You were the first in Croatia to start working with luxury Swiss watch brands, and recently you have celebrated an impressive 39 years of COoperation with Rolex. Can you tell us more about how you got started?
I found my life calling as a child while playing with my father’s watches and becoming fascinated with the movements. After becoming a watchmaker, I spent some time working for a watch and jewellery boutique in Connecticut, USA. This turned out to be an invaluable experience since I had an opportunity to learn from a master watchmaker and work with tools and parts which were unavailable in Croatia at the time. After returning to Zagreb, I opened my first shop in 1970 and the first great acknowledgement of my work was in 1978 when I was certified as one of only two Rolex servicers in the entire ex-Yugoslavia region.
I have worked well with other prestigious brands such as Patek Phillipe, Vacheron Constantin, Longines, Baume & Mercier, Piaget, Certina and Cartier; however, at one point I decided to focus on Rolex and we have had a successful partnership ever since.
After several decades of partnership in the luxury watch industry, you have gained a reputation of one of the greatest experts of your profession. To what do you attribute such success?
In addition to a continuous investment in knowledge and development, qualities which matter the most are perseverance, hard work and meticulousness. I do not improvise, I am completely invested in my work and I strive for perfection. Just winging it does not bring you success in our business. Watchmaking requires thoroughness and dedication. We are a family business and I have been working with my sons and daughter for several years showing them the ropes. Soon we will be opening a new 300-m2 store in the centre of Zagreb, fully equipped in keeping with the highest standards.
What can tourists find in your store? What advice do you give to your customers when buying a watch?
The value added tax refund of up to 17.9% brings in a large number of foreign customers. Our store has different watch brands, with emphasis on Rolex and Tudor watches, and a range of complementary accessories, such as stationery, leather goods and watch winders. A watch is something extremely personal; it is something we treasure our whole life, passed down from generation to generation. Buying a luxury watch is an emotional moment which you remember for the rest of your life and that is why we approach each customer individually, consulting them on the choice by looking at a person’s life style, personality and wishes.