Tiffany & Co. watches Vice President, Nicola Andreatta, on how the brand continues to evolve
Very few brands carry the sentimental legacy of Tiffany & Co.
Immortalised in Truman Capote’s novel (and later film adaptation starring Audrey Hepburn), owning a ‘Tiffany’ product is in itself enough of a statement without even having to flash the brand’s iconic ‘Return To’ signature locket.
In recent years the company has turned its attention to its horological offerings, with a view to strengthening both its American heart and Swiss spirit.
Robb Report Australia sat down with Vice President and General Manager of Tiffany & Co. Swiss watches, Nicola Andreatta, to find out how the brand manages to stay relevant, and even prosper.
Nicola Andreatta. Photo: Getty
How do you see the brand?
Tiffany is a brand which is very evocative, and that has to do with its 180 years of history, and through that we have been able to transfer our emotions to clients around the world.
This is the power of this brand. It’s not only a trademark, it’s the power of emotions that the brand is able to convey. This is the same thing we are trying to do with watches. Plus, we also want to make sure our watches align with the brand’s DNA.
Is it hard to find your place in the market?
Yes and no. There are so many brands now in the market, but I wonder is there a need for all those brands to be there?
For me, the point of difference with Tiffany’s is that we have been here for 180 years. The brand started as a jeweller, and then it moved onto other merchandise. Since 1873, we have been making watches. We had a factory in Geneva in the late 19th century, and we have been making watches since the very beginning. So it’s important to remember that.
Over the last five years we have been reaffirming something that has always been there. We are a brand, and we are a watch brand and I do believe that we can say something different with our watches. It is this duality – that we can incorporate the American soul but at the same time we do things in Switzerland – that I believe is very special.
Audrey Hepburn poses for a promo shot for 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. Photo: Getty
How does Tiffany differentiate itself from other luxury brands in the market?
Tiffany has many souls.
It’s a very different brand from everyone else. Throughout the years we have been working with many different designs and interpreting many different things. We belong to luxury, we are in that world, but at the same time we have a very inclusive way of creating luxury, which is different to our competitors where everything is exclusive. We are more accessible, and that’s typical of an American brand. It’s kind of an oxymoron in terms – it’s democratic luxury.
You have seen many Tiffany watches in your time – how can we spot a fake one?
The first thing is that you cannot find Tiffany watches in any other outlet or in wholesale. There are very few pieces around. That said, there are some important things to remember: Make sure it’s Swiss made, and, most importantly, use your senses – feel the watch, weigh the watch – it’s very easy to see things that are not well done.
For those of us who are not watch experts, what are we looking for when we ‘feel’ the watch?
It’s everything – it’s about how it stays on your wrist, and how it fits with your ‘self’. It’s very difficult to define taste - we all have very different approaches, but that’s exactly the point. It’s very difficult to say why or what makes a watch good for someone or bad a watch for someone else. You need to feel it on yourself. This is the issue with everyone buying online now. You miss out on the experience of going into a shop.
When you go into a shop and try things on your wrist, you have a complete experience, and that, to me, makes the whole difference.