September 07 2011
Lucia van der Post
Think watches, and Ermenegildo Zegna isn’t the first name that comes to mind. Cashmere coats, beautifully cut suits in beguilingly light fabrics, laid-back holiday clothes imbued with lots of Italian brio – that’s more like it. Clothes, after all, are what the stylish Italian menswear brand is primarily all about. But last year, for the very first time, Zegna, in close collaboration with Switzerland’s Girard-Perregaux, came up with a limited edition of just 100 watches.
You may be wondering, why? Well Gildo Zegna, CEO of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, puts it thus: “We [ie Zegna and Girard-Perregaux] both have an affinity for craftsmanship and for precision instruments, our brands have a family vision with long-standing heritage and we are both obsessed with nothing but the finest quality.”
As it happens, there’s a little more to it than that. Michelangelo Zegna, the father of the firm’s founder, Ermenegildo, was a watchmaker by trade, so for the company’s centennial-year celebrations, launching a watch made for it by a company that itself now has 220 years of history in the world of haute horlogerie, seemed a special way to mark the year. So successful was the launch that Zegna is following it up this year with two more watches (this time not in a limited edition), both made by Girard-Perregaux. They go under the name of the Monterubello Collection, Monterubello being the name of a mountain in the area where the Zegna family first started weaving its textiles.
One of the watches is a chronograph in rose gold (right in picture). Its stablemate, the Solo Tempo (left in picture), is slim and classically elegant, and comes in white or rose gold. Both designs were inspired by a 19th-century pocket watch that belonged to Michelangelo Zegna.
For those who love the Zegna brand and want a very classy watch that combines a bit of fashion history with top-class Swiss watchmaking, these watches have it all. Prices range from £10,000 to £25,000, and the watches are available worldwide in Zegna boutiques.