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In conversation with Maurizio Pisanu, Managing Director for watches and jewellery at Gucci

Chaniya James 6 minutes
Maurizio Pisanu

Join us as we sit down with Maurizio Pisanu the Managing Director for watches and jewellery at Gucci.

Can you please introduce yourself and share a brief overview of your journey at Gucci?

I’m the Managing Director for the watches and jewellery business unit at Gucci, I started at Gucci seven years ago after more than 20 years of experience in the watches and jewellery business. Starting at Bulgari then Swatch Group and the LVMH group, at the end of 2016 I joined the Kering family for Gucci.

First I oversaw watches and jewellery, licencing, accessories and the core categories. Before focusing solely on watches and jewellery, considering the size of the business and the specificity of the business, we decided to create a dedicated unit where I oversea all the functions, starting from design, merchandising, sales, marketing communications, store planning and production.

How would you describe Gucci to those who are unfamiliar with the brand?

I think Gucci represents the perfect blend of creativity, innovation and craftsmanship in watches and jewellery. Few people know that we started the journey in these categories a long time ago, for example in 1972 we started making Swiss made watches, this means we have more than 50 years of history in watchmaking. We have a huge and beautiful archive of pieces, which we brought to life a few years ago but especially this year with some of our newness. What we are trying to do now is to communicate and educate people of our rich history, as it becomes more popular to have investment behind the aesthetic, of course the more story you have as brand the easy it is for people to embrace everything the brand is proposing.

The fact that we have a big history in watches and jewellery really helps the brand in terms of developing new collections and new aesthetic. What we are doing more and more is opening the archives to see what we have created in the past and brining back to life some of the most iconic pieces, making time more contemporary working on details, such as dials.

Can you talk to us about the new launches presented during the event in Geneva?

This year is a special year for Gucci watches because we decided to revamp and renovate the entire watch collection. It’s quite disruptive and a long process but we are introducing five new lines, everything is changing. We decided to show our business partners, press and our clients, what we can do thanks to the history that we have. The direction is to go into more timeless pieces, improving the quality of the products, in terms of aesthetics having something that lasts forever exactly like we did in the past. We love the idea that we can have generations wearing the same watch.

In terms of launches we have 2 new families the model 2000 which is a round feminine and elegant watch, which was missing from our collections and a request from the market. The second launch being the G-flat first designed in the 1970’s it has a very retro vintage style, but when saw it from the archive we found it extremely contemporary and modern and when we put it on our wrist it feels super modern, like we only made it yesterday. So, we thought why we don’t create this full line again, changing some elements making it even more contemporary. It has a very strong character and image.

I have one favourite watch, it’s the G-flat. The main reason this is my favourite watch is the strong character. I like the idea that the market is saturated with watches and brands, especially this week at Watches & Wonders inside and outside of the fair, but we need to distinguish our self from the rest of the brands. So, I like the idea that when you put the watch your wrist, even without the logo people can look and say, “I love that watch” and in the future they will say “oh that’s a Gucci watch” even if we don’t put the logo on it. This is a very difficult thing to achieve but I think the G-flat has all the elements to be that watch as it has a very strong construction, with an octagonal case and bezel with screws, we also brought back the design of the vintage dial and put it on the case back, as a souvenir of the past. I like the mix of future and past.

Can you share your favourite memory at the brand so far

There is one moment in 2021, when we first launched the high watch making collection, I remember discussing the possibility to introduce this new category which didn’t exist within the brand. It was a big risk and a big challenge, but I saw the potential and together with the team we had an intuition that it could work. From launch it was successful and sold out, so it’s a very good memory. You don’t get a lot of chances in a brand to just have an idea, express your idea and get the green light in a few seconds, and that’s what happened.

That’s what I like about Kering and Gucci especially is the agility of making decisions and taking your own risks, there’s nothing to lose, but if you succeed that’s the most amazing result you can have.

That’s the best memory I have as of today.

With such great history what key elements or values from the brands past do you believe still resonate with today’s watchmaking industry?

There are two key elements Italian design and Swiss made craftsmanship. I insist on this because usually when we talk about Swiss made people always think about very classic watches, but I think that isn’t an enough for a luxury brand. Being a Italian luxury brand a big component is the design, that I think can make a difference in watch making today.

To have a very nice watch in terms of the mechanics and what’s inside the watch but at the same time having a very strong design I think you can win today as a newcomer. We still think as Gucci as a start-up, even though we have more than 50 years history we are still new in the market, we have to make something that speaks loudly immediately, that I think is the reason for the success of what we are doing today.

How do you envision the future for the brand?

To continue to innovate in terms of technology and complications, not only complications that exist in the market, at the end of the year we are releasing the highest complication the minute repeater but the idea in the future is to invite new complications, sometimes fun complications but they are very long and difficult to make and sometimes combining more complications together. But always with a strong and impactful design.

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