In a world driven by fleeting trends and ephemeral fashion, Cerruti Watches stands tall as a beacon of enduring luxury. With a rich heritage, unparalleled craftsmanship, timeless design, and a dedication to innovation, Cerruti continues to define the horological landscape. Founded by Nino Cerruti in 1967, the brand quickly established itself as a trailblazer, setting new standards for haute couture and sophistication. Inspired by the seamless fusion of fashion and horology, Cerruti Watches evolved into a testament to refinement and class, embodying the essence of French luxury.
And now this couture brand is paving its way to India with Titan launching Cerruti watches here! We caught up with Laurent Grosgogeat, General Manager of Cerruti, and Suparna Mitra, CEO, Watches & Wearables Division, Titan to discover more about the brand, its entry into the Indian market, and more.
French-made watches with Swiss movements? Sharing about Cerruti watches Laurent said, “We’ve been in the watchmaking space for a long time now. When Cerruti was talking about watches, he focused on the design aspect and the consistency between the design and philosophy of ready-to-wear. France is very important in watch history as most of the old brands are French. The designer who designed our very first watch continues to be our designer to date. What we bring to the customer is a design that is consistent with elegance and part of the fashion roots. We have watches for both men and women.”
A common chatter in the watchmaking industry is that brands that segregate between men’s and women’s watches are often looked down upon. A majority of their watches are large in size, although women in India do wear that size. However, how does the brand decide to position itself here? “One of the values of Mr. Cerruti when he started his fashion house and did his first show in 1967, he was known for blurring the lines between men and women. He created something very bold at that time – he dressed both men and women alike. This is something worth exploring for the watches too. We may have a few watches which are gender-neutral”, Laurent explained.
Adding her thoughts on the same, Suparna said, “Currently we are launching 50 SKUs, with half dedicated to men and the other half to women which is also quite unusual. Most brands tend to be either to male-centric or vice-versa. Our average price point is about Rs. 28000. It’s all about the looks and a good selection of automatic watches.”
Considering Cerruti is a couture brand, is it important for Cerruti to have a Swiss-made movement in their watches? “Our watches are design-led and we choose the movements based on that. The movement is functional while the design is of the highest importance for us. We’re following fashion brands like Dior and Cartier. While our watches have the French touch too, someday we’ll develop a watch with a French movement”, they added.
Laurent Grosgogeat has had years of experience in the fashion industry working with brands like Chanel, Cartier, and more. How has this helped him pave the way for Cerruti? Sharing his thoughts he said, “Discipline, attention to detail, precision, value of luxury and heritage has served as an inspiration for me and that’s what I’ve carried forward to Cerruti. For us at Cerruti, it’s more about building an image that helps drive the other growth of other categories.”
Moving on, French brands in this price segment eventually try to localise the global watches to meet the needs of the Indian audience. Is this something we will see with Cerruti watches too? “Yes. At Cerruti we consider ourselves to grow with every experience. We have a design philosophy on how to make watches, however, we also keep in mind the audience’s needs. Eventually, we come out with very high-quality watches in a way that the aspirations of the audience are met.”
Titan has launched Cerutti watches in India. How much of their involvement is there in localising the watches? Sharing her thoughts Suparna said, “It’s still very early and once we hear feedback from the audience and see the brand growth is when we can get to localising it.”
The first thing the brand wants to achieve in the market is a presence where people trust the brand, admire the design and quality and then we’ll start with using Titan’s experience to grow the brand. But what led to this collaboration with Titan? Sharing her thoughts, Suparna said, “We are doing a lot of work with international brands, retailers, own brands as well as luxury brands. We clearly saw a white space that Cerruti fills on multiple dimensions. First, in our portfolio of brands, we didn’t have a French brand with a fashion statement, at an accessible price point and one which is equally balanced between men and women. The looks of the brand are something we know will do very well. We want to build relations with international brands not just for today but for the future. And with Cerutti, we are doing just that.”
Was Titan the most suitable choice to enter the Indian markets? Sharing his thoughts Laurent said, “Yes of course. They have a very strong experience in the watchmaking and watch retail space. For our founder, it was extremely important to start collaborations and expand to other countries. When we met Titan, our vision was the same and with their experience, it was a great fit. For us, India is a major market and we are entering with a strong category of timepieces.”
Surprisingly, for Titan, their first collaborators were French and that’s where we learned watchmaking. The most recent one was where the chairman of Tata Group was felicitated by the President of France. Their association with the French goes long back and now continues with them launching Cerutti in India.
In terms of Titan as a brand, they have several brands across all price segments along with their growing its own portfolio in the premium segment. What is the future plan behind this? Does any brand impact another? Sharing her thoughts Suparna said, “Raga and Nebula are the perfect examples. Raga is so quintessentially contemporary Indian and Nebula draws inspiration from the heritage and has gold. Gold is loved in India and the roadmap for Nebula is clear in this market. It may be the same customers but not the same customer mindset. With a strong population and incomes growing, we see ourselves as serving Indian customers with their watch needs and more. It’s also about leadership. We are looking at 175 points of sale on ground and e-commerce we are looking at our own website, Tata CliQ, and Ajio Luxe.”
Whether it’s the iconic Cerruti 1881 collection or the avant-garde designs of the Heritage line, each watch exudes an effortless sophistication that stands the test of time. And with the magic number in action, we cannot wait to see the wonders this brand does!