MICHELE CORVO - CHAIRMAN OF GMT (GREAT MASTER OF TIME)
W4WATCH : How would you describe the Italian market?
Michele Corvo: Our shop is located in Milan (northern Italy). Our clientele is very International, we welcome foreigners who travel for tourism or business reasons and also local customers. There are some fluctuations amongst the locals (mainly for economic reasons) but they remain buyers of fine watchmaking.
Could you describe your clientele in few words?
I would say: Business, Asians, Russians, Americans.
What kind of watches are your clients interested in?
Our shop offers the Best of Independent Watchmaking thus a very "niche" segment. We have brands like F.P Journe, Urwerk, MB&F, Ressence amongst others.
We are the only ones in Italy to offer such panel of Independent Haute Horlogerie and with the years, we built a solid reputation.
How do your customers know about Independent Watchmaking?
In general, International customers already know the brands and thanks to the web, they find us and come to visit the boutique. With locals, it's more difficult because they do not necessarily know the brands. We therefore must explain, talk, share, teach the brand’s vision. Let’s say, a sort of quick "training".
Some of our customers are curious and they visit our boutique to discover new watches or brands.
I must also say that locals rarely make their first purchase from an Independent brand. For instance, a F.P Journe owner most of the time already bought a Patek Philippe or A. Lange & Söhne.
What’s your opinion about the supply?
In particular the Independent brands present in your point of sale.
Well, we select all the brands we work with. Many brands want to work with us however we need to understand: Who is behind the product? What’s the story? The global strategy? and more. Many aspects must be taken into consideration.
How do you see the future?
I think that famous or "commercial" brands will modify their distribution. Internet and flagship boutiques are going to play an important role.
Regarding the Independents, I believe that boutiques like ours will keep an important role because we are providing “education” to the markets.
Thank you! Mr. Michele Corvo