Davide Cerrato is on a mission to reconstruct a brand. He’s done it before, and he’ll do it again.
Cerrato is a pretty big deal. In the luxury watch industry, at least. The dapper Italian who’s almost never seen without a bowtie is known by one and all as the guy who brought Tudor out of oblivion and into the spotlight. Indeed, in just three short years, he’d made Tudor the hottest sports watch brand on the market today, adored by collectors and trendsetters alike. The ubiquitous NATO strap trend now embraced by everyone from ultra-highend luxury brands to the fashion high street labels was, truthfully, started by him in 2010 with a watch called the Heritage Chrono.
Since 2015, however, Cerrato has found himself in a different position with a different brand. He now represents Montblanc as its managing director for the watch division and a Herculean task lies ahead. As the man in charge of the luxury pen maker’s growing timepiece business, his job is to establish Montblanc as a bona fide haute horlogerie manufacture. It won’t be easy; Montblanc is a huge company within an even huger conglomerate, which means change–even positive ones–will take time to implement. But Cerrato remains unfazed. Exuding nothing but confidence, his track record speaks for itself.
Esquire: Congratulations! Montblanc performed very nicely at the 2017 Only Watch auction. Davide Cerrato: It demonstrates the appeal of our watches with the Minerva movement, and that these are nice collectible items with a strong resale value. This is the first real benchmark for us and a message to our collectors that they’re making a good investment.
Esquire: How accurate is this? Davide Cerrato: Auctions are always the thermometer of the brand. We’re now positioned somewhere in the middle, just under the strongest brands but clearly above the small players. This definitely mirrors all the investment and efforts we’ve put into the brand.
Esquire: Are you happy with the level of understanding consumers have of Minerva’s heritage and watchmaking prowess? Davide Cerrato: We are just at the beginning of a long way. We are communicating massively about it over the