It all started with three people and a dream to build a luxury brand of Indian origin. A wholesale jeweler with enormous dreams has transformed into one of India’s premier luxury jewelry brands, with stores in India and the Middle East after 40 years of hard work and perseverance. It’s Rose, of course!
There are several reasons why Rose is admired around the world, but perhaps the most important is its ability to fuse Indian tradition with a western style. Rose has been working for more than 40 years to bring Indian craftsmanship and design to the rest of the world.
For its 40th anniversary, they teamed up with Bulgari, a world-renowned Italian Maison with values that aligned with their own, to create a one-of-a-kind piece. Malachite dials have been added to Bulgari’s Serpenti watch, which is a testament to Rose, known for its ‘green’ color and its history of working with rare jewels.
The generations of Bulgari designers that combine brilliant color combinations with finely proportioned volumes and unmistakable Roman symbols have developed a particular style over time. When it comes to jewelry, Bulgari has always remained true to its cultural roots, but it has also brought new trends and ideas that have become iconic symbols of contemporary design. It was only fair for Rose to choose Bulgari for this special timepiece.
A casual conversation at Baselworld 2019 has taken them more than three and a half years and a pandemic to reach their customers. For them, this is the ideal melange of two iconic brands.
In conversation with Karan Vaidya, Vice President, Marketing and Retail Operations, The Rose Group, and Biren Vaidya, Managing Director and Creative Director, The Rose Group, we deep-dived into this unique collaboration, the luxury watch industry in India, and all about the brand. Let’s hear what they had to say!
Being in the industry for four decades, we asked him to take us through the evolution of the luxury watch industry in India. He said, “Until the early 90s, India was a closed economy and most collectors had no choice but to buy their watches internationally. In fact, even after India opened its doors, not many watch brands considered us a key market. After all, the traditional mindset of most Indians was always to invest in gold and diamonds. Watches were considered mere accessories.
With the advent of the internet and then social media, awareness has skyrocketed. Suddenly, people have begun appreciating the value of timepieces, their movements, and the appreciation of their value over time, and so on. It’s only after that, that watches came to be considered an asset class, and not just an accessory. At the Rose Watch Bar, we see it even in the store.
Today the informed customer understands watches intrinsically. In fact, our customers today know of most Independent watch brands too. Heightened awareness, along with the education by people in the industry like us, has mainly brought about the evolution of the luxury watch industry in India!” Karan Vaidya.
The luxury jewelry market in India is seeing a sharp rise. What truly distinguishes Rose from other luxury jewelry brands in India?
“Well, it has taken four decades, a master Creative Director- Beevee, a commitment to luxury and exquisite craftsmanship. Our customers feel it the minute they walk into our store or see our site. We proudly host a very exclusive collection of jewels. And this collection is what sets Rose apart from other jewelry brands. My father, Biren Vaidya, is himself a bench jeweler and has personally trained our team of 70 craftsmen. Their skill in bringing to life his unique designs has literally created magic. Each and every piece reflects genuine beauty and uniqueness. And most importantly, in these times of factory-made, machine-cast jewelry. At Rose, we use technology to enhance the making of a piece without replacing the hand-crafted magic of our ‘karigars’,” says Karan.
No wonder their products are a treat to the eye. Named after a flower, and rightly so, their design process is an intriguing one. “Certainly. The rose-inspired name ‘Rose’ was a no-brainer. Like our jewelry, it’s a symbol of beauty, strength, royalty, and love. Our team at Rose is well-versed in the monetary and artistic worth of Indian handicrafts. Even though we move with the times, we are able to master and preserve them. To create really one-of-a-kind creations, our team devotes countless hours to perfecting our processes, applying the highest quality materials, and coming up with stunning designs. That’s how we make works of art that are as beautiful as the Rose flower, a symbol of love, beauty, and majesty,” says Biren Vaidya.
With so many brands out there, Is Rose a jeweler who retails watches or a luxury watch retailer who also designs high-end jewels? Biren says, “I’d say Rose is neither. A goal to create the first luxury brand of Indian heritage has led us to construct a jewelry brand of international renown. My watch business friends Jean Christophe Babin and Jean Claude Biver encouraged me to open Rose The Watch Bar since they knew how much I adored all things aesthetically pleasing. Starting as a passionate effort to teach clients about high horology, selling timepieces became a natural outcome. We were pleasantly surprised by the customers’ response, and Rose The Watch Bar has grown exponentially in the last several years into a stand-alone enterprise. In terms of prestige, it ranks alongside the jewelry industry.”
This now brings us to the iconic Rose x Bulgari Serpenti Edition. Why was the Serpenti your choice of watch to celebrate this monumental occasion? Biren says, “We wanted to celebrate our 40th anniversary in a memorable way. We aimed to provide our clients with something well-known, yet distinctive. As a result, we teamed together with Bulgari, longtime collaborators and friends, to create a classic, but with a Rose touch!
Talking about the watch, he said, “The Serpenti needs no further introduction. A bracelet has long been a dream of many ladies. The malachite dial on our Rose and Bulgari Serpenti watch is breathtaking, to say the least. It’s basically a nod to the Rose brand’s signature green color. Rose and Bulgari have a long history of dealing with rare jewels, and this piece is a nod to that. This is why, for our 40th anniversary, we have decided to make only 40 of these limited edition timepieces worldwide, allowing only 40 unique customers to get their hands on this collector’s item!”
The Serpenti has found a home in the hearts of every woman collector. Talking about the importance of this watch in building a community of female watch collectors, Karan said, “Oh, very important, of course! The Serpenti is the ideal synthesis of jewelry and timepieces. As a piece of jewelry, the Tubogas Bracelet has a special place in the hearts of many young people today. In addition, the Serpent head watch face is a fantastic match for this wristwatch. The Serpenti brings together high fashion and jewelry enthusiasts into the field of Haute Horology.
Over the course of its existence, Rose, as a brand, has undergone numerous transformations. Now that the pandemic has been going on for a few years, they’re in full-on expansion mode. When they first entered the Middle East, they had no idea how well things would go. And now they’re aiming to expand their reach throughout the region and beyond the world. Over the next year, the Watch Bar plans to completely re-imagine its store and customer experience. They want to provide their customers with an even more polished experience of ultimate and complete luxury. Just the ideal way to celebrate and make a mark in the industry!