Pedrozo & Piriz — Brand Building In Uncertain Times Adrian Pedrozo gamely takes-on the challenge by Rob Nudds April 13, 2020 MIN READPedrozo & Piriz — Brand Building In Uncertain Times
Starting a new brand is never easy. Starting a new brand in the current climate? Well, some would say that’s brave, some would say it’s stupid, but no one would deny it’s ambitious. Meet Adrian Pedrozo, the founder (and optimistic steward) of Pedrozo & Piriz.
Adrian spends the majority of his time hanging around Geneva, dreaming up watch designs. As it happened, my recent trip to Grenchen coincided with Adrian being in the area, so we caught up with each other in a strange little bar to talk about watches. The resulting transcript is included below. If you’ve got any questions about the interview or Adrian’s new brand, shoot us a message in the comments section.
Rob Nudds: Let me get this off my chest right away. Generally, I don’t like the tourbillon complication. I feel it’s a bit overdone. And, normally, the thought of two of them in one watch is enough to make my eyes roll back in my skull. But, I have to say, that this model is refreshing. It doesn’t overplay the complication at all. In fact, the focal point is clearly the case. Consequently, the twin flying tourbillons are actually a peaceful addition to the display.
Adrian Pedrozo: I am glad you think so. I wanted the watch to have a strong visual without being overly complex. The interest comes from the subtle complexity of the case, and the movement is a nice complement without being too distracting.
RN: Objective achieved. But I do think it is something that needs to be seen, held, and worn to be fully appreciated. I take it that you don’t a retail network established at this point. Is that part of the plan?
AP: No. It is difficult to create products of this nature alongside the establishment of a retail network. The costs involved in the prototyping phase alone don’t leave much room in the price — especially not at first. Perhaps over time, I might establish a network of dealers.
RN: So what if a prospective client wants to see the watch?
AP: I am happy to visit the client wherever they may be. Furthermore, they are welcome to visit me too if that makes more sense for them. When making a purchase of this magnitude it is important, I think, to see and also handle the product first.
RN: And how much are we talking?
AP: 150k VAT excluded. My goal is to be close to 200k, but no more.
RN: So I’m guessing that you invested a hell of a lot in this project.
AP: Yes. It is all my money. All of my savings and family’s money. But we were able to save in the developmental process by modifying an existing movement. The resulting caliber is exclusive to me, but its general architecture was pre-existing. My goal was to leave as much space as possible around the double flying tourbillon towards the bottom half of the dial.
RN: Who makes the movement for you?
AP: A company called CDH — Le Cercle des Horlogers S.A. They have worked with a lot of major luxury brands before. It is a very well-known company among industry insiders.
RN: And the other components?
AB: The case, which comprises titanium and grade 5 pink gold made by AB Concept. The buckle is made by Cornu & Cie. Meanwhile, the strap is made in Geneva. I like this kind of transparency. I have actually listed these companies on my website.
The majority of my investment went on the movement and to create this prototype for clients to view. But, to be honest, the money was not so much of a problem. Certainly, the biggest issue was finding good quality manufacturing companies that will give you sufficient time on the machines.
RN: What’s the concept behind the brand?
AP: Well, the core idea of the brand is an exploration of duality. Two universes colliding, resulting in a new venture or concept. This watch design draws heavily from the architecture of the 1920s and 1930s. The case is structured in that way. Also, the angles and contrasting finishes get the most out of the materials. This kind of anglage is really difficult, but it is worth it. It is the only way to merge the two worlds of watchmaking and architecture effectively.
RN: Yes, some of those contrasting angles and alternating surface finishes are incredibly sharp.
AP: It is expensive. It certainly takes a lot of time. But it is worth it. I had to create the perfect form for the double tourbillons, because the two tourbillons — two, always two repeating throughout the brand — are central to the brand concept. And it is in this idea of two universes becoming one that gave me the idea for the name. Pedrozo is my father’s name; Piriz, my mother’s. And I am the product of those two worlds uniting.
RN: It is, as you know, so hard to do anything “new” in watchmaking that I find this visual quite interesting.
AP: I am glad you like it. I tried to make this first model a metaphor for the brand and the model’s inspirations. As such, the watch has solid foundations. All the screws that hold the case together come from the bottom of the case. They extend through the case and hold everything together.
RN: And so to you, this watch is the expression of a whole life of experience in and around the industry?
AP: For sure, for sure. Like most of us, I love watchmaking. This is a dream come true. I always wanted to have my own watch and brand. But, having worked in the media before, I know how hard it is to stand out from the crowd. I didn’t want to make something that would just fade into the background. I think I have achieved that.
RN: Indeed, but I must say it isn’t the easiest watch to shoot! Especially in this light.
AP: Yes, the glass is coated with anti-reflective material on both sides, which is great on the wrist, but not always the easiest to photograph. As a result, I asked the manufacturers to do whatever they could to make it easier for you guys! We may not have achieved that, but at least I was thinking of you.
RN: Well, on behalf of journalists everywhere, I thank you for that. But tell me this: What’s going on with the dial logo? It doesn’t look as crisp as I’d expect.
AP: This dial is a prototype. We were experimenting with different ways of applying the logo. We plated the dial before laser engraving is. Obviously, it didn’t work out as we’d hoped with this sample. Therefore, we’re going to engrave the logo before applying the coating to the dial. Rest assured, it will be sharp and clean on the finished product.
RN: That makes sense. It must be difficult to put together a totally original design like this.
AP: Oh, it certainly takes a long time. We have experimented with many different ways of doing the same thing. It is important to explore these methods to ensure we put the most accomplished product possible to market.
RN: My gut feeling is that it reminds me a bit of MB&F.
AP: I will take that as a compliment. I love that brand and have the greatest respect for what the team has done when it comes to creating crazy case shapes. With brands like MB&F and Vianny Halter already well-known, it was important for me to create something that could stand alongside those brands without simply copying them. That was a bit of a headache for me. They have done so much between them! I hope I have done enough in that regard. And now all there is to do is communicate the project to the watch-buying public and hope they like it.
This interview took place in Grenchen, Switzerland, on Friday 13th of March, 2020, between Adrian Pedrozo of Pedrozo & Piriz and Rob Nudds. Learn more about the brand here.
Follow me on Instagram @robnudds
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