Exclusive interviews with CEO’s, celebrities, watch designers and the who’s who in Australia
Swiss Luxury now has a new address. With an unswerving dedication to her family business, Sesil ensures that under her guidance, ANTON enjoys an ever increasing profile within the Swiss watch industry, in addition to providing her clients an experience money can’t buy. ANTON Jewellery still remains strongly rooted in its family values, while daring to bring customers something unique.
Earlier in December, we caught up with Sesil Arzadian, General Manager, ANTON Jewellery, for a little tete-a-tete
The ANTON Journey…
ANTON Jewellery is a family run business founded by my father Mr. Antranik Bahar. My father is an incredible man and a mentor to my brother Sevan Bahar and myself, who now look after the business. He started the business manufacturing jewellery, servicing and making fine watch bracelets, cases and parts. It was purely a manufacturing business which originally had no retail facade.
Manufacturing today is still our specialty. As Sevan and myself grew older and became more involved in the business, our focus was to grow the retail side of our business to a luxury destination for Jewellery & Fine Watches. I personally love what I do. I mean what kind of girl wouldn’t want to walk in her fathers footsteps especially if it’s to do with jewellery!
Sevan became involved in the business long before I did. He was helping dad in the manufacturing side and realised that it wasn’t his passion. His passion was more in diamonds, gemstones and design. Therefore we had a great opportunity to combine the essence of manufacturing whilst specialising in Design and Gemology, which eventually opened up a brand new avenue for us to create a retail business. Even today, our customers love my dad for his European flair and the nature of his design which, is very different to anybody else in the market.
With regards to watches, we started off with housing brands such as TAG Heuer, Baume & Mercier and Raymond Weil and were so passionate about the idea of our clients complimenting beautiful watches with our High End jewellery.
What sets the ANTON’s apart and of course the secret to your continued success in Australia?
That’s the magic question! ANTON is the only destination in Melbourne or probably even in Australia with High Jewellery and High Watchmaking. For us our portfolio is a very unique one because we focus a lot on jewellery brands and then balance out the portfolio with a few masculine watch brands. As the jewellery side of the business grew, we began investing in 10 Carat plus diamonds. People were recognising ANTON as the ultimate destination for the finest diamonds in the world. They would visit the boutique for our diamonds and we realised it was also a perfect opportunity to introduce our customers to brands that they may have heard of but would never expect to purchase. The customer who shops at ANTON is not a customer who solely shops at watch boutiques. (We feel we know how our customers think and that we are able to provide what we think they require, so it is very different in terms of the way our customers think and we know exactly what they want).
Your new Westfield Doncaster boutique…
The one thing that sets ANTON apart is that we are a luxury business with a local demographic. Sometimes our clients are unable to make it to our flagship boutique at Chadstone, which is why we thought the time was right to establish a boutique at Westfield Doncaster. All our competitors are based in the city and we wanted to do something different. ANTON is known today for providing an exceptional customer experience together with exceptional quality and value.
We were approached by several centres before we opted for Doncaster. Once we finalised our location, we also took the opportunity to rebrand our business in 2016. We brought brands like Cartier, IWC and Breitling to ANTON at Doncaster because we felt there was great potential for that kind of luxury in the area. The boutique is smaller than our Chadstone boutique – the concept – Less of an over the counter service and more of a consultation with our client, as our Doncaster customers do have time. We also knew that a luxury business in that area offering exceptional jewellery and timepieces was never done before. The project was over 2 years in the making because of our Chadstone boutique relocation. We are extremely excited and looking forward to creating strong partnerships with our portfolio of brands and more importantly our customers.
Tourism in Australia…
The tourism market is definitely growing at Chadstone. Year after year we are seeing a bigger demand from Chinese consumers. Customers are very savvy nowadays and they are shopping with more confidence as well.
Where do you see the Swiss Watch industry moving innovation wise and how do you see the industry evolving in the incoming years?
The days of comparing and competing in the market for high complications and designing from an aesthetic point of view has almost come to an end. Brands are now not competing on who can do it better whether, its Tourbillons, Minute Repeaters, Annual Calendars etc. Of course, having said that, all manufacturers will have their novelty pieces every year, but I think the next phase is to introduce more commercial collections, focusing on lifestyle. At the SIHH 2017, the Panthere de Cartier was relaunched. A lot of brands are now taking their iconic models and reinventing them to be more commercial. I personally think that is the way to go considering the industry is very challenging at the moment.
We are also seeing the introduction of high end Swiss made smart watches that will eventually take up a large market share in the industry.
What is it about watches that excites you the most?
The fact that every time that new collection drops, there is that feeling of excitement that they’ve done it again. They’ve come up with something unique, whether it’s a new complication or a new concept. What I’m really getting excited about is that a lot of the brands we work with are doing their best to provide really good quality with really good value and that was something that wasn’t a priority in the watch industry until recently. That excites me! Good value, exceptional craftsmanship and really unique pieces.
True luxury is exclusivity. Your thoughts…
It really comes down to what you’re looking for. Nowadays even a limited edition isn’t enough. True luxury is a personalized piece of jewellery or timepiece. What I think is exclusive would be different to what you think. In your life, if you’re lucky to find one timepiece that you’re truly passionate about and love and can’t live without – I think that is exclusivity.
We encourage everyone to visit our boutiques. At ANTON you can expect superior service and a customised experience that can be a lot of fun. Customers get great value and that is something money cant buy. We give every customer a story to tell.