Cerruti 1881, the contemporary fashion brand, entered the Indian market in an exclusive partnership with Titan Company Limited. The launch of the brand took place at the Embassy of France in New Delhi and was attended by the Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Lenain, Eric Fajole, Head of Business France – South Asia, Mr Laurent Grosgogeat, Chief Executive Officer, Cerruti 1881, Ms Suparna Mitra, Chief Executive Officer, Watches and Wearables Division, Titan Company Limited. Available at an attractive price point starting between INR 20,000 to INR 45,000, and will be available at Helios, select Titan World retail stores.
On this occasion, H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, said, “I am glad to see Cerruti 1881, an iconic Parisian fashion label with Italian roots, joining hands with Titan Company Limited to launch its watch brand in India. The watches are a beautiful combination of French design and technology. We look forward to having their presence here in India.”
GMT India spoke with Laurent Grosgogeat, Chief Executive Officer of Cerruti 1881, and Suparna Mitra, Chief Executive Officer, Watches and Wearables Division, Titan Company Limited on this launch.
GMT India: Congratulations on the launch and welcome to India. Could you share how this collaboration with Titan Company came about?
Laurent Grosgogeat: We are very happy to be associated with Titan because we at Cerruti have been working with the best partners historically in new countries so it was very important for us to find the best partner. We now believe that we are in the hands of Titan fr our watches in India and we are very confident. It's an important category, and we also share the same values (Titan, Tata Group with Cerruti) like strong heritage, family owned. India is a complex market, there is huge potential for all categories so we wanted to enter the market the right way. We believe that we are the perfect product with a perfect design and the positioning for the Indian market. It's a start to a new chapter with Titan.
GMT India: Has the brand been planning to make an entry into the Indian watch market for a while now? What is your take on the Indian luxury market today, especially with regards to timepieces?
LG: The Indian luxury market is currently developing, there is a huge potential. When we look at the development story, we see acceleration in this market. It took China 20 years to reach the current stage and India has the potential to become the next market for personal luxury for all categories and come in the top 3 luxury markets in the world. We also wanted to be a part of this success story. Indian consumers are now opening to new stories, new international brands and this pace is in both watches and jewellery. There are new socio economic trends that are strong.
GMT India: Which are the key timepieces being unveiled as part of this launch? What would you say is the USP of these watches? Are they more aesthetically driven or has the brand prioritised movements over aesthetics for these watches? Or has the brand chosen to strike a balance between both? (Get as many details as possible).
LG: We have curated watches specifically for the Indian market which we have balanced between 50% mens and 50% ladies. It's a well balanced collection with a lot of new designs and we have focussed on the artistic nature of the watch, bringing in new materials.
GMT India: So when you talk of materials what are the materials used?
LG: So we use the highest quality of stainless steel, forged carbon, and its innovation is how we use colours, platings, different dial designs.
GMT India: Luxury brands are increasingly targeting a younger clientele. How is Cerruti 1881 tapping into this segment, especially in terms of creating a stronger appeal among millennials and Gen Z?
LG: The Cerruti collection is very design led and even in youth who expect something new and innovative, where design is cutting edge.
GMT India: How has online shopping changed the brand’s operational strategies?
LG: What online is bringing is information about the brand, where it is the first point of contact with the consumer. They can go on the website and learn more on the story of the brand and see the product before being on the transactional side. It is important they can feel the spirit of the brand. I am coming from the retail luxury side and a strong believer of physical stores. It is important that the consumer stops by the store with physical interaction with the sales associate, there is exchange of aspiration.
GMT India: The movements used in the automatic collection are they in-house or outsourced?
LG: The movements are outsourced on the basis of the model itself. Looking at the aesthetics of the watch, we judge which movement suits which design. We go on family by family case like aesthetics of the case, the dial, and which movement suits that watch.
GMT India: First the TimeVallee launch with Tata Cliq Luxury, and now Titan collaborating to bring Cerruti 1881 timepieces to India: is this part of a conscious strategy adopted by the Tata Group to collaborate with more international entities and expand its offerings for the Indian watch consumer?
Suparna Mitra: At Titan, we are looking at expanding our portfolio and especially on the premium watches side, and with that there is a play for our own brands and there is also a play for international brands. So this launch with Cerruti 1881 is a big step in the international brand portfolio for Titan. Consumers in India are looking for different international watches and this is a very special brand.
GMT India: What are your expectations from the collaboration with Cerruti 1881? And what made you decide to introduce this brand to the Indian market?
SM: So,the Indian premium watch market has been growing wll for the last three years and we know that Indian consumers are looking at different brands with different stories and Cerruti 1881 was ticking the boxes on many things. It's a brand that is not there in India, it's a Parisian brand coming from the world of couture. It has a very interesting brand history, and the price point of INR 20,000 to INR 45,000 is just right. This is a win-win to bring this brand to India.
GMT India: In an age of smartwatches and stylish looking quartz timepieces, how is Titan looking to make mechanical watches more appealing to Indian consumers, especially the youth (millennials and Gen Z)?
SM: Mechanical watches are trending right now and young consumers are looking at mechanical offerings which are very contemporary and we are seeing mechanical watches doing very well from our own collection as well as international brand collections.
GMT India: As a legacy brand, how do you manage to cater to the old school people and the new generation?
SM: At Titan we have always looked at inclusivity and it's an inclusive brand. We have looked at segmenting and catering to that segment. In our own brand portfolio we have kids brands like Zoop, we have women’s brands like Raga, we have Octane, Nebula which is a gold brand, we have the Edge, so the way we look at the market is looking at every Indian and catering to their watch needs. In the context of that there are many Indians who prefer international brands and that is where the international brand strategy comes in and in that strategy we have Cerruti 1881 that we have launched, catering to all India consumers needs and serving them.
Image Credits: Cerruti 1881 and Titan Company Limited