Bedat & Co Baselworld 2014: An interview with Dino Modolo, creative director
“Women are at the heart of creation”. Arabesques and twirls inspired by Art Deco style reinvent Bedat & Co dials in these models offering a delightful blend of femininity and elegance.
Bedat & Co is an exclusively feminine brand. What constraints does that entail in terms of creativity? And what added-value can you bring compared to a brand which offers mixed models?
Historically, watch brands have always approached the notion of watch design by starting with the movement and then working on the exterior. Watchmakers soon found themselves obliged, for size-related issues, to address an essentially masculine clientele. Today, for a great number of brands, 90% of sales are of men’s watches. Designing for a man and a woman is very different – it isn’t the same mind set. And to say that “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” is not just a passing thought. At Bedat & Co, women are at the heart of reflection, and creation, they are not merely satellites. We take all the facets of women into consideration. Singles, professionals, those with children … Simply adding some diamonds on a watch does not make it a feminine model. Things are far more complex than that.
Have women’s tastes evolved over the past few years?
More than a matter of changing tastes, it is in fact women’s status that has changed. The steamroller of advertising and the development of the internet has resulted in making a certain aesthetic approach more intellectually accessible. More specifically, with regard to trends, one might say that the emerging markets are over bling-style fashion. We are moving towards things that are more low key, more practical and more comfortable, with sophisticated yet discreet materials. Nonetheless, the glamour of the purchase, the act of acquisition has not changed.
What theme have you focused your work on this year?
When it comes to architecture, we have done Bedat & Co! The founders of the company were very fond of the Art Deco period and we want to remain true to ourselves, by doing things that are in harmony with our culture. After having done some research, I discovered wrought iron table ornaments by Art Deco artist Paul Kiss. These include scrolling patterns that are as voluptuous as a flower… or a woman.
Bedat & Co watches are mostly equipped with quartz movements. In your opinion, do women look at the aesthetics before looking at the mechanical side of things?
Our watches are made this way because they are in touch with market realities. There are the aspects that are picked up by the media: mechanics, mystery, innovation. And there is market demand. In North America, we are looking at about 90% quartz-driven models.
Which are your favourites amongst the 2014 innovations?
Summing things up, we have developed three segments. The first features 3D-transferred arabesques printed on the N°3 ref 384 and the N°8 ref 827. The volumes, shadows, colours and reliefs stand out against light blue lacquered, brushed opal or white mother-of-pearl dials which are also set with diamonds. For the second segment, on the N°8 ref 828 and the N°3 ref 316, we worked with applied arabesques. Finally, the Extravaganza presents a hand-engraved dial incorporating hand-crafted Grand Feu enamel. I love the architectural side of the 828 and 316 references. But in purely watchmaking terms, I am particularly proud of what we have achieved with the Extravaganza.