— New co-CEO of Graff Luxury Jewelry Swiss Replica Watches, Nicolas Sestito, talks to WorldTempus about his plans for the brand’s timepieces.
You have only been at Graff since January this year. Is it a good time to start at a new watch brand?
Two months before Baselworld is a great time to start because it allows me to jump right into the brand and its new products. It was essential to be able to start just ahead of Basel. It is easier when you have worked for other watch brands, as I have, but you still need to appreciate the distinctive elements of the brand and its people. You have to learn about the brand rather than learn the job itself. Of course, the majority of the collection for Basel was ready when I joined the company in January. I gave some input on some slight changes but you cannot totally change the product in January.
You will no doubt use this new collection as a starting point, but do you already have an idea of how you would like to develop Graff timepieces?
Yes, I have a few ideas for both ladies’ watches and gent’s watches. The segmentation of our products offers some great opportunities. The design codes have to be kept, of course, but as far as the content is concerned, we will continue to have complicated watches. I won’t get into an endless spiral of producing ever-more complicated pieces just for the sake of it, however. The product must maintain a link between the jewellery at the heart of the brand, like the Butterfly, which builds the bridge between jewellery and watches. This is something that I think needs to be strengthened.
Do you have any personal preferences in the new collection?
It’s always a difficult choice but I don’t think you can remain indifferent to the perpetual calendar, which for me has always been the most useful complication. Having three tourbillons whizzing around is a great technical achievement, but what added value does it bring? A perpetual calendar is a complication that you use every day and in terms of finishing and details it offers everything you want from high-end watchmaking. We don’t actively promote this, but all our watches are produced to the standards of the Geneva Hallmark. If you draw a circle from the iconic fountain at the heart of Geneva with a radius of around 15 kilometres, you will find all our suppliers inside this circle. The movements are produced by MHC in Geneva, but the case, the dial and the buckle are also produced in Geneva.
Does this include the artistic crafts pieces?
Yes, the dial on the GyroGraff World is produced from start to finish by the same artist in Geneva who does all the oven-fired enamelling and engraving on the dial. The different shades of blue representing different depths of the ocean, the different colours for different altitudes and the sheer level of detail down to individual rivers is amazing. We produced five watches for Baselworld but the concept is essentially bespoke and we can produce a personalised view of the world for the customer. It takes 120 hours to produce one dial.