Giorgio Galli - Creative Timing

Mr Giorgio Galli's expertise has led to him creating many 'bestsellers' in the watch industry for some of the biggest brands. We converse with him about his thoughts and views on watch design

By: LuxuryFacts Team

Posted on: August 10, 2011

Mr Giorgio Galli’s expertise has led to him create many ‘bestsellers’ in the watch industry for some of the biggest brands. We converse with his about his thoughts and views on watch design.

Watches are more of baubles today than actual timekeepers. But making them such a stunning wrist accessory – with new designs every time – is a supremely difficult task. Much like fashion designing, designing watches includes getting all the functionalities in place along with that design theme which will hypnotise the consumer enough into buying it!

Mr Giorgio Galli knows this art well, considering his vast amount of experience in watch designing. He has the distinction of being the youngest art director for Swatch Group for two years. Today, as the Head, Global Design Centre of Timex Group, Mr Galli dabbles in designs for luxury watch brands like Versace and Salvatore Ferragamo, among other brands.

On his recent visit to India, LuxuryFacts interviewed him on his craft and passion – which reflects clearly in his answers.

LuxuryFacts: What made you get into watch design?
Giorgio Galli: Watches have always been my passion, but the big break-through has been when I started to work for Swatch

LF: What is the most exciting thing about your profession?
GG: For any design category, to bring to life a product that I have in my mind is the most exciting thing - from an idea to the wrist of a person.

LF: Do you see a difference in watch design expectations between a European and an Indian watch consumer?
GG: There are many differences, due to cultural and environmental aspects, but we also have to note that expectations are getting much closer on certain segments of the market. Generically speaking the luxury segment is one of them.

LF: Can you explain to us the process of watch designing step-by-step?
GG: Generally it starts with a briefing identifying the segment, price point and consumer category (generally driven by the price). Then the design process starts, with the first phase of concept sketches, leading to an internal selection of few of them. The second phase is to develop scaled and detailed renderings for presentation purpose. Then comes the presentation to the client for the final selection. The final phase begins with the industrialization and production, divided in many phases, from initial prototype to final samples. The process takes approximately nine months.

LF: Being a watch designer, what do you think clinches the deal for a watch buyer – the design or the mechanism?
GG: For a large part of consumers, I would definitely say the design, but for a watch enthusiast like me, the combination of both makes excellence. Again, in this case, it all depends from the contest and the watch segment.

LF: What is the difference between the design DNA of Versace and Ferragamo watches?
GG: Each brand has a very different heritage and history in addition to the style and culture. So it is totally different because when you design for a brand, you have to dive into that entire heritage. You have to get immersed in that culture so that what comes out of your mind is exactly in perfect symphony with what and who the brand is.

LF: Which do you personally enjoy more – designing elegant, bejeweled creations or the more sporty ones? Which kind has more scope for creativity?
GG: Each category of watch requires a different approach with a different level of concentration and scope of creativity. Sport watches in general have much larger number of details.

LF: How many designs do you actually make before you get that perfect one on paper?
GG: With the experience that I have, I am able to elaborate a restricted number of designs before the final. The final selection is always made on the sample, not the designs. And this is the most important phase that can drastically change the initial design.

LF: How do you feel once the sketch is realized into the final watch? It must be an exhilarating feeling?
GG: The best part is to see people around wearing my design. If I think that someone has chosen my watch over another one, that is a great feeing - a big reward for all the work I put in each piece I design.

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