43 years on since it was founded, Cortina Watch is now regarded as an established player where the luxury watch trade is concerned. It carries over 60 international brands in stores across the region, with 10 outlets in Malaysia.
The latest happens to be a 102 sq m boutique in Kuala Lumpur’s Starhill Gallery, housing Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, IWC Schaffhausen, Piaget, Tudor, Bell & Ross, Hautlence, Breitling, Corum, Zenith, Harry Winston, Chronoswiss, Concord and Panerai.
Managing director of Cortina Watch Malaysia, Tay Liam Khoon, explains that the decision for the opening was a strategic one. He sees Starhill Gallery as having the draw for shoppers who are always on the lookout for something extra special.
“We’re not just selling your average watches, but ones that can costs up to hundreds of thousands. Starhill Gallery has the demographics and the draw, when it comes to the luxury market,” states Tay.
This recently opened boutique is considered as a flagship for Cortina Watch. It carries a prestigious frontage, as well as various multi-brand corners. Tay however points out that the brands found in-store differ from one Cortina Watch boutique to another.
“It depends on the size. The boutique here is big so we are able to carry more brands, compared to, say, the one in Suria KLCC. We also have also those that are otherwise sold in standalone outlets, housed here, all in one place,” he adds.
Despite starting off as a small watch shop at Colombo Court in Singapore, Cortina Watch is today synonymous with high quality timepieces and personalised customer service. In this regard, it has a loyal base of customers.
“To be in this industry you need to have a certain passion about watches. You definitely need the knowledge, but it has to be combined with an inherent interest too. Only then can you convince your customers to buy them,” says Tay.
Regarding any expansions for Cortina Watch in Malaysia, Tay lets on that they are forging ahead cautiously. This is considering the current market sentiment that the timepiece industry in Malaysia is facing.
As of now we have a mixture of both multi-brand and standalone stores in in Malaysia. We are certainly in negotiations for two to three new locations. I can’t say much, but there will definitely more shops by next year,” he adds.
Described as having a strong and profitable distribution network covering primarily South East Asia and North East Asia, Cortina Watch currently operates in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia.