Paolo Marai Vertime CEO on Future of Watch Industry

Vertime CEO Paolo Marai with Gevril President Samuel Friedmann and Jon Luigi

by John Sealander  

Few Know More About Watches than Paolo Marai
And Paolo Marai Thinks the Future Looks Bright

It’s hard to find a more knowledgeable representative of the watch industry than Paolo Marai. Paolo is President and CEO of Vertime and is responsible for some of the world’s most recognizable watch brands, including Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Versus.

Mr. Marai is very positive about the future of the watch industry, but he sees a major shift occurring in how timepieces are perceived and used. Interviewed during a visit to the prestigious Couture 2013 Watch and Jewelry Show in Las Vegas, Marai said, “More and more, watches are no longer used for timekeeping functions, they are becoming accessories, which means that the brand and the design are becoming more relevant than what is inside the watch.”

Working closely with top designers like Donatella Versace, Marai is bringing this philosophy to customers; with some of the most innovative, fashion-forward designs the watch industry has ever seen. Mr. Marai says that sometimes it takes up to a year, working with fashion superstars like Donatella, to finalize a new design, but that the wait is worth it. “There is a new generation and a new type of consumer,” says Marai. “I believe the future will be based more on fashion brands, rather than on traditional watch manufacturing.”

To meet the needs of these new fashion-forward customers, Paolo Marai is taking Vertime boldly into the future with a new emphasis on fashion and style. From the edgy youthful spirit of Versus, to the luxurious opulence of Versace, and the refined, subtle elegance of Salvatore Ferragamo, Vertime is meeting the desires of fashionistas and watch aficionados alike with fabulous new timepieces designed for the 21st Century. What will this watchmaking power player do next? You’ll probably see the answer on a fashionable wrist in the very near future.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Gevril Group Astounded Retailers With a Fantastic Array of Watch Brands at Couture 2013 Las Vegas

by John Sealander  

With many exciting brands in one location, Couture’s Chambertin 2 Ballroom was the place to learn about emerging watch trends.

The annual Couture Show at the luxurious Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas is the most important event of the year for jewelers and luxury goods retailers. It is here that American luxury retailers discover the new and trend-setting items that their customers will be demanding in the year ahead.

At this year’s show, buyers got a chance to get to know some fantastic brands that may be new to North American customers, but are already popular in Europe. Gio Monaco, Jowissa, Viceroy, Gattinoni, and Catorex watches got a lot of attention at Couture 2013, and with the positive buzz they received, these European favorites are destined to become equally popular with fashion-forward American customers.

Giuseppe and Michele Ascione’s Italian flair made a big impression on Couture visitors. Their Gio Monaco brand combines Michele’s engineering expertise with his late brother’s artistic flair to produce some of the most stylistically original watches in recent history. The popular Gio Monaco Hypnos and 101 Collections both received rave reviews from the Couture crowds.

Everyone seemed to love Viceroy’s vibrant Spanish inspired styling. A wide range of celebrities, including Antonio Banderas and Shakira, already wear these popular, sporty watches. After the reception this Spanish brand received from buyers at Couture 2013, it’s a safe bet that they’re going to be appearing on a lot more fashionable wrists in the year ahead.

The ethereal beauty of famed Italian designer Fernanda Gattinoni’s timepieces definitely created a lot of buzz at Couture 2013. There is simply nothing comparable to Gattinoni’s spectacular Planetarium Collection. Each of these beautiful watches was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings and use stylized images of stars, galaxies, planets and asteroids as metaphors for time. Many industry experts consider Gattinoni’s unique mixture of femininity and androgyny to be the hallmark of today’s “new luxury.”

Jowissa was another popular discovery at the Couture show. Although this company, based in Bettlach, Switzerland, has been making fabulously fashionable timepieces since 1951, it has only recently been discovered by American watch aficionados. European fashionistas describe Jowissa watches as fine jewelry you can wear on your wrist and it’s easy to see why. Many designs feature multi-faceted pyramid cut, tempered mineral glass crystals that glitter like diamonds from every angle. These wrist-worn jewels are the perfect accessories for both dressy and casual situations.

Swiss watchmaker Catorex has been widely recognized for bringing back the pocket watch, with a variety of innovative new designs that have been adapted for the modern world. Pocket watches have been a specialty of the family owned company since its foundation in 1858, and Couture 2013 provided buyers with a great opportunity to re-discover the pocket watch themselves with a variety of great collections on display from the traditional to the Avant-garde.

Gevril Group currently represents all of these popular European brands, and Gevril Group founder Samuel Friedmann was very pleased at the reception they received at Couture 2013. “There is just no substitute for seeing, touching, and admiring a fine timepiece in person,” says Friedmann. “People were amazed at how many fine brands we offer, and a lot of these brands are going to be appearing on people’s wrists in the year ahead.”

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Louis Erard Watches Fascinate Guests at Couture 2013

by John Sealander  

Visitors to the Louis Erard Display at Couture 2013 Discovered One
of Europe’s Best Kept Secrets:  The Affordable Mechanical Watch

Louis Erard WatchesLouis Erard has become a giant success story within the Swiss watch industry in recent years. Although this company has an 80-year history of producing high quality mechanical watches, it was largely unknown until Alain Spinedi and a group of private investors purchased it in 2003. Since that time, Spinedi has been able to turn the financially struggling watchmaker around by carefully introducing technically innovative new timepieces adhering to the original Louis Erard policy of manufacturing 100-percent mechanical, classically styled watches.

Many Couture visitors got their first taste of these high quality and completely original mechanical timepieces when they visited the Louis Erard display in the Wynn Hotel’s Chambertin 2 Ballroom during the Couture show. Jewelers and retailers were not only impressed, some were even astonished, at Louis Erard’s unique combination of Swiss quality craftsmanship and affordable pricing.

On display were a number of new Louis Erard introductions for 2013, including a new 1931 chronograph with a beautiful grey dial and several exciting moon phase complications. It didn’t go unnoticed that every Louis Erard watch making its North American debut at the Couture show featured a high quality Swiss made movement. The fact that some of these hand crafted mechanical timepieces retailed for as low as $700 to $900 was even more impressive to many visitors.

Louis Erard Moonphase Louis Erard 1931
Louis Erard Moonphase Watches at Couture 2013 Louis Erard 1931 Watches at Couture 2013
Click to Enlarge Image Click to Enlarge Image

Louis Erard is not a large company. Last year, the company only employed 26 people including 9 master watchmakers. Quality and craftsmanship have always been more important than quantity to Alain Spinedi, but with the attention this brand received at Couture 2013, the company is bound to grow in the years ahead.

Although many now view watches as fashion accessories, there is still an appreciation for old fashion quality and craftsmanship. As many Couture visitors discovered, Louis Erard is doing a fantastic job of keeping the tradition of fine mechanical watches alive for a whole new generation of watch aficionados.

Gevril Group US Agent for Louis Erard Watches

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the sole US agent for Louis Erard Watches. Contact us, by email or at 845-425-9882.

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Gevril and GV2 Watches Shine at Couture Show 2013

by John Sealander  

Gevril and GV2 Headline a Stellar Array of
Gevril Group Brands at Couture Las Vegas

Gevril WatchesThe Wynn Hotel’s Chambertin 2 Ballroom was home to many popular Gevril Group brands during the recently concluded Couture watch and jewelry show, including Gevril’s own Gevril and GV2 timepieces.

When Samuel Friedmann acquired historic Swiss watchmaker Gevril Horlogerie, he was determined to build on this company’s illustrious watchmaking heritage. The company’s signature Avenue of the Americas line is still popular today and is based on a case design that was discovered in Gevril’s historical archives. The distinctive retro look of this luxury timepiece, with its beveled dial and beautifully hand painted numbers, got a lot of attention from visitors at the Couture show.

