Appointed CEO of Girard-Perregaux (GP) two years ago, Antonio Calce answered five questions regarding the position of women on the watch market and how GP is facing this new clientele with the re-launch their iconic Laureato in a modernized version to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the brand and the expansion of the Cat’s Eye collection. The Eye of Jewelry asked 5 questions to the man in charge.
The laureato – why did you choose to keep a quartz movement in a time when women become more and more interrested in mechanical pieces ?
Antonio Calce – Nowadays, we have come to realize that trends differ from one feminine clientele to another. As a matter of fact, European women versus Asian or American don’t have the same approach in terms of quartz movement within their timepieces. However, I must admit that a watch brand must have a legitimate offer with mechanical watches for their feminine clientele. As a reminder, Girard-Perregaux created and commercialized the first quartz movement industrially made in the Swiss watch industry back in 1971. It was also the first quartz movement in the world to use the 32’768 Hertz frequency, a movement that later became a worldwide standard in the watchmaking industry until today. It sounded like an evidence to us to re-introduce the quartz movement amongst our feminine collection. The first Laureato launched in 1975 was actually made with this specific in-house quartz movement.
A 34mm diameter is rather small for today’s trend. What importance do you give to watch case diameter ?
I believe, and specifically for women, that the dimension of the case is one of the first characteristics to pay attention to when buying a watch. In our Laureato collection, we offer two different sizes for women’s wrists : 34mm and 38 mm which enables to cover the large demand that we have from clients.
On a feminine perspective, what is your vision on the future of watchmaking?
In the middle term, the feminine watch market has a lot to offer in terms of opportunities of development. It opens up an array of possibilities to explore in terms of design and horological components per sé. A woman’s watch is not considered as a simple jewelry or accessory anymore. The specifications to make a feminine’s watch are much less traditional than they used to. We are experiencing new challenges forcing us to create and innovate, and we are thrilled about that.
What is your next jewelry timepiece in the pipeline ?
We have a stunning high-jewelry timepiece in preparation … taken from our Cat’s Eye collection. The specific model, named La Fenice in reference to the Opera and theater worlds has been imagined on an inspiration made of diamonds and dreams. The curtain of diamonds unveils a tinged mother-of-pearl dial echoing the opening curtain of an opera starting held open by a floating bow. As a matter of fact, the client will be able to chose her color dégradé in which she will be able to match her bracelet to the color of her dial. She will also be able to choose the engraving located on the back of the case amongst the theatrical designs Girard-Perregaux will suggest. That level of personalization will make the piece, a one-of-kind.
How do you define the cat ‘s eye woman from the laureato woman ?
The Cat’s Eye is a precious jewelry watch while the Laureato model is a sports watch, chic and iconic to the brand. Both are very different. In between the two collections Cat’s Eye and Laureato, I believe that Girard-Perregaux offers to women a wide range of feminine watches translating the culture, the elegance and the legacy of the brand.