Fa­shion & Sty­le

Superyacht - - What’s On The Market - By Cri­sti­na Ca­me­ra­ni

The hi­sto­ry of the Verga fa­mi­ly is that of one of the mo­st im­por­tant wat­ch­ma­kers in Ita­ly. It all be­gan back in 1947 soon af­ter the end of WWII and Lui­gi Verga foun­der of the en­ter­pri­se ope­ned up his fir­st shop in Mi­lan, ju­st a sto­ne’s th­row away from Piaz­za Duo­mo. He was con­si­de­red as a hi­ghly ca­pa­ble and skil­led craf­tsman of com­plex ti­me pie­ces. His son de­ve­lo­ped a pas­sion for

watch ma­king ju­st li­ke his fa­ther had.this fa­mi­ly tra­di­tion has been pas­sed on sin­ce 1947 in mu­ch the sa­me way, from one ge­ne­ra­tion to ano­ther. In the be­gin­ning the fa­mi­ly’s co­re bu­si­ness was in sel­ling Ro­lex brands but went on to in­clu­de so­me of the mo­st pre­sti­gious brands from Au­de­mars Pi­guet to Jea­ger-le­coul­tre, from Car­tier to Pa­tek Phi­lip­pe to na­me a few. The ex­pe­rien­ce and know how ac­qui­red over se­ven­ty years, the in dep­th kno­w­led­ge of the mar­ket and its trends has ma­de the Oro­lo­ge­ria Lui­gi Verga one of Ita­ly’s main re­fe­ren­ce poin­ts. This fa­mi­ly run bu­si­ness grew in ti­me and has ex­pan­ded in­to as ma­ny as four shops. In ad­di­tion to the hi­sto­ric work­shop si­tua­ted in Mi­lan’s Via Maz­zi­ni, “oro­lo­ge­ria Lui­gi Verga” is al­so in via Ca­pel­li as well as in cor­so Ver­cel­li whi­le the sto­re in via Cap­pel­la­ri, of­fers wri­st wat­ches and vin­ta­ge Verga Lu­xu­ry Wat­ches. The Verga’s four­th ge­ne­ra­tion is cur­ren­tly pre­pa­ring to fa­ce the fu­tu­re. We in­ter­viewed Ric­car­do and Fe­de­ri­co Verga who are re­spec­ti­ve­ly the ow­ners of the shops si­tua­ted in Mi­lan’s Fa­shion Qu­dri­la­te­ral in Piaz­za Duo­mo and in Gae Au­len­ti. A dou­ble in­ter­view whi­ch un­der­sco­res the fact that bo­th ha­ve spe­ci­fi­cal­ly clear ideas of what’s in sto­re for their com­pa­ny in the fo­re­seea­ble fu­tu­re. L’oro­lo­ge­ria Verga to­day? FV: Our ‘Oro­lo­ge­ria’ has be­co­me a bet­ter struc­tu­red and mo­dern com­pa­ny whi­ch has not lo­st or do­ne away wi­th its main fea­tu­res whi­ch ha­ve cha­rac­te­ri­zed it all along: To­day we are still a point of re­fe­ren­ce for ma­ny im­por­tant Ita­lian fans and in­ter­na­tio­nal watch col­lec­tors who co­me to vi­sit and to buy from us for our sty­le and cu­sto­mer ca­re af­ter sa­les ser­vi­ce. Things ho­we­ver are a lit­tle dif­fe­rent in com­pa­ri­son to the pa­st, they’re mo­re com­plex to­day: The so­cial- eco­no­mic sce­ne has chan­ged so­mewhat, choi­ce has broa­de­ned ex­po­nen­tial­ly wi­th mo­re and mo­re mo­dels and we find a mo­re he­te­ro­ge­neous clien­te­le in our shops. I’m con­vin­ced and wi­sh mo­re than ever be­fo­re that va­lue is the com­pa­ny’s dri­ving force. Va­lue is our wat­ches main fea­tu­re, at the sa­me ti­me, our clien­ts spor­ting their Lui­gi Verga’s eve­ry day on their wrists ta­ke our brand fur­ther to­wards new goals, whi­le de­fi­ning in de­tail that spe­cial cul­tu­re for ti­me pie­ces that we wi­sh to car­ry on per­pe­tua­ting year af­ter year. Whi­ch is the fir­st re­col­lec­tion you ha­ve of the com­pa­ny? RV: The ve­ry fir­st one? I’d say the at­temp­ts I used to ma­ke to get in­to the work­shop area af­ter ha­ving said hel­lo to my gran­d­fa­ther and fa­ther. Fv:when as chil­dren our mo­ther used to ta­ke us (we’re th­ree bro­thers, in ad­di­tion to Ric­car­do and I the­re’s the youn­ge­st Fi­lip­po) eve­ry Sa­tur­day af­ter­noon to vi­sit our gran­d­fa­ther Va­le­rio who’d be in his shop wi­th his em­ployees. In fact se­ve­ral of them are still wi­th us to­day. Whi­ch in your opi­nion is the mo­st im­por­tant tea­ching your gran­d­fa­ther pas­sed on to

