Time to be Different with a Filippo Loreti Watch

| July 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

Filippo Loreti watch closeup

It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to take on an industry which has been around since 1770 is worth over $40bn in exports annually and is chock-full of names who have a lot more power and influence than you do. You have to have a certain level of personal confidence, you might develop a mantra and then you have to sit down and think.

The gentlemen behind Filippo Loreti did just that. It started with an idea; the belief that a luxury level watch should be something that was available to all. Everyone should have the opportunity to have the look and feel of a remarkable timepiece strapped to their wrist. From there it was easy to make leaps forward.

  • Idea #1: Question the route to market: Between the watchmaker and you, there are a lot of people making a living. By the time it’s your hand in your wallet, lots of salaries that have been paid and lots of profits made. How much of the cost reflects the chain to market?
  • Idea #2: Identify the elements that make a luxury brand: It’s things like clean lines, attention to detail and good materials. Then juxtapose ideas within those factors to create something unique.
  • Idea #3: Find the cash: You can work hard, but you have to have some cash behind you if you need to buy parts, and make things. What’s the modern way to go about that?
  • Idea #4: Make something beautiful – but a lot of people have to think it’s beautiful: So simple, so logical yet so ground-breaking. From these ideas came a tiny company which made the big-name watch companies turn and look with something akin to jealousy.

Standing on the shoulders of giants

If they did develop a mantra this could be it. Their website uses words like democratized and they harnessed the ideas that others had used before but combined a mix of different ingredients to produce something out of the ordinary.

Their influences come from the Renaissance greats and their technology uses ideas that others have proven. What makes Filippo Loreti different is how they pulled everything together and made it a cohesive design and business philosophy.

Crowdfunding

This was a stroke of brilliance that opened the way to everything else. Getting the funds was helpful of course, but that was only a part of it. The backers provided two other invaluable parts of the puzzle. They gave the nascent company immediate feedback and once the product was ready, they were a ready-made customer base.

Filippo Loreti’s second round of funding drew 18,000 backers most of whom turned into customers. That volume of initial customers in the luxury brand world made Filippo Loreti the subject of one of the best whisper campaigns of all time.

Route to market

It would be easy to say that Filippo Loreti challenged the route to market, because in some ways that is what they did. In other ways what they really did was to take advantage of being a 21st century company and not one from the 1700’s.

Their customers buy directly from them and they ship direct. Without the internet, without online banking, without the big delivery companies, this would not have been possible.

Twenty-five years ago this route to market only just existed and was still embryonic and working out the kinks. Now it’s smooth, global and, most importantly, the customer base is used to it.

Remove unnecessary costs and add in value

Without a distribution chain, the line of incidental charges which make their way onto the price tag just isn’t there. That means when you do pay the price, what you’re paying for is their design cachet, the materials, and quality.

Filippo Loreti is so confident in their materials and craftsmanship that they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and an almost unheard of 10-year guarantee.

Remember Idea #4?

This is great business model is modern and smart, but it would have disappeared in an instant had it not been for the excellent product; the watches, themselves. Danielius and Matas Jakutis took their inspiration from local architecture which happened to be the magnificence of Venice, Rome and Milan where art, architecture and design all fuse.

The Venice Series

Filippo Loreti watch with moonphase

At the heart of Filippo Loreti collection is the Venice Series, inspired by the Basilica di San Marco’s graceful arches with a touch of (and this is their word) whimsy. The complications add balance to the face and the Moonphase Complication just adds a delight of detail. Really, you know when it’s night without looking at your watch. But it adds charm and it’s immensely attractive.

Equally appealing is the ability to swap out watchbands (on certain of the Venice range) and change the look from metallic band to understated fine Italian leather. It is a nice touch, and it’s hard to imagine another luxury brand offering the same.

The back plate

The Venice Serice Basilica de San Marco on Filippo Loreti watch

The touch that truly sets a Filippo Loreti Venice watch apart from others is the back of the watch case. Most often, back plates don’t get much attention. If you’re wearing a watch now do you really remember what is on the back plate? You will with a Filippo Loreti watch. In fact, you’ll probably be taking it off to show it around.

The Venice watches carry a 3D relief artwork depicting San Marco, the inspiration for the collection. The artwork on the Rome series incidentally is the Piazza del Campidoglio — this is what ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ means. It is also the gift of what the Jakutis men have realized. Take the best of what there is and harness it all together.

Listen to the customers

From the very start, the philosophy was to listen. Clearly, both gentlemen have a great eye for design, but the key they say is to listen to what the initial backers, and now the entire customer base, have to say.

The result is a range of choices and options which is another astute move on their behalf. There isn’t just one watch, there’s a range. The pricing is such that you could consider having two or more, and if you do, Filippo Loreti will provide you with a display box, currently at no additional charge.

It is brilliant. There, in one simple move is the idea that your customer will be a return customer owning several watches simultaneously

Overwhelmingly positive?

There were some hiccups in the early days. Problems with delivery, for example, caused some negative feedback. But now Filippo Loreti reviews are getting the attention of the business market in a big way.

Articles which discuss the ways in which the old watch industry behemoths need to change to survive are a reflection of how this crowdfunded business bucked the industry, did it with panache and to date seems to be getting away from it.

Wearing the watch is wearing a discussion piece. People ask about it, you end up showing the back plate to ooh’s and ahh’s and you do want to talk about it because, in this day and age, it is so rare to have something different.

A doctoral thesis or an exit strategy?

At some point, a postgrad is going to write this as a doctoral thesis. In the meantime, the brothers have a brilliant exit strategy. Some of those behemoths have immensely deep pockets, and the fastest way for them to do what Filippo Loreti is doing is to go and get a Filippo Loreti. The reviews don’t lie.

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