Regularly I get approached by watch brands who are trying to get exposure in the market. This year has been very challenging for the watch industry and even LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), Richemont, Swatch etc have had a significant decline in profits. For the small microbrands, it’s more of a struggle because of limited marketing budgets. Therefore, they need to be more creative with their designs. It also helps to have a good story, which explains the overall inspiration. A great example is Italian brand Kefa, who has just unveiled an exquisite timepiece called the ‘Petrus’.
Kefa is the brainchild of Carmelo Caruso and Gianluigi Di Lorenzo who both resides in the historic location of Rome, Italy. A few weeks ago Carmelo contacted me to introduce his new timepiece called the ‘Petrus’ and explain the concept. As mentioned previously I receive a lot of promotional material from brands requesting I promote their timepieces. Most are generic designs that are mass-produced in China and therefore of no interest. However, the ‘Petrus’ instantly intrigued me because of the connection with the Vatican. In fact, he has secured an exclusive concession from the Vatican authorities to produce 2013 limited watches with the emblem of the Holy See and Coat of Arms of Pope Francis.
Very kindly Carmelo Caruso obtained permission from the Vatican authorities to send me a ‘Petrus’ timepiece without a sequential number. On arrival, I was delighted by the overall quality of the watch, which looks supreme. With a diameter of 39mm it’s much smaller than the timepieces I normally wear. However, it feels very comfortable to wear and will appeal to a large demographic. Realistically, these proportions will appeal to the discerning gentleman that prefer traditional pieces or the unisex market. In my opinion, the ‘Petrus’ is an ideal dress watch that would look perfect with formal attire.
Aesthetically the ‘Petrus’ is beautifully designed and has a really ornate appearance. Irrespective of your religion or beliefs the watch is created to attract positive attention. What makes this timepiece so alluring is the meticulously engraved silver dial showcasing the coat of arms of the Vatican City State. This heraldic emblem depicts keys surmounted by the papal tiara. Other features include raised silver indexes, delicate hour/minute hands, sapphire crystal lens and small date window (located at 3 o’clock). Overall the composition is well conceived and the level of finishing is superlative.
Beneath the 39mm polished steel case is a self-winding movement from manufacturer Swiss Technology Production (STP). The Calibre STP1-11 comprises 26-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. On this particular model, there is the solid case back with six screws and embossed with the coat of arms of Pope Francis. Functionally, the ‘Petrus’ features hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. The watch is also water-resistant to a depth of 100-metres and has a power reserve of 44-hours.
As a perfect finale, the timepiece is presented on a crocodile print leather (made in Italy) with a complimentary steel deployment clasp. The ‘Petrus’ also comes with an electronic identity card (similar to a car log book), which tracks history of ownership and proves authenticity. As part of this project Carmelo Caruso and Gianluigi Di Lorenzo decided to establish the Kefa Club. Ultimately, this encourages like-minded owners of the ‘Petrus’ to share cultural and community experiences.
The suggested RRP of the ‘Petrus’ is 3,500 Euro, which is competitive for an Italian watch of this quality. However, Kefa is offering buyers an early bird special price of 2,500 Euro for the first 200 pieces. To purchase this delightful timepiece and to get more information about the company follow this link
Photographs courtesy of Nicola Majocchi