Bedat & Co GENEVE
Bedat & Co GENEVE (Est. 1996 – ) In its relatively short 20-year history, Bedat & Co has experienced a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. Currently, the company is rising to a new summit.
Bedat & Co. was founded in October 1996 by Madame Simone Bédat Simone and her son, Christian Bedat. Madame Bédat is a Swiss national with a lifetime of experience working in the upper echelons of the Swiss luxury timepiece industry. While the majority of the Swiss watch industry creates smaller-scale men’s watches and markets these for women, Bedat & Co has always been completely dedicated to creating designs especially for women.
The first collection was introduced in April 1997. The timepieces were developed and designed through collaboration with experts who brought five hundred years of horological mastery in Swiss watchmaking with them. This is why the “& Co” appears in the company’s name.
In addition to pioneering setting diamonds on stainless steel, Bedat & Co uses top grade diamonds of Top Wesselton color and clarity. Each timepiece is stamped with the prestigious the A.O.S.C.® (Swiss Certified Label of Origin) that certifies the Swiss origin of all components.
Bedat & Co watches are inspired by Art Deco spirit and lines. Unlike other Swiss watch manufacturers, Bedat & Co identifies each of its five collections by a number rather than a name. The company decided to use numbers instead names, because, unlike names, numbers can be easily translated to countries throughout the world. Names are often difficult to comprehend or spell in the world’s myriad languages.
Each number corresponds to a form or shape. The company describes these on its website as follows:
“No 3 Collection features a “tonneau” shape that is curved [at] 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock. The number three [has religious significance as symbols … as many religions use ternary symbolism: the Holy Trinity [plus} the “three gems” [that] are the pillars of faith for Buddhists. In the Kabbalistic tradition, three is the unity of all things, the mystery of intellectual initiation.
“No 2 collection … stems from the graphic interplay of two ellipses, a graphic design reminiscent of jewelry. No 2 stands for union, for the meeting of two connected elements and most specifically in philosophy, for two complementary principles. It is a positive number in the Chinese culture and the ideograms often appear twice in conceiving brand names. It sounds like the word for “easy” in Cantonese. “2” also stands for the Yin, a symbol of femininity and imagination.
“No 7 Collection offers various takes on the rectangular shape, curved at 3 and 9 o’clock. … The number seven symbolized eternal life in Ancient Egypt, standing for a complete cycle. It lies at the core of many superstitions and also expresses various stages of maturity and passing generations. It represents thought, hindsight, and awareness [and] the number also conjures up the legendary wonders of the world.
“No 1 Collection is square-shaped and curved at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. The figure ‘1’ is often the symbol of [a] man standing upright, of the beginning, of the point of departure, of the base. It represents the beginning, self-affirmation through action and matter. The 18th century French philosopher Pascal wrote that ’the whole universe is contained within Oneness.’”
“No 8 collection encompasses original round -shaped cases. It represents sophisticated Swiss watch style and comes in a choice of two … size designs. The figure eight is a universal symbol of perfection and infinity. It is the number of cosmic equilibrium, the harmony between the earthly kingdom and the heavenly kingdom. The figure eight is the Company’s emblem [and symbolizes] prosperity and luck. It also represents the hourglass and infinity.”
In 2000, the Gucci Group acquired 85% of Bedat & Co and, at first, Madame Bédat served as chairwoman. In 2006, Simone and Christian Bédat departed from the company because of disagreements with the Gucci Group who then became the sole owner of Bedat & Co. Following the Bédat’s departure, Bedat & Co worked with new designers.
In 2008, the brand launched its very first standalone boutique in Kuala Lumpur. However. In February 2009, the Gucci Group sold Bedat & Co. to a Malaysian based group, LuxuryConcepts Watches & Jewelry LuxuryConcepts is a brand management company established in 2005 that specializes in watch and jewelry brands in the East Asian market and has global distribution.
Gucci acquired the brand as part of an acquisition spree undertaken by the group’s then CEO Domenico De Sole and its creative director Tom Ford, the Bedat brand never blossomed into the dynamic money making line Gucci had hoped to achieve in the US market.
In 2010, Bedat & Co returned to its roots and again worked with designer Dino Modolo. The models launched in 2011 included the new Ref. 830.030.100, a line of ladies’ chronographs with 60-second and 9 o’clock counters. It was the brand’s first model to offer these popular functions, distinguished also by a snow setting on the bezel. This technique consists of arranging different sized tiny diamonds nestled close together to form a sparkling gemstone array that entirely conceals the metal beneath.
Another new model came in the shape of the Ref. 315.040.019 that offers a visual effect topped with a bezel featuring a unique random setting composed of 390 diamonds and fitted with a hand-sewn alligator strap.
Bedat & Co has been exhibiting at Baselworld every year and, since 2013, was housed in the Hall where only the most prestigious brands are displayed.
Bedat & Co has been a multiple award winner in the Starhill Gallery’s Watch of The Year Awards dubbed the Oscars of horology and awarded annually at Asia’s largest luxury watch and jewelry exhibition, A Journey Through Time that takes place in Starhill Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.
In June 2014, Christian Bédat told the EliteTraveler website, that he had ended his stay on the sidelines of the watchmaking industry. In 2009, he quietly founded Red8 selling watches online with the hope to distribute the line in the US and other countries.
As with most Swiss luxury watch brands, Bedat & Co has recruited several ambassadors that include Yolanda Foster, a former supermodel and TV reality star, Eleanor Cardozo, a contemporary figurative artist recognized as a Bedat & Co ambassador and as a “Woman of Calibre,”and British Mezzo Soprano, Carly Paoli, appointed as a brand Ambassador in September 2014.
In July 2015, Ms. Paoli will perform in concert with the acclaimed tenor José Carreras at the stunning Northumberland Otterburn Castle in the UK. She will also perform with American soprano Cynthia Lawrence (‘one of Pavarotti’s favorite singing partners) and the Italian tenor Alessandro Safina, flautist Andrea Griminelli, and the pop-friendly Russell Watson.
Today Bedat & Co is a successful global women fine timepiece brand with over 166 outlets in the US, Europe, Japan, China, Southeast Asia and Middle East countries.