Q&A: Italian luxury watchmaker Visconti outlines plans to expand in the UK

The Visconti Opera timepiece.The Visconti Opera timepiece.

Visconti is an Italian luxury house that has been producing pens and more recently watches since 1988. The watchmaker, which manufactures in Florence using Swiss movements, hopes to be the heir to Panerai, which was also founded in the Tuscan city, as WatchPro discovered in this Q&A with the company.

WatchPro: What are the unique selling points for Visconti watches as far as consumers are concerned, and what makes them a great brand for retailers to consider?

Visconti: Our watches feature fine Swiss movements as most of the other major brands do, but where we distinguish is that we have a full internal Design & Engineering office, to Design according to Italian style and taste of beauty.

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Thanks to the brand’s craftsmanship history and watch-making experience, we are able to design cases with interesting shapes, materials (such as, Lava), and special treatments ( i.e. aged steel, iridescent metals, bronze).

Our cases always compliment the innovative dials and straps which we ensure are the best quality of genuine Italian Leather, paying close attention to the stitching and buckles.

The final result is always a  beautiful looking watch,  with high-performance technicalities (we have 3000 metre diver which we test on professional divers).

Most importantly our watches always represented in a distinguished way; a taste of Italy connected to style art and beauty.

Visconti Watches always offer a limited production of timepieces in each collection giving further value to the watch.

WatchPro: What sales and support services do you currently have for the UK market?

Visconti: Our watches are supported in the UK by two sales and marketing organisations . The first is Ebauche Limited headed up by Richard Saffer and his sales and distribution team. Ebauche is also the distributor for another great Italian, watch company U BOAT.

Supporting our marketing drive in the UK is Laurie Milne and Black Diamond Luxury who specialise in watches and jewellery and are managing our brand, its creative assets, advertising and PR, product placements in key media. Laurie Milne has been a key player in the UK watch market for 30 years having worked with and launched brands including Tag Heuer, TW Steel and BOSS Watches.

His team currently supports marketing for MGS Distribution, AFH Distribution and Ebauche from his central London agency.

WatchPro: Do you look for jewellers that like to sell your pens and watches together?

Visconti: We have a network of Pen stockists already including our boutique in Harrods. The pen business is a very successful business with Visconti being a key player in this market place.

Visconti watches have acquired the some of the old Panerai/Anonimo facilities and its watch making talent and are very serious about creating beautiful luxury timepieces.

We are looking for a small number of key luxury UK watch retailers who are looking for those very special watch brands to offer its discerning customer base. Our retail prices range from £1200 to £15,000.

WatchPro: What plans do you have to build brand recognition for Visconti watches in the UK?

Visconti: We are advertising to the trade through WatchPro and have selected key media to reach our audience. This includes GQ, Esquire and key titles where consumers learn about our fabulous watch collection.  Black Diamond are also interviewing and presenting the product to the most important watch writers so that watch world and its buyers can learn all about the exciting new collections.

WatchPro: What are the key models for 2017, and what makes them stand out in a crowded market?

Visconti: We have quite a few new models which we have split in 2 different categories: one category is more oriented to Fashion and the other is more focused on Diving, Sport, and our Military heritage.

Our entry point collection is ‘LAVA’ – A beautiful watch using real lava on the case and creative design, resulting in a unisex collection focused more to the fashion conscious.

 

Visconti's Lava watch.

Visconti’s Lava watch.

The Roma Collection is our biggest range, with 7 models in the collection. The Opera collection is really a masterpiece with its 2 level dial, featuring watch hands that are exclusive, in design, to Visconti: skeleton hours and three-dimensional minutes; flush central second hand.

The Visconti Roma watch.

The Visconti Roma watch.

 

The Visconti Opera timepiece.

The Visconti Opera timepiece.

The Full Dive collection merges diving with colors in an incredible way, as well as Skulls & Roses.

Maiorca is probably the best meeting point between technical performance ( 1000 mt diver) and nice Italian look.

WatchPro: How many retailers would you like to work with in the UK?

Visconti: At first we would like to open between five and ten key specialist luxury watch retailers.

WatchPro: What type of retailers are most successful for Visconti in other markets: jewellers, department stores, ecommerce, luxury accessories specialists?

Visconti: Jewellers & luxury specialists.

WatchPro: Are you planning to exhibit at any events in the UK?

Visconti: We are considering Salon QP later in the year as this is supported by the Daily Telegraph and its database and has a high number of visitors who collect and love buying watches.

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