A newer Gevril design, the unique Columbus Circle model also received a lot of favorable buzz at the show. The dial of this spectacular watch immediately catches your attention with a day/date display featuring a rotating inner dial with seven astrological symbols representing each day of the week. This watch is engraved with a beautiful etching of New York’s famed Columbus Circle on the case back and features an observation window revealing the precision Swiss made ETA 2834-2 automatic movement inside.

Prominently displayed at the front of the Gevril display case was the spectacular Gevril Serenade 5850. This stylish Art Deco design features a dual time-zone dial with white gold hands for the primary time zone and a blue, skeletonized hand for the secondary zone. Unique to this watch are two day/night disks at 3 and 9 o’clock that indicate AM or PM hours in their respective time zone. This exclusive timepiece is available in white gold, rose gold, or platinum in editions that are strictly limited to just 50 pieces worldwide.

Gevril’s trend-setting GV2 line was well represented at the Couture show by popular collections, including the GV2 Corsaro, Powerball and Parachute. The striking looking Corsaro made a big statement at this year’s show with an oversized two-layer 316L stainless steel case that harmoniously combines two very different angular and round geometries. This stylish, precision chronograph features a unique double layer textured dial with three well-placed subdials for timing events.

The GV2 Powerball has been a popular favorite since it was initially introduced. It is hard to ignore the amazing three-dimensional dial that calls attention to a continuous small second hand at 6 o’clock and the big date indicator at 12 o’clock. With a beautifully partially skeletonized dial that reveals the two date wheels below, just telling the time with this amazing watch can be a mesmerizing experience.

The rugged looking GV2 Parachute Chronograph is a precision timing instrument that makes quite a fashion statement as well. This spectacular diver style watch features a dramatic two-tone rotating diver bezel marked in 60-minute increments and three well-placed subdials for timing events. The oversize 45 mm stainless steel case is water resistant to 165 feet.

The activity in the Chambertin 2 Ballroom during this year’s Couture show suggests that, despite what the ads say, everything in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas. If the Gevril and GV2 order books are any indication, there are going to be a lot more of these amazing watches on people’s wrists all over the country this year.

Gevril Group Worldwide Agent for Gevril Watches

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the worldwide agent for Gevril Watches. You can email us or call us at 845-425-9882.

Directed by company founder and long-time creative force in the watch business Samuel Friedmann, Gevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Additionally, Gevril Group operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers.

Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog updates. Like us on Facebook. Reader comments are welcome.

Meccaniche Veloci Watches Unique Appeal at Couture 2013

by John Sealander  

How Meccaniche Veloci Wowed Crowds at
Couture 2013 Las Vegas with Only One Watch

Meccaniche Veloci WatchesAlthough Meccaniche Veloci is a relatively new name to most American jewelers and retailers, it’s a name that few will forget having visited the Meccaniche Veloci display at Couture’s Chambertin 2 Ballroom. These handcrafted Italian masterpieces are produced in very limited editions and evoke the excitement and speed of European motor racing at it’s very best.

According to Meccaniche Veloci’s Monica Banon, who flew in from Italy for Couture, these iconic timepieces have always had a strong appeal with watch aficionados who appreciate great industrial design, watchmaking innovation, and the world of speed.

What appealed to the crowd at Couture 2013 was something totally unique to the watch industry: a collection of fine timepieces, each produced in an edition of one. Every watch in the exclusive Meccaniche Veloci “Only One” collection is literally one of a kind. To produce these unique and extremely exclusive timepieces, each watch is constructed using recovered materials from the world of speed. For example, a dial might be fabricated from the fiberglass fairing of a well-known championship racing car, or perhaps from the magnesium flap from a supersonic fighter jet.

