European Business: Mr. Tedeschi, RJ Watches claims to offer something very different to other typical watch brands. What makes your timepieces unique?
Marco Tedeschi: Our watches are about emotions; they create the unexpected and transport the wearer to a particular point in history or remind them of an important aspect of their childhood. Many of our watches are made with genuine historical or geographical materials. One of the first watches we created was made using steel from the Titanic. We also produced a watch made with materials from the Apollo 11 spacecraft, and another which incorporates genuine moon dust. History is not only created through events, but also through popular culture. Our collaborations with Marvel comics, Disney and video games companies have resulted in some very stylish yet fun timepieces, inspired for example by iconic games such as Space Invaders™, Pac-Man™ and Tetris, and characters from the Batman and Spiderman films. Customers love this concept - our DC Villains range has almost sold out.
European Business: Your designs may be popular, but availability is strictly limited, isn’t it?
Marco Tedeschi: Exclusivity is one of the most important aspects of the RJ Watches brand. We only produce 100 pieces per edition; currently, we sell just 1,000 timepieces a year. This has created a very special position in the market: a very exclusive brand of high-end watches, that are comparable in quality with Hublot, yet are fun to wear and often represent a theme that is special to the wearer.
European Business: What are RJ Watches’ key markets and how do customers find out about your latest designs?
Marco Tedeschi: Our main marketing channel is social media; the Villains range has virtually sold out purely on the basis of this form of marketing. Historically, Mexico and Japan have been very successful markets for us, as have the Middle East and the US - we recently relaunched the brand in the US and we are about to announce a new subsidiary there. We have recently begun promoting our timepieces in Europe, with a particular focus on Eastern Europe, the UK, France and Italy.
European Business: You took over the RJ Watches brand as CEO a year ago. What have been your key achievements in the first year?
Marco Tedeschi: The first thing we did was to create a completely new and unique RJ Watches brand. We have also set up our own manufacturing facility; in the past we only assembled our watches, and this new development has been a great step for us. We also manufacture parts for external clients in the watch-making sector as well as different industries such as eye-wear and biomedical.
European Business: What do you believe will be the key to RJ Watches’ continued success, and how do you see the firm’s development?
Marco Tedeschi: The most important factor will be to remain small and exclusive. The people that buy our watches want a product that differentiates them, and this is what we must continue to deliver. With our new production unit, our aim is to manufacture 100% of our watch movements ourselves, which will allow additional scope for creativity and a greater opportunity to distinguish our watches from our competitors. For 2019, our goal is to develop and deliver the first watch made 100% in-house. Our long-term vision is to increase our production to 5,000 pieces a year, a number that we believe is ideal for our niche. New collaborations and our talent for crazy ideas will be our route to enhanced success.