Pita Barcelona, a fairly new luxury watch brand, is making waves with its patented technology and elegant features, proving to be valuable for those who need to keep transitioning through indoor-outdoor activities
By: Kennedy Orrell
Posted on: December 5, 2018
If watches could speak, Pita’s timepieces would whisper elegant words in your ear. In a world where complex watches are considered the pinnacle of luxury, Pita Barcelona makes watches that are complex indeed, but extremely simple in their appearance and thought.
Owned and operated by the Pita family, the company creates its pieces through Aniceto Pita’s dedication to durable, well-made watches, and his son Daniel’s designs. Together, this dynamic duo is surpassing standards of other remarkable brands with a “defined vision of creating timepieces with surprising functionality and simplicity to digest some of the complications for visual harmony and better usability by embedding the Barcelona & Mediterranean style into every timepiece.”
Born in Southern Spain, Mr. Pita has been passionate about timepieces since childhood. From his first timekeeping creation of a water and oil clock to his years of schooling in micro-engineering in Barcelona, he became devoted to a lifetime of restoring and creating. Setting up his own shop in 1971, he serviced and restored countless timepieces and received acclaimed recognition for his skillful mastery. Wanting to do more around the late 90s, he used his tools of restoring to create an entirely new timepiece from scratch. After being asked to join the AHCI, a group of “fellow-crazy-artisan-watchmakers” he started his own creations in 2005. Now, Daniel co-designs and handles business aspects so Mr. Pita can focus entirely on watchmaking tasks.
The Swiss and German are precise. The Spaniards, however, are not only aesthetically inclined, but daring as well when it comes to pushing boundaries. A testament to this character certificate is Antoni Gaudi, whose architecture dots Barcelona. His convention-defying ideas have disgusted some, but mostly fascinated everyone, including Mr. Pita. So exceptional are Mr. Gaudi’s designs that the church La Sagrada Familia, architected by him, has been in the making since 1892.
Reinforcing this influence of the Mediterranean culture on Mr. Pita’s creations, ingenuity and relaxation are two words that come to mind. Pita Barcelona watches will always have a simple dial, but with a gear here or a bird there, adding intrigue to the watch.
With original focus on vintage and collector pieces, they decided instead to cook up new recipes. “In watchmaking, there is a trend towards Tourbillon complications. It is a respectable endeavour, although we feel it has been overly exploited, and therefore the surprise factor is totally gone,” the company said in an email interview.
The brand is therefore creating unique mechanisms to offer style and utility for myriad functions. That’s how the Oceana Dive watch was born - a dive watch with no weak points. Eliminating the crown completely, which essentially is a hole inside the case, allowing air and water to escape inside, Mr. Pita has allowed underwater enthusiasts to do a fantastic task. Combining their Time Setting Mechanism with their Remote transmission allows for a distant magnetic gear connection, making it possible to set the watch underwater. No other existing watch brand is able to do that.
The Oceana dive timepiece is their most technologically advanced, followed by their slow-motion Carousel timepiece where the whole movement rotates every 12 hours giving time without the need of a real hand, or the Sol y Luna, created in 2004 that used a rotating Sun & Moon disk to display 24 hours without hands.
Investing in relationships
Being an independent company, they are able to be flexible, fast, and direct, investing in relationships with their customers and collectors alike rather than brand ambassadors such as actors or sportsmen. Attending different fairs every year, they meet collectors face to face to showcase a selection of their creations. This is truly a family affair as you speak with Daniel or Aniceto himself rather than a sales attendant. It’s a much more intimate, trusted and carefully crafted experience.
As a four-person team, the biggest challenge is deciding which timepieces or special projects to take on next. The biggest decision comes when they have to reject a customer due to ongoing projects already in the production stage. Although, being a small business, they continue using transparency and honesty with prices, not having to gauge out customers for new technology.
The process of creating a timepiece is more than a mechanical money-making machine. For Pita it is a highly emotional process from beginning to end. The most fulfilling part is sharing this feeling with buyers. With novel ideas, contributions to horology, and emotional discussions with watch enthusiasts, Pita is surpassing other more well-known German and Swiss-made watch brands with their originality.
As the architect Mies van der Rohe said: “Less is More,” Pita is using this to simplify and refine their timepieces. Molinos Orbital is a homage to the old clocks with big gears which Aniceto and Daniel were always mesmerized by. “We wanted to transfer that feeling into a wristwatch, but we did not want to create a simple skeleton timepiece, where all the gears are exposed, becoming a bit messy image,” Daniel said. Therefore, they have three gears rotating constantly in a planetary manner. These gears tell you the time directly (without any hands) with two embedded stones in each gear. These timepieces are “Complication Simplified.”
Whether you’re like Aniceto, wearing two watches but always living relaxed without rush, or like Daniel, in a fast-paced city like Tokyo which demands speed, Pita’s timepieces will always make you stop and wonder at the simplicity of life.