Cvstos Interview with Antonio Terranova
Co-founder and chief designer of Cvstos, Antonio Terranova, talks about the brand’s new presence at Baselworld in 2016.
You will be in Basel for the first time this year. Surely this adds a whole new dimension to the brand…
Yes, we will have a two-storey stand in Hall 1.1 in a very good location. It’s a very important step for us because we have been trying hard for a number of years to convey the fact that we are a genuinely independent brand without any group or any silent partner behind us. Sassoun Sirmakes and myself have invested our own money in the brand. We are progressing slowly but at our own pace and in a way we can control. Luxury for us is being autonomous. We integrated case production and the production of buckles back in 2008 and we are starting to make our first movement components. Our arrival in Basel underscores this.
Last year we had 200 square metres at Watchland but this has been dismantled and will no longer be used. Waiting for the 2017 WPHH edition, we will only have a small corner at the WPHH next year. But we will use this as a staging post to bring people to our workshops in the St. Gervais quarter of Geneva, which is the historical heart of the city’s watchmaking industry.
Do you have plans to develop the architectural design of the Gustave Eiffel collection?
What happened in this case is that Pierre Coupérie-Eiffel, who is the great-great grandson of Gustave, was worried about the name being lost. So what he did was register a trademark and we are manufacturing under licence from this brand, so we pay royalties to the family. But it has since grown into a friendship and I have promised to come up with a surprise for him every year and we will present the next one at Baselworld this year.
Where do you produce the movement components? You don’t have machines in the workshops in St. Gervais.
Cvstos has a production facility in Prévessin in France, close to the Swiss border. It belongs to my partner and Cvstos doesn’t have any shares in this company, but Cvstos rents production capacity from it. It’s an important stage in our development after 10 years to be able to start producing our own movement components.
"It’s an important stage in our development after 10 years to be able to start producing our own movement components."
Do you have any concerns about meeting the 60% criteria for the Swiss Made label?
All assembly and finishing work is done in Switzerland. The movement blanks are made in France but the rest is done in Switzerland. It is almost an obligation if we want to guarantee the quality of our work.
Do you have any plans to open a point of sale at your workshops?
Not really. It is meant to be a modular space where we can work or make some direct sales, where we can have a showroom during the day, or for exhibitions but which can be converted as well into a lounge for the evening or happenings. The aim is to be able to show what we do and to remove some of the mystery from the production of our watches and be transparent, just like our watches themselves are.