When a suitable part has been located, areas of interest are identified and then individually unique dials are cut from the material. Customers can select a specific area on a faring or wing for their own one-of-a-kind dial. Since exotic materials like carbon fiber and magnesium are difficult to cut and machine, only a few of these exclusive timepieces are ever produced.

Monica Banon says that this unique concept has proved very popular in countries like Japan and Turkey, adding that a jeweler or watch retailer in these countries might buy an entire recovered fender or wing, so they would have the opportunity to sell the entire production run of twenty to thirty watches. The recovered racing item, complete with the circular holes where material has been removed to make a dial, is often displayed in the retailer’s window to demonstrate the authenticity of the “Only One” concept.

One-of a-kind watches aren’t the only things that Meccaniche Veloci is famous for. Racing inspired designs like the Quattro Valvole 48 Four Strokes, 44 Chronograph, Due Valvole and the exciting new Chrono Driver are also produced in limited numbers for discriminating watch aficionados. Fans of this unique brand often say that Meccaniche Veloci is the first watch that truly reflects their personality.

These beautifully engineered watches will never be produced in large quantities, but if the crowds at Couture 2013 are any indication, they will soon have a much larger fan base. There was a lot of buzz about Meccaniche Veloci at this year’s show. The brand has managed to do something truly unique, and visitors to the Chambertin 2 Ballroom knew it. In a world where exclusivity is appreciated and even revered, an entire collection of one-of-a-kind timepieces is something very special.

Gevril Group US Agent for Meccaniche Veloci Watches

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the US agent for Meccaniche Veloci Watches. Contact us by email or call us at 845-425-9882.

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Fortis Watches Continue to Amaze at Couture Show

Fortis at Couture Las Vegas

by John Sealander  

If the interest at Couture 2013 is any indication, the next 100 years
are going to be even more exciting than the first for Fortis.

Fortis WatchesFortis is currently celebrating its 100th Anniversary. This fabled Swiss watchmaker has a long history of innovation and the crowds at Couture 2013 seemed just as excited about what the company was going to do next as in what it had already accomplished.

Miriam Tress, who represented Gevril’s popular Fortis brand at the Couture show, saw a steady stream of visitors to the impressive Fortis display in the Wynn Hotel’s Chambertin 2 Ballroom. “Buyers love the quality and craftsmanship that Fortis represents,” says Tress. “This is a brand with a reputation as a technical leader and there is a renewed interest in fine mechanical timepieces.”

Visitors to the Fortis display were impressed with the brand’s long list of accomplishments in the world of aviation and space exploration. There is a very short list of genuine space watches, and Fortis is at the very top of this list. Space proven timepieces, like the Fortis B-42 Official Cosmonaut Chronograph, received considerable attention at the show. This precision instrument is still issued to all cosmonauts and astronauts leaving the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia.

Space and aviation watches like the B-42, Spacematic and Flieger, weren’t getting all the attention however. There was a lot of buzz about Fortis as a fashion accessory. Fortis has a long tradition of collaboration with well-known artists to create special, limited edition “art watches” that are based on proven Fortis mechanisms. Couture visitors were fascinated by these fashion-forward designs, including several innovative new “jumping hours” models on display at the show.

Retailers who made an appointment with Fortis at Couture 2013 got a special treat this year. Each of these visitors received a free Fortis Colors suitcase, complete with an exciting new Fortis Colors watch and 10 different brightly colored watch bands. The Fortis Colors Collection was a hit with everyone. This re-introduction of the legendary Fortis Flipper is a fun and affordable way to put Fortis quality and craftsmanship on thousands of new wrists.

Miriam Tress was delighted at the reception Fortis received during Couture 2013. “I observed a constant excitement and buzz in the air from our many current and new customers,” she said at the conclusion of this year’s show. If new orders are any indication, there are going to be a lot of new Fortis fans in the year ahead.

Gevril Group US, Canada and Caribbean Fortis Watches Agent

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the sole US, Canada and Caribbean agent for Fortis Watches and the official Fortis watch repair service center. Contact us by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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