de Grisogono In search of de Grisogono’s DNA
Unfettered creativity, abundant collections and an “anything goes” attitude. But how can we define this brand’s DNA? WorldTempus has a go.
The page seems to go on forever, scrolling endlessly. Browsing de Grisogono’s watch collections is a little like following Bob Dylan’s latest tour – the famous “Never Ending Tour” that began in 1988 and still continues today. And yet watch marketing has its non-negotiable rules: collections must be clear, stable, limited and easily identifiable.
Many watchmakers out there have been selling the same collections for 50 or 100 years, and they limit their ranges to just four or five. De Grisogono has 21. It would be ridiculous to list them all. Or would it? An unconventional company deserves an unconventional approach. The challenge set by de Grisogono, for those willing to play the game, is to identify its DNA from this horological kaleidoscope, in which each collection illustrates a different aspect.
The art of asymmetry
The first element of its DNA is asymmetry. This is particularly visible in the women’s collections. De Grisogono sees women as liberated, surprising and unexpected. Their watches should reflect those qualities. When you have a collection named “Eccentrica”, that’s no accident! The case looks circular, but in fact it is framed by two brancards that merge into the lugs, a balanced composition that nevertheless breaks the usual codes of the perfectly round watch. The Lovivi features a convex rectangular face set into a bangle, while the Luna is an asymmetrical oval.
Lovivi S02 © de Grisogono
Every watch needs a strap
It’s a truism that every wristwatch needs a strap, but this essential element is all too often relegated to second place. Not by de Grisogono. Where other watchmakers reserve their use of shagreen for limited editions, or don’t use it at all, de Grisogono employs this uniquely textured leather in its regular collections. The same goes for colours: de Grisogono doesn’t waste much time on black. Black doesn’t feature at all in the Tondo By Night collection, or the Tondo Tourbillon Gioiello, and has just one reference in the Lovivi range. The Allegra collection features a strap made up of a bundle of coloured leather cords.
Tondo By Night S13 © de Grisogono
Gem-setting is the art of fixing stones onto jewellery. But who said the stones all have to be lined up? Most jewellers take the geometrical route, but not de Grisogono. In the Sugar collection, gems tumble over the edge. On the Grappoli, the stones radiate out from the centre in uneven concentric circles. The Luna combines random snow-setting with a curved baguette arrangement, producing a crescent moon shape.
Sugar S09 © de Grsogono
Sugar S09 © de Grsogono
Time for a change
The final aspect of the brand DNA is the way it displays the time. De Grisogono likes to play around, dodge convention, conceal its intentions. It’s impertinent but elegant at the same time, like a masked reveller at the Venice Carnevale.
The Crazyskull is almost too obvious to mention: wristwatch, watch-bracelet and jewellery – it’s all those things at once. Plus, it tells the time! The Meccanico DG, like the Crazyskull, is a multitasker. The time indicated by the hands is repeated on a digital display. The Occhio looks as if it’s in danger of being swallowed up behind a camera shutter. And the Instrumentino has just two numbers: 4 and 8. Why? Because it’s balanced, because it’s different, because it’s unique. Because it’s de Grisogono.
Occhio N01 © de Grisogono
Keen to develop technical timepieces with a refined and distinctive aesthetic appearance, in less than twenty years de GRISOGONO has successfully carved out a niche in the world of watchmaking. Its audacious design ethos is expressed in firmly contemporary, off-beat timepieces.Find out more >
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