2021 is a big year for Gucci’s watch operation with its first timepiece using an in-house developed calibre for the first time. The GG727.25 watch calibre is produced by Gucci’s parent company Kering’s movement manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland and is first used in the new Gucci 25H collection, which has models in steel or gold and, at the top of the range, pieces with a tourbillon at 6 o’clock. Ahead of the company’s unveiling of its novelties for this year, including the 25H, WatchPro spoke to Maurizio Pisanu, Gucci’s worldwide managing director for watches and jewellery, to find out how the push upmarket is affecting the brand’s strategy and tactics this year.
WatchPro: What are the highlights from Gucci for 2021 across the G-Timeless and Grip families?
Maurizio Pisanu: For me, the real stand-out pieces are the G-Timeless Dancing Bees Tourbillon and the Grip Sapphire. Both form part of our exceptional new high watchmaking collection, which showcases the highest level of Swiss watchmaking savoir-faire. They will be available only in our W&J Place Vendome Store and during dedicated Events, but both G-Timeless and Grip lines are also available in our store network in more “accessible” executions.
The G-Timeless Dancing Bees Tourbillon is both technically advanced and unmistakably stylish. The dial features Gucci’s signature bee motifs, which appear to float. The tourbillon, a mesmerizing and highly advanced piece of micro-engineering, is also visible on the dial.
With a transparent watch case, the Grip Sapphire is equally impressive. Making a case from sapphire is a real technical achievement. It’s a complex process that has to be carried out by a trained expert to avoid shattering this precious material. The transparent case also gives a glimpse of the fascinating ‘jump hour’ movement inside.
WatchPro: Do you have any completely watch new collections or innovations this year?
Maurizio Pisanu : This is an important year for Gucci, not only because it’s our centenary, but also because we are launching our first ever high watchmaking collection. Like all of our timepieces, the high watchmaking collection is made in Switzerland and assembled entirely in-house. Each one of these outstanding mechanical watches combines horological engineering with rare decorative arts and signature Gucci details.
Another major milestone this year is the launch of our first ever in-house caliber, the “GUCCI 727.25”. Decorated with a unique wave pattern, this extraordinary innovation features in the new GUCCI 25H line – our first mechanical watch in the ultra-thin sports-luxe mode.
WatchPro: Gucci has not been afraid to take a radical approach to marketing its timepieces, particularly the Grip. Do you think this has worked within the rather conservative watch industry?
Maurizio Pisanu: Gucci has never been afraid to do things differently. In fact, the fusion of traditional watchmaking techniques with a disruptive design philosophy is precisely what makes our timepieces so fresh and distinctive. This bold approach is what our customers expect from us, and it’s what they love about our products. Take the Grip Sapphire, for example: it’s a triumph of Swiss craftsmanship and, at the same time, it’s unmistakably Gucci.
WatchPro: Given the end of Baselworld and another year to wait until Watches and Wonders Geneva as a physical event, do you think you will return to a major Swiss trade fair?
Maurizio Pisanu: We use a mix of different channels to reach customers and present our products, and we are always open to new ideas. At the moment, there are various projects in the pipeline, involving both physical and digital events. I look forward to sharing more details soon.
WatchPro: Is ecommerce, either direct to consumer or through authorized dealers, increased dramatically over the past year?
Maurizio Pisanu: Digital innovation has always been important to Gucci, and e-commerce has been a priority for us for many years. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on offering customers an inspiring, interactive and immersive experience online. For example, we have just held a virtual event to introduce our high watchmaking collection to our top customers.