Why Fashion Labels Are Entering the Watch Business Now

Dolce & Gabbana do it, Zegna does it too. Many fashion brands bring their own watches onto the market. The step is actually only logical, because alone, because completely new customers are addressed.

If he appreciates the operas of Giuseppe Verdi , the Archangel must thank St. Michael.In a church named after him in the province of Parma, Kaufmannsohn was not only baptized once, here he also learned to play the organ – and here his mother and her child escaped before the invasion of the Russian and Austrian army after their victory over Napoleon.Saint Michael held his protective hand over the composer’s genius.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana love the music of Giuseppe Verdi.Like everything beautiful, dramatic at their home.And so the face of Archangel Michael can be found on a watch devoted to the opera “Nabucco,” which marks Dolce & Gabbana‘s entry into the world of watchmaking.The figure is sewn above number twelve, it is formed of gold, engraved, a youthful, curled head, lined with two curved wings.Of course, the dial also consists of engraved gold, the indices shimmer in mother-of-pearl, and where the six should be, a gold “DG” logo sits above the open tourbillon.

For customers who are looking for something new

Above all, this component for gravity compensation underpins the demands of the fashion house, at the top. Twice a year, Dolce & Gabbana presents its Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria collections, their version of haute couture for women and men. Alta-Sartoria customers are already looking for tennis racquets, motorbike suits, sequined caftans. There were no watches yet. In January, for the first time, the designers in Milan also presented four complicated watches together with their fashion and the jewel line of Alta Gioielleria: individual pieces developed for two years in collaboration with a Swiss manufacturer from Geneva.

“We are fascinated by everything that has something to do with craftsmanship, and mechanical watches have long been of interest to us,” says Domenico Dolce.”The men’s watches, which we have offered so far, work with a Swiss automatic movement.A further development in the direction of complications was only natural to us. “The” Alta Orologeria “is aesthetically oriented to Italian operatic heroes and the dramas they conceive, as well as to the Venetian baroque.Ten emeralds sparkle on the perforated gold case of a model inspired by Verdi’s opera “Don Carlos”.

For fashion houses that are otherwise rooted in ready-to-wear or haute couture, watches and particularly the haute horlogerie have long been an interesting product group to which their own aesthetic codes and brand values ​​can be transferred.In this way, not only customers who identify with the design language of a label can be found: in the ideal case, new people are also added, who are already well-equipped with the watches of the Swiss suppliers and are looking for new things.And you use new platforms to communicate your messages.

The men now want to look as elegant as women

Stefano Gabbana

When the time is increasingly read by the smartphone , the watch has a different purpose:it adorns, expresses the taste of the wearer, for whom the look is just as important as the complication.Modelabels can react very well to this need, because they are already trained to develop new designs in the weekday act.”Customers want us to make them dream,” says Stefano Gabbana.”And the men want to look as elegant today as the women.”

The promise of the watch market in which fashionaffine women are increasingly taking part as customers and gaining in importance has led brands such as Hermès , Chanel or Louis Vuitton to millions of heavy investments.In 1987 Chanel launched his first quartz movement called “Premiere”.In 2000, the “J12” was presented with a ceramic case, which within a few years developed into a competitor for Swiss watchmaking models.Louis Vuitton entered 2002, bought La Fabrique du Temps in 2010, and opened his own production plant in Meyrin, Switzerland, three years later.

In the year 2016 the “Flying Tourbillon Geneva Seal Louis Vuitton ” made a breakthrough: the model with the flying Tourbillon for 200,000 euros was certified with the Geneva Punze.

Other labels rely on the expertise of specialists when it comes to technology.Ralph Lauren started in 2009: he had a strong partner in Johann Rupert, the head of the Richemont Group.In the same way, Piaget, IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre were exclusively selected for their high-quality models.And Ermenegildo Zegna announced in 2010, on the occasion of its centenary, a partnership with the Swiss Haute-Horlogerie-Manufactory Girard-Perregaux.

Several models emerged from it, such as the “Monterubello Solo Tempo” or the “Centennial Watch”.With the new “Monterubello Travel Watch”, Zegna and Girard-Perregaux have integrated a GMT, moon phase and big date display for the first time.The label will offer only 25 copies, at a price of 24,000 euros per piece.

Also interesting for watch collectors

In contrast to the portable gold sculptures of Dolce & Gabbana the “Monterubello Travel Watch” comes with a bezel in the Zegna typical herringbone pattern as the only decoration.The Alta-Orologeria pieces can also be customized to the customers of the Milan fashion house.

“Many have done that.We were very pleased that even clock collectors were able to appreciate our creative ideas, “the designer duo said.The responsible persons are silent about the price design of their precious new jewelery as well as about the exact origin of the work.Some traditionalists may be skeptical about the creative watch experiments of the mod brands.But the curiosity and the joy of experimenting an “outsider” pays off at least aesthetically.A mechanical watch for Verdi fans has not been so far.

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