The contemporary glamour of Glamrock

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May 2007

‘Glamrock’ is a story that began in November 2005 in Miami, where Enrico Margaritelli and Isabelle Maujean lived. To say that these two people understand watchmaking is an understatement. They worked for Armani watches for twelve years at the Fossil group, before moving to Binda. Then, one fine day in November 2005, they made the decision to launch their own brand.


The new brand is called Glamrock ; a name that evokes life in the grand American city, Miami, with its famous waterfront, its flamboyant and nonchalant lifestyle, its sunny beaches… While their watches epitomize this image, they are also real timekeepers with their own particular details.
Enrico and Isabelle wanted to create something different, that would be immediately recognizable. But, to create a ‘different’ brand, today, in a market saturated with all sorts of watch products, is not an easy thing, and they know it.
Yet, with their many years working within the Fossil group, which has enjoyed a remarkable ascension in the world of timekeeping, they learned the secrets of large-scale watch distribution. Their time spent there also taught them how to be rapid, reactive, and creative. (As a parenthesis to the Fossil group: since it has become public, it seems to have lost some of its creativity and reactivity, and for the first time in many years, it will not be present at BaselWorld in 2007.)

Seven months from conception to first delivery
In the spring of 2006, both of them were present at BaselWorld with their first prototypes, and then in June, they made their first deliveries. In all, from first idea to first deliveries, it took only seven months.
And right from the beginning, they have done well since they were welcomed with open arms in Italy (a nation where Enrico was born and worked for many years). Most notably, they were well received by the powerful Rocca group, a prestigious retailer whose flagship store on the Via Montenapoleone in Milan carries all the great brands, from Patek Philippe to Rolex, including Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Omega among many others. This chain owns 16 stores in the best locations in Italy.
In four months, Glamrock sold 200 watches in the Rocca shops. A very good start. By the end of 2006, Glamrock was in 130 doors in Italy, and had entered the Spanish market. It is now working on opening markets in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but is waiting on the USA market. “The American market is, for us, enormous, but we must be careful,” explains Isabelle Maujean, President in charge of commercialization. “This is a market where you get one, and only one, chance. It is therefore necessary to be completely ready and be able to deliver right on time. One mistake, and it is all over.”


Keys to success
What is it, then, in the watches proposed by Glamrock, that accounts for this rapid success? Enrico Margaritelli, CEO and in charge of design, explains that "Glamrock intends to be the brand that brings fashion, change, versatility, and a sense of fun to traditional stores. We want to be creative and to offer many pieces without producing too many models. On the contrary, our principle is to always have the same watch but that can have a thousand different looks, thanks to the infinite combinations of materials and colours.” This flexibility is one of the lessons the pair learned while at Fossil. If a trial model does not work, they would change the bezel or strap to give it another appearance. The case, either 46mm or 50mm in diameter, is always the same, and with the slightly curved case back, it fits nicely around all wrists. The ability to give radically different looks to the pieces is the key to Glamrock’s success. For example the bezel can be decorated, covered in skin (leather, alligator, python) or diamonds, made of various materials, in different colours. The ‘variable’ bezel, combined with straps that are just as ‘variable’ and can also be easily interchanged, gives the watches a character that is both different and playful. The unisex and oversized case, in keeping with current trends, and a fairly masculine look but with a more feminine touch if desired, make up the contemporary glamour of Glamrock.


Real watches
Equipped with the best quality Ronda quartz movements, or ETA calibres in the sports models, Glamrock watches feature all the characteristics of a nice timepiece: steel case, water-resistance to 100 metres, crown set with a cabochon, case back fixed with six screws and engraved with the brand’s logo, mother-of-pearl dial, ‘Made in France’ leather straps, fold-over clasps, two-year international guarantee). Assembled in Italy, these “real watches with a fashion look” as described by Isabelle Maujean, carry a retail price tag starting at ¤495. For the diamond-set models, prices range from ¤800 to ¤900, while for 18K models, the price can reach ¤2500.
New collections, but with the same basic features, offering a consistent look, will be presented at BaselWorld, Stand 1/23, where the fast-moving Glamrock will make another stop.

Source: Europa Star April-May 2007 Magazine Issue