e find our expression in art, not just in technique,” says Ricardo Zannetti, founder of the watch brand of the same name. The Roman descends from a line of goldsmiths and artists, so his sensitivity is certainly not the result of chance.
After creating his first models in the 1982, he exhibited them at the Basel Fair and then began distributing his pieces worldwide. A patient approach to the business and a philosophy that remains unchanged 40 years later, as he still runs his company as a family: “As with everything, it takes time to do things right.”
- Riccardo Zannetti with his family
The brand stands out for its creativity, its profusion of designs and its use of craftsmanship - showing us a few sketches, Riccardo Zannetti confides that he has imagined around 5,000 different designs over the decades! The brand is above all ’emotional’ in its approach, producing between 600 and 1,000 pieces a year.
“Just like at our beginnings 40 years ago, we favour special, personalised models,” continues the designer. “It’s this truly artisanal approach that sets us apart. We try to strike the right balance between hand and machine. But all the finishing is done by hand, so all our pieces are unique. No two watches are exactly alike. They can be similar, but never identical.”
- The Regent Galaxy line
Alongside miniature painting and engraving, champlevé enamel is one of the decorative specialities of the Roman family workshop, which also customises the movements fitted to its models. From Burano glass to lapis lazuli, from jade to mini-mosaics, Zannetti uses the most appropriate materials and techniques to get closer to its goal of making “art crafts”.
- Zannetti featured in 2009 in Europa Star for the Regent Lady Cupid (3)
The brand’s flagship collection is the Regent line, but other highlights include the original Scuba diving collection, the complicated Repeater and the Zacharius 1982 in bronze launched to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Via di Monte d’Oro workshop.
Zannetti remains loyal to its distributors in Asia, its largest market, as well as in the Middle East and the United States. The brand has also just signed a new partnership with Oriental Watch Company to distribute its creations in Hong Kong.
“These are highly original timepieces, and we have a lot of stories to tell!” concludes Riccardo Zannetti. “Fortunately, we’ve found the right people to tell them.”