you? RFV: What we’ve al­ways grea­tly ap­pre­cia­ted and ad­mi­red of our gran­d­fa­ther was the em­pa­thy he could ge­ne­ra­te wi­th his con­tri­bu­tors by being pro­fes­sio­nal­ly ‘hum­ble’ and by lea­ving asi­de per­so­nal di­ver­si­ties, whi­le con­so­li­da­ting team work fo­cu­sed on com­mon goals. Our gran­d­fa­ther was our li­fe’s mo­st im­por­tant ‘gu­ru’ in ad­di­tion to in­stil­ling in us the sa­me pas­sion he had for the world of wat­ches. He al­so pas­sed on his sense of du­ty as well as his de­di­ca­tion to work, by tea­ching us how to treat clien­ts and af­ter sa­les cu­sto­mer ca­re wi­th en­thu­sia­sm and spe­cial de­di­ca­tion. Your fir­st watch? RV: My fir­st watch was a GMT Ma­ster II steel Ro­lex. My fa­ther ga­ve one to me on my eighteen­th bir­th­day whi­ch was on 23rd De­cem­ber 2010. FV: Mi­ne was a Sub­ma­ri­ner Tu­dor, whi­le the fir­st Ro­lex was an Ex­plo­rer 2, I was gi­ven for my eighteen­th bir­th­day. As chil­dren did you ever think about wan­ting to work in the fa­mi­ly bu­si­ness? RV: In ac­tual fact no, it was by no means an obli­ga­tion but a na­tu­ral choi­ce. I shared the at­mo­sphe­re of my gran­d­fa­ther’s shop sin­ce I was a child. Th­rou­gh ti­me thou­gh I de­ci­ded spon­ta­neou­sly to de­di­ca­te my wor­king li­fe to this fa­sci­na­ting world and to my com­pa­ny whi­le trea­su­ring all the tea­chings that are dear to me and that, whi­le the­re we­re still loads of things I had to learn. I wouldn’t see my­self doing any­thing dif­fe­rent any­whe­re el­se to­day. Whi­ch are your shops’ strong poin­ts? RV: The­re’s no doubt wha­tsoe­ver that pas­sion is the un­de­nia­ble dri­ver to­ge­ther wi­th the tru­st and cor­dia­li­ty we’ve in­stal­led wi­th our clien­ts. Of cour­se whe­re our 4 shops are, is al­so ve­ry im­por­tant, they’re all in do­wn­to­wn Mi­lan and co­ver a wi­de ran­ge of pre­sti­gious up mar­ket lu­xu­ry brands, a re­no­w­ned af­ter sa­les ser­vi­ce al­so thanks to our in hou­se work­shop whi­ch is cer­ti­fied and com­pliant to Ro­lex, Pa­tek and Au­de­mars Pi­guet. FV: Our shops’ strong poin­ts? They’re su­re­ly in the fact our fa­mi­ly runs them, the­re are cur­ren­tly th­ree ge­ne­ra­tions wor­king in the via Maz­zi­ni pre­mi­ses, so our fa­mi­ly tra­di­tion goes on and so does the pas­sion for the world of wat­ches whi­le the original foot­print of our foun­ding mem­ber re­mains. Our pre­mi­ses en­joy a spe­cial at­mo­sphe­re thanks to the ca­re we ha­ve for de­tail and in the se­lec­tion of the mo­st re­no­w­ned brands show ca­sed, whi­ch to­ge­ther wi­th the ‘sa­voir fai­re’ and the de­gree of com­pe­ten­ce we of­fer to di­scer­ning col­lec­tors and hi­gh end watch fans. Na­tu­ral­ly af­ter sa­les ser­vi­ce ranks hi­gh on our li­st of prio­ri­ties, right from in­cep­tion Lui­gi Verga Oro­lo­gi has been pay­ing great em­pha­sis on this point. The com­pa­ny has fur­ther­mo­re al­ways had an in hou­se tech­ni­cal work­shop whe­re hi­ghly qua­li­fied and skil­led tech­ni­cians work and go to in or­der to at­tend up­da­ting cour­ses held by Pa­tek, Ro­lex and Au­de­mars Pi­guet watch ma­kers on their pre­mi­ses so that they can re­pair bo­th mo­dern wat­ches and tho­se from ti­mes go­ne. Ac­cor­ding to you whi­ch is the mo­st im­por­tant

