When Swiss creativity meets
Fortunately, that was not what happened. It was the other way around, thankfully. Swiss entrepreneur Tina Zegg and Italian Designer Carlo Cerlati first encountered each other in Monte Carlo. That was in 1997. That year marked the beginning of a highly successful collaboration. A brand was born …
With little fanfare, they set up shop on Avenue La Costa in Downtown Monaco. Anticipation on their part was high, so were expectations. It certainly helped that the outside of the shop had the Rolex logo firmly planted on doors and windows. Customers flocked to the little store in droves. So much so that at the end of the year, store No. 2 was opened. Now, all the major brands started queuing up, everybody with a name in the watch industry wanted to be part of the growing Zegg & Cerlati family. Again, they ran out of room quickly.
In 2000, they moved into the Place du Casino premises. A big step as Tina Zegg recalls. Too big? “The first step is always the hardest. Suddenly we had a huge showroom but few customers.” Soon after, they had both: Lots of space and lots of people looking for their watches and jewelry. In 2004, they opened up a branch in Ischgl, Austria. Since 2006, they operate a little sales boutique in the world-renowned Monte Carlo Beach Club. And only last year, they have expanded into the new Monte Carlo Yacht Club with a dedicated Rolex Boutique.
For all their business activity, Zegg & Cerlati have always had time and resources to give back to the community. They are involved with numerous charities and foundations here in Monaco. They are also active sponsors in the recurring sports event circuit such as the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters. For the Grand Prix of Monaco they team up together with Rolex and launch a series of guest relation programs over the weekend.
Over the years, Tina Zegg, Carlo Cerlati and their team have succeeded in building a transient yet very loyal client base. These customers are from all walks of life, an eclectic mix of Monegasques, socialites, world class athletes, musicians, actors, successful entrepreneurs and whoever else is attracted to Monte Carlo or makes the beautiful principality of Monaco their home. A staff of more than 30 highly trained watch and jewelry experts from all over the world caters to their every need — more than ten languages are spoken in the showroom, Russian, Mandarin and Japanese included.
What sets them apart from other retailers in the business ?
Their knack for risk-taking, may be? Or their uncanny ability to anticipate what an ever changing upscale clientele strives for? Probably both! Earlier than their competition, they saw the potential for unique and extremely pricy timepieces. When Grand Complication or a Tourbillon became en vogue there was a good chance you found it at Zegg & Cerlati. The strategy of featuring very delicate and exquisite pieces was also reflected by their own line of jewelry. By 2008, they offered both limited editions watch creations (the infamous Zegg & Cerlati watch) and jewelry design of the most amazing kind.
Another aspect of their ongoing success? Their hands-on approach of doing business the old-fashioned way. Zegg & Cerlati is the epitome of an owner-operated enterprise, hardly a day goes by when at least one of them is present in one of the showrooms. Always eager to sit down with a client, to render expertise, to offer suggestions. Have something special in mind? A customer walking in with his own ideas is more than welcome. It takes but a sketch of an image or a photo of an object and the bridge from merely an inspiration to a unique, once-in-a-lifetime piece of jewelry is crossed. Personal Design at its best.