If you’ve never splurged on a luxury watch in the past on account of the small fortunes that Patek Phillipe, Jaeger Le-Coutre, or even Rolex watches cost — it turns out that 2018 just might be the year for you.
“Consumers are just more discerning, with the internet at their fingertips, everything is scrutinized, luxury watch companies can no longer hide behind the mystique of marketing to justify astronomical price tags,” says Elena Morgenstern, a consumer trends analyst based in New York.
As the Financial Times reports, rising prices for luxury goods in the years following the global crisis are partially to blame. “Some customers are no longer willing to pay SFr30,000 [$30,000] for something that 10 years ago cost only SFr10,000,” René Weber, an analyst at Swiss private bank Vontobel, told the Financial Times. The market is demanding a robust stratification of prices for luxury items, and this benefits consumers — we see that with Warby Parker, Everlane, and Away luggage, and now that’s happening for watches with Filippo Loreti.
In 2014, brothers Danielius and Matas Jakutis, were shopping for a good watch and were shocked at just how absurd the markup can be for a big-brand timepiece — some watches cost 1,000% more than they cost to produce. In a bid to democratize access to premium timepieces, they set out to disrupt the watch market.
That’s exactly what motivated Matas and Danielius to found the company known as Filippo Loreti. When it came to buying luxury watches, they were tired of choosing between disposable fast fashion and overpriced luxury timepieces. They simply weren’t able to find well-designed, expertly-crafted products at a reasonable price point. So, they made it their mission to create a new way for people like themselves to access premium watches without emptying their wallets.
The two brothers, Danielius and Matas Jakutis, founded Filippo Loreti in 2014 on a simple concept: create beautifully-design, expertly-crafted, high-quality watches at prices the average person can afford. They named the company “Filippo Loreti,” to embody the iconic style and design aesthetic of Italy.
On the back of their stunning watches, Filippo Loreti set a world record in 2016 for most funded timepiece campaign in crowdfunding history by raising $5.28M in 30 days.
But what makes the Filippo Loreti in-house team truly different is they don’t consider themselves the final say on their designs. Instead, they present images of early prototypes to their online customer community for feedback and discussion before going to production. Time and again, this process has proven to generate designs that are not only “better” aesthetically but also more closely aligned with their customers’ desires and sensibilities.
And let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to have a voice in the design of a premium product they plan to wear everyday? No watch manufacturer we know of offers their customer community that level of collaboration and influence over product design.
Since 2014, they’ve developed more than 8 collections. One of their most recent creations — based on community demand — was a smartwatch that actually looks very attractive!
All designs are developed by swiss based in-house team, and they are using the same manufacturers as other luxury watch brands, but sell their products for ¼ of the price.
The New Aesthetic
For the past decade, the Western design aesthetic has leaned heavily toward minimalism. That trend seems to have run its course and we’re now seeing a more expressive and decorative aesthetic take its place. This is good news for everyone.
One of the hallmarks of a talented designer is the ability to be aware of trends without following them blindly — producing designs that look dated 18 months later. Filippo Loreti’s design team adheres to a core philosophy of “essentialism.” They remove unnecessary clutter from their watches while at the same time producing designs that are original but familiar.
Danielius says, “For us, the process is not simply about mashing up decorative design elements to create fleeting ‘statement pieces.’ Rather, it’s important our designs remain timeless and delicately refined so they transcend and outlive any trend.”
The 3 things we love most about these watches:
1. Overall design – The in-house design team has done an incredible job of making their watches bold without going overboard. A Filippo Loreti looks and feels like wearing a piece of art on your wrist. And that gives your overall look a healthy dash of sophistication. You’re guaranteed to receive compliments.
2. Build quality – The build quality is exceptional: 316L stainless steel cases, sapphire glass crystals, high-precision Japanese movements, Murano glass jewels, and 3D-engraved case backs. These watches are incredible value for their price and there’s no doubt they’ll continue working and looking great for many, many years.
3. Uniqueness – When you wear a Filippo Loreti limited edition piece, there’s virtually zero chance you’ll ever meet someone wearing the same watch. Now that’s cool. And it’s something that’s almost impossible to find at this price point.
So far, it looks like the disruptive approach is working for Filippo Loreti. By removing high prices as a gatekeeper into the market, people who once only dreamed of sporting premium watches are now beginning to enjoy them. And the quality of the watches seems to hold up as well.