as­set a good sa­le­sman mu­st pos­sess? FV: This one is among the mo­st im­por­tant les­sons lear­ned from my gran­d­fa­ther and fa­ther and from our se­nior con­tri­bu­tors: The prin­ci­pal qua­li­ty a good sa­le­sman of wat­ches mu­st ha­ve, is the abi­li­ty to tell, to de­scri­be the pro­duct: whe­re fir­st of all we mu­st li­sten to the pro­du­cer, as­so­cia­te the mo­dels wi­th one ano­ther hi­ghlighting cu­rio­si­ties and spe­cial fea­tu­res of eve­ry brand and la­st of all but not lea­st we mu­st be ca­pa­ble of en­thu­sing the client wi­th a sto­ry on the pro­duct, be­cau­se this not on­ly streng­thens the pro­duct but al­so the craf­ting of the ob­ject the client is loo­king at. Con­si­de­ring bo­th the si­gni­fi­cant num­ber of brands and the nu­me­rous no­vel­ties of­fe­red eve­ry year this has be­co­me a ve­ry com­plex pro­ce­du­re. What is it that se­pa­ra­tes an up mar­ket, hi­gh end ti­me pie­ce from a wri­st watch? FV: Fir­st and fo­re­mo­st the ma­chi­ne­ry fol­lo­wed by the num­ber of years the com­pa­ny has been pro­du­cing the gi­ven brand. The di­ver­si­ties are ma­ny and in ca­re for de­tails as well. Let’s start wi­th the ba­sics: wat­ches’ en­gi­nee­ring: Hi­gh le­vel wat­ches are all equip­ped wi­th well de­fi­ned stan­dards whi­ch com­pri­se R&D and are as­sem­bled and moun­ted whe­re they are pro­du­ced. Ae­sthe­tic de­co­ra­tions ma­de by the com­pa­ny’s craf­tsmen dif­fer al­so (so­me are con­si­de­red works of art). What is it that ma­kes a watch pre­cious? RV: It De­pends… from a fe­mi­ni­ne view point I’d say dia­monds and pre­cious sto­nes ob­viou­sly. But wi­th a trai­ned ex­pert eye it’s the fi­ne en­gi­nee­ring used in­si­de the ca­sing. The ma­keup of a watch is es­sen­tial­ly in the ele­men­ts that are se­lec­ted whi­ch ma­ke it pre­cious. FV:THE ty­pe of metal used ma­kes a watch mo­re or less pre­cious...a gold or pla­ti­num watch is ‘per se’ pre­cious. But from a col­lec­tor’s point of view the sto­ry of the watch plays an im­por­tant part and is the­re­fo­re of grea­ter va­lue.to­day what ma­kes a watch pre­cious is: Ra­ri­ty, li­mi­ted edi­tions, per­so­na­li­sed watch fa­ces and dials. So ac­cor­ding to you why would a vi­si­ting fo­rei­gner pur­cha­se a watch from Verga? RV: Our shops ha­ve be­co­me an im­por­tant mee­ting point whe­re con­tact wi­th our clien­ts has gi­ven us the op­por­tu­ni­ty to li­ve the cur­rent evol­ving cul­tu­ral sce­ne in a chan­ging eco­no­mic con­text whi­ch is get­ting mo­re and mo­re com­plex. And to get ac­quain­ted wi­th rea­li­ties that are ve­ry far from tra­di­tio­nal ones. In the cour­se of years I’ve un­der­stood that the choi­ce of any watch is a com­plex de­ci­sion: it not on­ly has to do wi­th one’s own up­brin­ging and bud­get, but it has a lot to do wi­th con­so­li­da­ting one’s ve­ry own in­di­vi­dua­li­ty. The wi­de ran­ge of hi­gh le­vel brands we of­fer means we can sa­ti­sfy the mo­st di­ver­se per­so­nal re­quests. In broad terms the Ita­lian buyer is usual­ly ve­ry com­pe­tent, well pre­pa­red, and for us sa­le­smen this is a sti­mu­la­ting fac­tor. Of­ten enou­gh the fo­rei­gn buyer still lacks in watch cul­tu­re and so­me­ti­mes seems to look for a gi­ven pro­duct wi­thout real­ly kno­wing mu­ch about it. De­spi­te this, fo­rei­gners of­ten buy from our shops be­cau­se they un­der­stand they’re wel­co­med in­to a pla­ce whe­re the­re’s a mix of va­lues: not ju­st a pro­duct and the tech­ni­cal aspec­ts that go wi­th it but they al­so find chez Oro­lo­ge­ria Verga cul­tu­ral ex­chan­ges, af­fa­ble sa­les teams, and a de­di­ca­ted pas­sion for wat­ches. We treat eve­ry client ir­re­spec­ti­ve of na­tio­na­li­ty wi­th the sa­me de­tai­led ca­re. A sa­ti­sfied client will re­turn, a po­si­ti­ve ex­pe­rien­ce is wor­th a lot. Your fa­vou­ri­te watch brand? RV: Well this is de­fi­ni­te­ly a com­pli­ca­ted que­stion to re­spond to. The sheer va­rie­ty our sec­tor of­fers to­day – as well as our own-ma­kes any de­ci­sion tru­ly dif­fi­cult. The­re is a hu­ge num­ber of ico­nic wat­ches from as ma­ny brand na­mes... FV: as for me I ha­ve no fa­vou­ri­te brand, the choi­ce de­pends on the oc­ca­sion or event... I en­joy wea­ring Ro­lex and Au­de­mars Pi­guet as com­ple­men­ta­ry ac­ces­so­ries to in­for­mal ca­sual wear, whi­le I’d wear Pa­tek Phi­lip­pe and Car­tier to mo­re for­mal ve­nues whe­re dress co­des are en­ti­re­ly dif­fe­rent from the pre­vious one What are your wi­shes for the fu­tu­re and for Lui­gi Ver

