Bedetti has a long history as a store specializing in watches and jewellery. Today you are taking an important step, developing Bedetti as a jewellery and watch brand. Could you tell us more about what is involved?
We are currently introducing new jewellery products, in collaboration with an important designer, utilizing gemstones that we personally select all over the world, and crafting the jewellery in our workshops in Valenza, where you can find the finest jewellers in the world. We are lucky in that we have a well-developed heritage, with four generations of history, and so in addition to contemporary design, we can look back to our archives in order to identify certain characteristic features – forms and technical details – that will become a hallmark of the brand. Our upcoming collections will be named La Dolce Vita, featuring the most important stones, and Le Vacanze Romane, also with fine coloured stones, but in pieces that are better suited to everyday use. Vacanze Romane is a reference to the 1953 film ‘Roman Holiday’ starring Audrey Hepburn, and we will run a photo shoot with a model resembling Audrey Hepburn.
Another collection will be called Antica Roma, with inspiration from the types of jewellery that were worn by the Ancient Romans, in combination with contemporary Italian design.
For each collection – La Dolce Vita, Le Vacanze Romane, and Antica Roma – the marketing aspects are carefully considered and defined; the bottom line is that we wish to create jewellery made using finest stones, incorporating Italian design, and Italian craftsmanship. (In the photo below, a ring from the Antica Roma collection).
Are you doing the same thing with watches?
Yes, that’s right. Bedetti began work in the area of watches, initially as a wholesaler and then a retailer for prestigious Swiss brands. More recently, we created a watch as a gift for our top clients, and this was so successful that we decided to create our own watch range. We are now working on a collection of classic, elegant watches, at an appropriate price point, with Swiss movements, and, just as for the jewellery, with an important content of Italian design.
Building a brand image must be a difficult task?
It requires attention to all aspects of our work, from the design of the pieces to the packaging, and it is important to concentrate on the details. After all, we are dealing in luxury products, products with which a client has to fall in love, and so we have to think of the window display, the advertising and communications, ensuring that they are all underscored by a style that is discreet, elegant, and quintessentially Italian. As I mentioned, our traditions are an important part of our style: the Bedetti jewellery that we make now shares the same characteristics that can be seen in the products that we made 20 or 30 years ago. The modern reinterpretation of our archive motifs and products is fundamental in the process of establishing our brand identity.
Could you tell us about your customized jewellery?
We have all the skills involved in jewellery in-house, and so customizing jewellery has always been part of our services. It will now become a series of one-off pieces, part of a range named Stefano Bedetti Design. These will be rather different from the main Bedetti lines, and they are the result of my own vision as regards contemporary jewellery. I am in the process of creating an important pendant, a skull, in a way similar to that by Damien Hirst, but very wearable, with coloured stones instead of diamonds, because my inspiration is closer to Frida Kahlo, or the Maya, or Hinduism, in which coloured gems are important. This will be a one-off piece, but customers will have the chance to see it and order their own tailor-made version.
Will there be any watches in the Stefano Bedetti Design series?
Yes; I am working on some small and mid-scale complications, such as Big Date watches with a jumping date window at 12 o’clock, or a retrograde date or a GMT double time function. Again, they will have a recognizably different design, characteristic of the Stefano Bedetti Design series, and they will be suitable for personalization, with customized dial design, motifs referring to the customer’s company, and so forth.
Have you thought about expanding your distribution?
Fior the moment, no. Our distribution is based on our store in Rome, which is visited every day by hundreds of clients, both Italian and from other countries, who learn about us as a result of our status as official retailer for brands such as Rolex, Vacheron Constantin and so forth. We think that our distribution structure is ideal for our production volumes: we make small numbers of very special products. In addition to product range development, we are working on our new Internet site, and a new catalogue. In the future, our distribution will expand, but this is not the priority today. At the present time we are focusing on products, ensuring that they are beautiful, prestigious and competitively-priced, ideal for an exclusive clientele.
Could you tell us about your approach to boutique experience?
The shopping experience is particularly pleasant in our store, because it combines elements of tradition dating back at least 40 years with the modern face of retail, with a Rolex corner, a Hublot corner, Vacheron Constantin, shops-in-shop that are of fine quality and very modern in feel. Clients can view and choose gemstones, enjoying our quality services, with advice that is always on hand from our expert staff. We can offer a personal attention developed over the course of 40 years, and this is something that sets us apart from most boutiques. We are less concerned with volume of sales, and more concerned with service. This is why our image is so well-known and prestigious.
Click here to read an interview with Marcello Bedetti