Buy Italian products

filippo_loreti_womens_watchIf you follow the world of watch making you may have noticed a prominent newcomer in this overloaded market: Filippo Loreti. This company claims to deliver Italian luxury watches at a very competitive price by stepping outside of the traditional model of selling timepieces through dealers and retailers. It’s hard to argue with the prices, because they are more attractive than regularly priced items from typical luxury watch makers. What remains questionable is whether these watches are indeed luxury products and whether or not they are Italian.

I maintain a fairly comprehensive list of Italian watch brands. In order to make the list, a company must have a reputation, belong to a particular school of Italian watch making and genuinely adhere to the very best design traditions. It is true that in the recent decades many companies have begun to outsource their manufacturing to Switzerland and I try to make a note of that. So, how does Filippo Loreti stack up?

The company’s website started in 2015. That alone is not a huge problem, because in the traditional watch making areas in Italy there is plenty of talent that could be harnessed to make a statement with a new brand. Are you curious to find out what was the brand’s connection to Italy’s watch industry? If you click on “Our story” section of their website you will read a rather confusing tale with this rather mysterious sentence:

Remember the last time you felt a strong spark of creativity? A powerful attraction lit by Filippo Loreti’s amazing postcards did that for us in a major way.

You may think that Filippo Loreti was a designer or a craftsman who inspired the brand. But what’s the deal with the postcards? To find out I had to get to the older version of the same page, as found on Web.Archive.org:

As children, we spent summers with our grandparents in the countryside. There our grandfather would entertain us with stories of his adventures around the globe. Most captivating were tales of his dearest friend, Filippo Loreti, who sent him postcards from across Italy. Each was vivid and exciting, seeming to open a door to another world.

So, Filippo Loreti, the brand creators’ original inspiration, was just an acquaintance of their grandfather’s. He was just a regular bloke from Italy who had a good taste in postcards? What??

To the brand creator’s credit, they later visited Italy. And Italy looked good. Apparently it was enough for them to start calling their watches Italian? This is a very hard sell, in my opinion.

But what about the luxury part? Well, traditional luxury brands will happily tell you every detail about their products, most importantly the movement. Filippo Loreti’s website is exceedingly vague on this matter. Some online sources indicate that the company uses Japanese movements. I could not verify that, but if you want a Japanese movement shouldn’t you go for a well known Japanese brand?

One last thing. When I visit the websites of authentic Italian companies more often than not I discover that their command of the English language is not as good as one would expect from someone who sells their products world-wide. Filippo Loreti’s website boasts very good and elegant English. This makes a lot of sense, because this brand capitalizes on smart marketing. It may easily be that in a decade or so this company will gain a very solid reputation and will even somehow become more Italian (perhaps buy a local watch business in Milano?). But for now, buyer beware. Do your homework before you end up unhappy with your purchase.

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Enrico Cassina door handleAs I was preparing to create a roundup of Italian luxury furniture brands one curious fact suddenly stood out. There is a small, but important niche in the furniture market which is dominated by Italian companies. Door handles! There are literally dozens of manufacturers that specialize in designing and manufacturing a wide variety of absolutely exquisite door handles and knobs. Most of these products will never make an appearance at your local hardware store, but if you ever decide that you want to add a unique Italian touch to your home or office you should definitely explore these options. Keep in mind that this list only explores the companies that almost exclusively operate in the door handle business. There will be little or no mention of excellent Italian firms that produce a wide variety of products (such as Meroni Serrature). You will only learn about the brands that have shown their passion for those things that make doors possible and usable. If the phrase “dumb as a door knob” does not translate well into Italian, blame these people. Their products have a unique look and they are designed with ease and convenience in mind.

Colombo Design

Colombo Design Grande Slider“Green made” handles with the focus on design, function and durability.  The company’s stated commitment is to create masterpieces that will serve as inspiration to all who use them in their daily lives.

DND by Martinelli

Stunning handles and knobs for any application.

Enrico Cassina

Enrico Cassina handleThis brand dates back to a family operated business. Their beautiful modern handles and historic reproductions have to pass 10 individual test before shipping.

Galbusera

This company has been around since 1925. They specialize in traditional dna rustic designs.

Frosio Bortolo

This company operates two brands: Forme (modern and contemporary designs) and Class (classic designs using Swarovski elements).

Fusital

This brand is apparently controlled by Valli&Valli. It represents elegance and sophistication.

Il Forgiato

Il Forgiatto handleLooking for an old-time style that looks authentic? This company uses traditional methods and materials. They can even recreate a item that you have in your hands or in your head. Items can be naturally aged to look as authentic as possible.

Mandelli

Classic, modern and contemporary designs of the highest quality. These handles are 100% Italian-made. Utmost attention is payed to everything from design to fabrication. The brass used by Mandelli is melted at cast at their own facility.

Linea Cali

Linea Cali door handleItalian made products. The compamy strives to put the soul into each design. Very high end pieces of astonishing beauty.

Manital

All Italian, prestigious and innovative. Some of their lines are meant for the general market.

Mariani

Door handles as art.

Olivari

This company is over 100 years old. All of their products are manufactured in Italy.

Reguitti

This company dates back to 1975 and has a very extenseive catalog. Reguitty prides itself in high quality production and it actively pursues international markets.

Valli&Valli

Classic and modern handles that are designed to effortlessly fit any trend

Zermat

100% Italian made products for many applications: handles, knobs, bars etc.

Divine Door Handle
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