ga’s Oro­lo­ge­ria? RV: Our wi­sh is to car­ry on, in wor­king to per­pe­tua­te tra­di­tion and pas­sion whi­ch was pas­sed on to us by our gran­d­fa­ther and fa­ther to main­tain Sta­tus Quo and the Verga brand as re­fe­ren­ce point for Ita­ly’s lea­ding watch ma­kers. Fur­ther­mo­re I’d li­ke to ex­pand our com­pa­ny and open up new shops. FV: Our grea­te­st am­bi­tion? To suc­ces­sful­ly run the com­pa­ny in the fu­tu­re, ju­st as my gran­d­fa­ther and fa­ther did be­fo­re. I want to de­ve­lop still mo­re on all that be­gan back in 1947, whi­ch would streng­then and con­so­li­da­te our po­si­tion in the sec­tor prior to ta­king on new chal­len­ges and fu­tu­re goals. We aim to get ever clo­ser to our clien­ts and to talk wat­ches from eve­ry an­gle. What’s ‘lu­xu­ry’ to Ric­car­do and Fe­de­ri­co Verga? RV:TO me it could be de­fi­ned as being an un­con­di­tio­nal chan­ce to ma­ke any de­si­re co­me true. FV: In my opi­nion lu­xu­ry is ha­ving ti­me and spa­ce enou­gh for one­self and a pla­ce whe­re you can pur­sue your own in­te­rests and whe­re you can de­ve­lop your ap­ti­tu­des. www.lui­gi­ver­ga.it

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