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Italy makes watches, too
Rome - (Ign) - They have a hundred years of history behind them, achieved turnover of over €200 million in 2004, are in the unique position of being Italy's largest producer of watches, and are faced with the challenge of taking this sector of Italian manufacturing to the rest of the world. This is the past, present and future of Bindagroup, the Italian company which produces watches under the brand names Wyler Vetta, Breil and Dolce&Gabbana, together with jewellery and fashion accessories, as well as being the exclusive distributor in Italy of the brands Nike Timing, Seiko and Lorus. The company is led by the Binda brothers, Marcello and Simone, sons of Mario, whose father Innocente established the company when in 1906, at the age of just 20, when he opened a small workshop in Besozzo, a small village on the shores of Lake Maggiore. From Besozzo, he moved to Milan, where, in 1929, in the aptly named Via delle Ore, in the heart of the city, near the cathedral, Mario was born. Here, in 1932, he began the retail and then direct production of Wyler Vetta watches. In 1934 he had the idea, the first in the world to do so, of sponsoring a sporting event: at the football World Cup held in Italy that year, all the players wore a Wyler Vetta. This clever idea made it possible to easily overcome even the difficulties of the war and to establish in 1942 the Breil brand, and to continue to grow, even when technological evolution and market changes could have brought the company to its knees. They have always kept a particularly keen eye on commercial aspects, and in fact have recently decided to launch their products in China, which Marcello Binda has recently visited.
How did your journey to the great Chinese continent go?
"Very well. We have achieved our first objective, that of opening an agency and beginning to work in the market. All we need to do now is to finalise the company aspects and then appoint the necessary staff. The aim is to become a player there in the near future, taking a range of products: Wyler Vetta, more sophisticated and aimed at traditional customers; Breil watches, youthful and modern, and the Dolce&Gabbana models, with their strong link to the world of fashion".
Does having three brands in addition to those for which you are exclusive distributors not create product conflicts?
"No, far from it. We feel that we have built up a well-balanced commercial portfolio, with which our distributors can present a wide range aimed at the various areas of the market".
What commercial strategies have you followed so far?
"For decades we above all focused on the domestic market. Then we started to move abroad, where we currently achieve almost a third of our turnover. The markets of most interest today for us are the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and the United States. And we are looking with increasing interest at China: this is a market of extreme potential, which right now is also opening up towards products linked to the person and mass distribution".
And how much has innovative design counted for your growth?
"A great deal. I think I can also say that we were one of the first to understand that the continuous design innovation represents an enormous competitive advantage, in a sector so close to the world of fashion. Design and technology are also important, obviously, in making our products increasingly reliable".
And what does the future hold?
"New brands, new models and also new products, widening the range of products also towards jewellery and proposing a range of new Tribe watches by Breil, different from the standard Breil models, with an aggressive and metallic look, but also different from the rest of our products. Basically, then, moving ever forward".
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