aesthetic works for me.”

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