CVSTOS Tattoos and watches!
Building on the success of the Challenge Jet-Liner Inkvaders Skull, CVSTOS is extending its partnership with tattoo artist Christian Nguyen for a number of upcoming models.
The pairing-up of Sassoun Sirmakes, CEO of CVSTOS, with Christian Nguyen, tattoo artist and founder of the Inkvaders studio was the result of a chance encounter. A mutual friend brought the two men together at a concert. They started to kick a few ideas around, and a partnership was the inevitable conclusion. In less than eight months the first timepiece was born: the Challenge Jet-Liner Inkvaders Skull. It was so successful that Sassoun Sirmakes is now planning to extend the partnership, bringing the tattoo artist’s creations to life with the help and talents of co-founder Antonio Terranova, CVSTOS artistic director. Interview.
Tattoos and watches – it’s not the most obvious partnership.
Sassoun : And yet combining these two worlds has produced a very good result. Christian is a very talented artist, and I love his style. Reproducing his drawings on a watch is not only a technical challenge, it’s also a way of displaying art on the wrist. It’s fascinating!
Christian : Yes, it’s a hell of a challenge. But my role is relatively simple: I just draw. That’s my job. The watchmakers have the hardest job: they have to make the drawing technically and materially feasible while reproducing it in 3D.
Antonio : But it’s not just the mixing of two worlds, it’s the working together that is really stimulating. Christian is a true artist! Our collaboration is the result of a shared desire to create art. Yes, it is a challenge to reproduce a work of art on a watch face while staying faithful to Christian’s original design.
What kind of watches can we expect from your ongoing partnership?
Sassoun : We want to keep with Christian’s artistic style. I’d like to make a second Skull, but this time creating an almost perfect illusion of a tattoo, extending all the way onto the watch case. We’ll have to see how that can be achieved...
Christian : I’ll also be designing some more Asian-inspired models: sakura flowers, butterflies, roses, maybe even a koi carp...
Christian, you’re wearing a CVSTOS watch. In the interests of fairness, Sassoun Sirmakes and Antonio Terranova, are you planning to get a tattoo from Christian?
Sassoun : I’m thinking about it. My wife thinks I should get a tattoo. So there’s a strong possibility that I may take the plunge in the coming months.
Antonio : NO! (Laughter) I’d love to, the idea appeals to me, and I’m a great admirer of Christian’s style. But I’m too much of a wimp, I could never go through with it!
How do you go about creating new models with Christian?
Sassoun : We ask Christian for a specific design: skeleton, flower, whatever. Then he draws it, however he likes. Then it’s up to me to find out whether our clients are interested in the design. If so, the drawing ends up on Antonio’s desk and we make the watch.
Antonio : CVSTOS’s strength is its products. This partnership enables us to capture Christian’s sensibility and convey it through our watches.
What about you, Christian; what’s it like to draw something that will end up as a physical, mechanical piece, rather than on the skin?
Christian : It’s great! My drawings are transformed into 3D. My role is to produce the drawings, they put them into practice. They’re the ones with the difficult job!
CVSTOS is eleven years old. How do you see the brand today?
Sassoun : When Antonio and I created CVSTOS, we weren’t necessarily thinking long-term. We just jumped in, with the idea that we’d see what happened to our brand; we didn’t ask ourselves too many questions. Today CVSTOS is gradually gaining recognition. Our order book is comfortably full, and there is plenty of international demand, so we are quite pleased.
How do you see CVSTOS evolving in the years to come?
Sassoun : We’d like to expand our markets in the United States and in Switzerland. But to do that, we must have the right products! We need to adapt our products to demand and to current trends. I’d like to double our revenues in the next three years. Also, we currently produce 2000 pieces per year. It would be good to increase that too.
So, your plans for new products will be focused on...?
Sassoun : A women’s collection! Our brand is essentially sports watches, but we’d like to develop our women’s watch output – with the help of Christian, who has shown us some particularly feminine floral designs. We will also be producing a number of men’s models for 2017, including a new Skull in a limited edition of 20.