For the occasion, the luxury fashion house commissioned Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis to create two resin fountains, which are larger, customized variations of those she created in December to celebrate Fendi’s 10-year participation at Design Miami. A pink fountain reproducing Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana’s suggestive façade served as the central display to show a range of variations of the Forever Fendi timepiece.
The women’s watch, available in two sizes, has a rounded case and a signature stainless-steel bracelet featuring the label’s interlocking FF logo. The Forever Fendi watch, which comes in a kaleidoscopic variety of color combinations and becomes even more precious with a crown punctuated by diamonds, retails from 1,050 euros to 13,000 euros.
“This watch reflects what happened in the last period when we celebrated our FF logo, which just tells everything about the house, with both accessories and ready-to-wear,” said Fendi accessories and men’s creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi. She emphasized the small size of the timepiece and its curved lines that make it look “feminine and sophisticated.”
“The watch category is growing extremely nicely,” said Fendi chairman and chief executive officer Serge Brunschwig, who declined to reveal figures related to the performance of the category. “Watches are very interesting high-end accessories which we treat with the same attention and craftsmanship of our core products, such as leather goods and fur.”
Explaining the company’s decision to skip Baselworld for the second time and host an in-house presentation at its headquarters, Brunschwig said: “I think that it was the right move after years of working on the development of this category. We had a collection we were super proud of and we thought that Palazzo della Civiltà was the right place to show it in its own environment. Even if our watches are handmade in Switzerland in Neuchâtel, since they require specific production skills, we have a dedicated design team in Rome which works with Silvia [Venturini Fendi] to deliver a style reflecting the brand’s overall aesthetic.”
For the official presentation of the collection, Fendi brought to Rome from Neuchâtel a few watch artisans, who showcased the steps to create the brand’s high-end watches.
This experiential initiative reflected Brunschwig’s decision in October to include watchmaking in the LVMH “Les Journées Particulières” initiative designed to exalt the outstanding craftsmanship that defines the luxury labels that are part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. “We though it was super important to show all the métiers of the company and even if sometimes the artisans involved seem to have nothing in common, they actually share so much…the same values, the same attention to quality and beauty, they speak the same Fendi language which breaks any national and cultural boundaries,” the ceo said.
During the presentation, a Fendi watch designer also unveiled the made-to-measure service available for the brand’s signature Policromia watch, which was designed by Venturini Fendi’s daughter, jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez Fendi and introduced in 2016.
Bearing its name from the Greek word meaning “multiple colors,” the Policromia timepiece, which is in both 33-mm. and 38-mm. case sizes, has an intricate geometric multimaterial dial, which is inspired by the architecture of Rome and the geometric volumes of the Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana.
Similar to the brand’s Peekaboo “It” bag, during special events at Fendi flagships and key specialty stores, the Policromia watch can be entirely customized from 100,000 possible combinations. The next made-to-order event will take place at Fendi Rome’s flagship in early April.
“The launch of this timepiece marked a very important moment for Fendi, because it paved the way for future projects in the haute jewelry arena,” said Venturini Fendi.
In July, Fendi will introduce another women’s timepiece, called Fendi Mania, which features the case in the shape of the FF logo.
While Fendi delivers a range of men’s timepieces, the women’s watch division still accounts for the lion’s share. “I think the women’s one is the biggest market for watches with a twist,” Brunschwig said.
According to data provided by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, in the 11 months ended Nov. 30, exports of Swiss-made timepieces were up 7.1 percent to $19.9 billion, compared to the same period the previous year.