REVOLUTION recently had a chance to catch up with Franc Vila, founder and owner of the brand that bears his name. A brand most watch connoisseurs know from its lavishly styled, slightly eccentric and often quite complicated watches. Operating outside the mainstream, this young brand has obtained a following of their own, and Franc Vila provided us with an insight in the past, present and future.
What can you tell us of the history of Franc Vila?
You could say it have been like a dream came true, or even a fairy tale, and we are so pleased and proud to say that we will celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2015.
The design of a Franc Vila is quite unusual. Where do you get your inspiration from?
The inspiration for Franc Vila watches is taken from contemporary art, mixed with new technologies and new materials, with a touch of mechanical engineering.
What are the most important ingredients of the Franc Vila DNA?
Our DNA consists of innovation in design and technology, new materials, with a strong and unique identity.
Franc Vila has a lot of complicated movements in its collection. How important is this for the brand?
A high level of complication is of great significance and consideration for a watchmaking company like us.
Some brands really aspire to be a full-blown manufacture, others prefer to work with a variety of partners to create amazing watches. How does Franc Vila take on this matter?
We prefer to work with a variety of partners in order to choose the most appropriate ones according to our needs. It’s the best way to take advantage of the latest technology and best expertise available. However the ultimate quest for an independent company like ours is of course, one day, to become a manufacture.
Is there such a thing as the typical Franc Vila customer? And if so, what kind of person is this?
He or she is obviously non-conservative, certainly original, exclusive, contemporary, and mostly a trendsetter, with an evident wish of being part of the elite.
Haute Horlogerie has become a crowded market place in the two decades. How does Franc Vila deal with this?
Franc Vila has always targeted a niche market, which helped us to weather the economic crisis. Our unique design is so recognizable and such a strong asset, that we have been able to keep our heads above a crowded scene. We also dedicate very high importance and attention to customer service, which is not possible in other larger companies. In the end, not only is the product important to Franc Vila, but also the quality of our tailor-made service.
Many major brands are expanding rapidly their boutique approach towards the market. What is Franc Vila’s take on this?
As mentioned before, we will celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2015, but we don’t want to expand too fast and therefore we need to work with the best retailers in the world who share our philosophy. The tendency of other brands to open their own boutiques is a plus for Franc Vila, as it is leaving new doors open for an independent company to step in.
What can we expect in the near future from Franc Vila?
We have a lot of new designs and ideas in the pipeline. For example, be prepared in Fall 2014 for a revolutionary Tourbillon Minute Repeater. Following that will be a new chrono skeleton movement in the Neo Alta collection, and the first divers watch for Franc Vila. We also didn’t forget our Tribute to Ladies collection, which will be introducing new mechanical complications in 2015.
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics