Watch enthusiast, marketer, luxury expert and more recently, watchmaker, Milvin George has done it all. Watches have a way of capturing you with their timeless allure and the world of time has encapsulated the best of us. The Exquisite Edge had the pleasure to catch up with Milvin George, CEO – Lagado Watches. A luxury watch industry stalwart for over twenty years, having been associated with leading watch brands including Tag Heuer, Omega and Panerai, Milvin is a revered name in the watch universe. Well-liked and respected, every journalist’s favorite watch expert, Milvin is a familiar and endearing face amongst the watch industry. Milvin began his career in the luxury goods industry in 1998 when he joined the Chalhoub Group as a Commercial Executive handling Daum and Wedgwood Waterford for the Middle East region. In 2000, he joined the LVMH Group, as the Regional Manager of the renowned Swiss sports watch brand TAG Heuer, overseeing the Middle East, North Africa and Indian markets. In 2007, Milvin was appointed Managing Director, Middle East & India for Officine Panerai. Milvin’s entrepreneurial spirit and relentless search for quality, consistency and style lead to the birth of Lagado Watches. Priyanka Sippy, in conversation with Milvin George, CEO, Lagado Watches.
PS: Milvin, it has been an absolute pleasure knowing you over the past many years. Congratulations on the launch of Lagado Watches.
MG: The pleasure is all mine and I am delighted by your interest in my journey in the watch making industry and in the conception of Lagado watches
PS: With over 20 years in luxury, a majority in the watch industry, how has the journey been thus far?
MG: It’s been remarkable, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with leading luxury groups such as LVMH, Swatch and Richemont, managing iconic brands such as TAG Heuer, Omega and Panerai. Moreover, developing the mentioned brands in very fast developing regions such as Middle East, India and Africa required me to keep up with a fast pace and the mushrooming of malls and commercial districts, to be where the customer expects the brands to be. What added more pace and speed is embracement of the digital revolution and the need to create a qualitative and secure presence online that fits the brand image and to be available where our customers are, especially during the pandemic
PS: What do you like best about working with watches?
MG: The brand I managed represented a unique story in the history of Swiss watchmaking. Not to forget to mention the regions I managed where we served an audience that was keenly interested in exploring the art of watchmaking and understanding the craftsmanship that goes into conceiving a timepiece that can tell the time in the most accurate way. I applied the experience gained, to launch Lagado, which was conceived out of a passion to embody the true essence of luxury: TIME.
The most exciting part is the constant change and dynamic markets that always requires the mind set to think out of the box and catch that wave
PS: What makes you tick? What inspires you?
MG: I can only tick if I am able to apply my passion-I am passionate about the watch and jewelry industry and in general the art of time, which also includes fashion and design
PS: Starting your own watch brand, Lagado Watches, has been a bold move. What brought it on?
MG: Inspired by Italian finesse, driven with a with passion for quality and fueled by a love for style, Lagado writes a new story in watchmaking. Bringing together a legacy of international craftmanship with the finest materials, Lagado encapsulates decades of sophistication in a contemporary watch brand. In a world where individuality is celebrated like never before, Lagado embodies understated elegance and versatility in modern living.
PS: What were the challenges you faced whist launching Lagado, that too in
unprecedented times, when the world faced a pandemic?
MG: We had always planned to be true to what the band stands for and to have a global foot print. What better way than to launch the brand online! The challenges that the pandemic presented resulted in every watch brand, watch group and retailer going digital with a huge investment in digital marketing
PS: Describe the ethos behind Lagado, in a few words
MG: Italian design, contemporary and sporty elegant lines, that appeal to modern living- unquestionably quality, which is reliable movements, Italian leather, Milanese mesh straps, beveled and dome sapphire crystal. We appeal to Millennials & Gen Z who are multihyphenate who feel at equally at home New York, Mumbai, London or Johannesburg. In today’s world, age, ethnicity and nationality are less important than cultural fluency and global exposure. Lagado is proud to be sourcing the best manufacturers and designers from around the world to make versatile watches that find a fit with millennials and Gen Z.
A multi-hyphenated lifestyle represents today’s aspirational way of living. Not confined to one job, one identity and one expression, a multi-hyphenated person usually has multiple identities, multiple interests and even multiple jobs. She might be a lawyer in the day, a yoga teacher at night and an owner of an Etsy shop.
PS: How many collections has the brand launched so far?
MG: We have launched 2 lines and 27 references under Lagado.
Evolve, which is an elegant sports line with a striking, minimalist design and a distinctive identity. The Evolve 44mm collection features a uniquely beveled, sapphire crystal; the ultimate scratch-resistant protection for your watch, and is available in a wide range of cases made of different materials, equipped with chronograph movements.
Tempo, a contemporary line that reflects Lagado’s distinct identity with a domed sapphire crystal; the ultimate scratch-resistant protection for your watch. The Tempo collection comes in2 sizes- a 33mm case size which is a female line and 41.5mm collection offering a versatile choice of unique and unisex timepieces with a wide range of cases made of different materials, equipped with quartz analog movements.
PS: How has the response been thus far?
MG: The respond been very positive through online sales and has created demand as well to be present offline with retailers
PS: What are the future plans for the brand?
MG: To continue to build brand’s presence online and offline with reputable retailers around the world in the US, India, Middle East, Europe to begin with.
PS: What are your plans for the Indian market?
MG: To build a solid retailer network and prepare also to create a presence at key airports when travel resumes. We are currently finalizing our agreement with a famous e-retailer in India.
PS: If not watches, what would you do?
MG: I admire jewelry a lot and the art of wine making
PS: Your favorite motto?
MG: I am not sharing this motto with you to be relevant to the interview, it is in fact my favorite motto: “The Future depends on what you do today” by Mahatma Gandhi
I believe every day we have is a gift from god and we have the power to shape the future if we utilize our day in the most effective way