ilo & Co. was founded in Geneva in 2001 by Amarildo Pilo. Featuring around fifteen collections for both men and women, the brand is distinctive for its highly colourful models, its particular affection for the tonneau shape and an innovative dial that leaves the bridge and balance spring open to view.
Active in the mid-range segment, it operates two own-name stores in Geneva, one on the right bank, the other on the left. The brand is also renowned in Asia where it owns many franchises.
Amarildo Pilo comments on this occasion: “In these difficult times for the watchmaking industry, we are delighted and proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pilo & Co. Genève as we look to the future. In the upcoming years, we shall be preserving the tonneau shape, the coloured dials and the “tourbillon look” that have famously contributed to the brand’s success. In keeping with the spirit of the cabinotiers, we shall be developing the “Exceptional Pieces” collection, with all the practical complications that have appealed timelessly to fine watchmaking enthusiasts, such as date, day, GMT and power reserve. Finally, we shall continue to defend the Swiss mid-range segment, both locally through our two own-name stores and internationally via our franchise network.”
The new Epoca collection celebrates the 20th anniversary of Pilo & Co. and upholds the Cabinotiers ethic cherished by the brand. It includes a hand-skeletonized vintage Unitas Calibre 6798 movement and is introduced as a limited edition of 50 pieces.
Pilo & Co.: a timeline
2000 Amarildo Pilo, having worked in the mid-range watchmaking distribution industry for 10 years, opens a store in the Rue Vallin in the Saint-Gervais district in Geneva.
2001 Amarildo Pilo launches the Pilo & Co. Genève brand in his store, in the very heart of the Saint-Gervais district, on the right bank of the Rhône. The “tourbillon look” (balance wheel and bridge left open to view) becomes the very DNA of the brand.
2004 Pilo & Co. Genève exhibits at Baselworld for the first time. Amarildo Pilo recognizes that China holds the key to his success and will be one of the first Swiss independent watchmakers to pursue prospects in the Middle Kingdom.
2005 Pilo & Co. Genève is official sponsor of the centenary anniversary of the famous Turkish football club, Galatasaray, producing 4 models, each in an edition of 100 pieces, to mark the occasion.
2006 Pilo & Co. Genève opens a 2nd store in Geneva, in the Rue du Conseil-Général, on the left bank of the Rhône.
2008 Pilo & Co. Genève by now has solid global coverage with more than 80 retail outlets. At Baselworld, it unveils the women’s model “Allegra” (tonneau shape, case and mother-of-pearl dial set with diamonds), which is an immediate resounding success and soon becomes one the brand’s best sellers.
2011 Amarildo Pilo is invited by the Chinese authorities to represent Switzerland at the Shenzhen trade fair, where he founds SIWP, the Swiss Independent Watchmaking Pavilion.
2015 Amarildo Pilo is invited by the Hong Kong authorities to launch the Swiss Pavilion at the Hong Kong Watch & Clock fair. At Baselworld, the brand unveils 6 unique exceptional pieces commissioned especially by a collector. Each one is an exquisite work of art, sporting dials representing the Buddhist deities created in Le Locle by the famous Swiss master miniaturist, André Martinez.
2017 Pilo & Co. Genève launches the skeletonized “Diatto Competizione”, a limited edition of 111 pieces in red and black in a tribute to the iconic Italian motor car brand.
2019 Pilo & Co. Genève, in a promising upmarket move, launches an “Exceptional Piece” fitted with Calibre PW01, the first workshop-crafted mechanical movement with automatic winding. Worthy of the highest standards in watchmaking, the watch features the day and date in counters at 9 and 3 o’clock, a second time zone and a 40 hours’ power reserve indication at 6 o’clock.
2021 Remaining loyal to his Geneva roots, the watchmaker of Saint Gervais announces a partnership with the Swiss champions Chênois Genève Volleyball team.
Amarildo Pilo: a bio
The son of a diplomat, Amarildo Pilo pursued an education in business management at the Geneva Faculty of Economics. As early as 1991, he was already working in watchmaking distribution, where he represented Swiss brands specializing in the mid-range segment, such as Baume & Mercier, Raymond Weil, Favre-Leuba and Doxa. He opened more than 460 retail outlets in 10 years, notably in Poland, and became one of the few Swiss experts in watch brand franchises.
In the early 2000s, he resolved to spend less time travelling in order to devote more time to his family. Drawing on his extensive experience, he founded the watchmaking brand Pilo & Co. in Geneva. Ever the intuitive creative, he opted for the retro appeal of the tonneau shape, which soon became his hallmark. For the dial, he dared to introduce colour and plumped for orange, another distinguishing feature of Pilo & Co.
A visionary and a pragmatist, the astute businessman kept a close eye on the market, seizing opportunities whenever they arose, first in Asia, then in Africa. Within the space of 15 years, the tireless globetrotter had travelled more than 830,000 kilometres to promote his brand, the equivalent of more than 20 twenty times around the world.