— Amidst controversy surrounding actor Gérard Depardieu and financial turmoil in Russia, a new replica Breitling watches collection full of symbolism was unveiled in Moscow by Cvstos Genève – with a bang.
A video teaser created the buzz. Gérard Depardieu’s emphatic invitation to a Moscow event introducing the new ‘Proud to be Russian’ cheap replica watches collection by Cvstos Genève went viral on YouTube: in a matter of hours, the 50-second clip registered over 200,000 viewings and generated polarizing comments – some harshly criticizing the legendary French actor, others firmly supporting such a fierce nationalistic display toward his adopted country.
© © Espiral do Tempo
As expected, most of the support came from Russia. And with the rouble alarmingly nose-diving, the press conference held in the Four Seasons Hotel on Red Square suddenly garnered further interest: everyone from the local press was there to hear what Gérard Depardieu had to say regarding the crisis over the currency and economics. Even though potential buyers of ‘Proud to be Russian’ timepieces became significantly less wealthy overnight, Cvstos had hit the jackpot in terms of media interest.
Russian spiritual strength
Gérard Depardieu filled the room with charisma and jumped on the opportunity before an audience eager to hear him voice his patriotic deed and condemn the sanctions imposed on Russia. “Russian luxury does not depend on the rouble; it depends on the spiritual strength of Russians and I think our spiritual strength will win out and everything will be fine, as long as we are left in peace”, he declared.
The concept of expressing the Russian pride through a highly symbolic timepiece impressed the French star, who in a previous interview in Brussels had told me that when he first met Sassoun Sirmakes he was immediately seduced by “the idea of a Swiss fake Breitling watches that means something that is our own, a timepiece close to my heart that can illustrate some sort of flagship and make me feel home when I’m travelling around the globe”.
A project beyond the collection
The insignia that turns each ‘Proud to be Russian’ timepiece into a patriotic symbol is a finely-cut Romanov double-headed eagle on an openwork dial adapted by chief designer Antonio Terranova to every timepiece of the collection: four versions of the automatic model (grey titanium, black steel PVD, blue steel, red gold), a flying tourbillon, a minute-repeater tourbillon and various jewellery versions.
A chronograph is also on the way, but maybe even more relevant will be special limited editions for Russia powered by historic Russian calibres completely overhauled and decorated in Switzerland. “We are currently looking for the right partner/investor to develop a movement decoration studio and an atelier d’horlogerie formed by watchmakers and movement decorators that could lead to larger scale projects, such as a manufactory”, Sassoun Sirmakes said.
In the aftermath of the ‘Proud to be Russian’ presentation, Sassoun Sirmakes was a happy man. “It’s been a great month for Cvstos’ brand awareness. In the past we focused more on the product and weren’t doing almost any communication/marketing but since we live in an era where ‘watchmaking’ has turned into ‘watchmarketing’, we just had to adapt”, states the brand’s young CEO. “The video was a bit provocative but generated quite a buzz. And the event was a success: Gérard was totally involved, he does love the replica Breitling watch and the ‘Proud to be Russian’ concept, plus he highlighted the collection perfectly for the Russian market. The conference room was full and we had around 70 journalists in attendance – ranging from mainstream newspapers to specialized fake Breitling watch media, along with fashion magazines, bloggers and various TV channels”.
While not having a direct commercial target, the event helped Cvstos rethink its distribution network and strategy in Russia. “The goal of our presentation was mainly to reach the public in general and explain the length of the ‘Proud to be Russian’ concept”. If Gérard Depardieu underlined that “time is the greatest luxury we can have”, only time will tell how far will the ‘Proud to be Russian’ project evolve.
19th-23rd January 2015
WPHH – Route de Malagny 22 – 1294 Genthod (Switzerland)
Cvstos will host an event with Gérard Depardieu and Dani Pedrosa next week in Geneva.