Reinventing a classic
Sauro Italia Gioielli Oltre has been a staple brand for men’s jewellery for 25 years, starting from Italian engineer Ivo Sedazzari’s vision of creating innovative and functional pieces. After being purchased and rebranded three years ago by the Sapir family, Sauro Jewellery is back and better than ever.
by Maya Akbay
Since purchasing Sauro Jewellery, the Sapirs have redeveloped the entire line with a focus on the brand’s classic roots and in 2013, Sauro was officially re-launched.
Throughout the years, technical precision has stayed the number one priority for Sauro. Johnny Sapir, director of brand development, remembers back when it was time to make a crucial decision regarding the identity of the brand.
“When the gold prices skyrocketed, we needed to find a different way of making money. Maybe not focusing on heavy gold chains, but focusing more on alternative materials,” says Sapir. “But at the same time, what Sauro is known for is technical precision. So we wanted to find a way to incorporate new materials that aren’t commonly used in jewellery, with the technical engineering that Sauro is known for.”
After deciding that titanium, carbon fiber, and rubber were the best three materials to go forward with for the new line, they were combined with gold for the perfect twist on the classic Sauro style.
“That’s what we wanted to use; that’s what we thought was the future of jewellery,” he says. “Sauro is known for its patented chain style, for example. We have chains that no one else in the world has and nobody else in the world can make.” The company stands behind the complexity of the pattern and the process behind their chains. “We create certain styles just to be special, to be different.”
In fact, standing out from the crowd is a rule of thumb for Sauro. Sapir stresses the importance of being different, but the trick is to take already-existing styles and materials and build on them.
“We need to incorporate that into what Sauro is known for, which is technical precision,” he says. Since mechanical perfection is at the forefront of the designs, the titanium that the brand uses is the same material used on space shuttles. “That’s the future where we’re going with Sauro,” he adds.
Sauro was originally created and developed by Ivo Sedazzari, the father of the two brothers that the Sapir family is in partnership with. Sedazzari was an engineer by trade and developed the concept of the mechanisms that are used in Sauro jewellery today.
“When we launched, we found the demand to be a lot higher than we expected. For us to supply that demand, we wanted to perfect our line and only offer products that we know will truly separate us from our competitors,” says Sapir.
Sapir was 17 years old when he got into the jewellery industry through the family diamond business. He went on to study marketing after high school in order to improve his promotional skills. When his university went on strike, he decided to forego finishing his degree and opened his own business instead. Once Sapir felt like his company had taken off, he came back to the family to create a marketing department that never existed within the business before.
“I originally studied marketing to go into the creative advertising business, but I fell into the jewellery business because I just knew it and I understood it.”
Sapir points out that the jewellery industry requires one to have connections in order to enter it, hence the fact that it gets passed down through families and generations.
Yet the biggest challenge facing the industry right now, he says, is identifying your market.
“Trying to pinpoint what’s going to work where is very difficult because things are constantly changing and what may work in Los Angeles, works here a year later, or vice versa,” he explains. “We have to bounce our products around and the challenge is constantly trying to adapt to the current market.”
Sauro Jewellery has plans to expand to the U.K., France, Monaco, the U.S., and South America in the future. The main focus is allocating exclusivity to specific areas, such as East Coast Jewellery in Florida and Classic Creations in Toronto. As part of venturing out to expand in Europe and the U.S., the brand’s official website has been revamped with the help of a branding agency that has worked with companies like Yogen Früz and BMW.
“Sauro is such a niche; it’s high-end men’s jewellery, so there’s always a small market everywhere,” he says. “It’s not necessary to be in every store but it’s necessary to be in the high-end stores.”
The idea of branching out into women’s jewellery one day has also been on the radar for Sauro Jewellery.
“There is room to grow in women’s jewellery and we’re looking at it more as a long-term plan. It’s not something we’re going to roll out next year,” explains Sapir. “Women’s jewellery is a completely different market and in order to do something to be really special in women’s jewellery, we have to do a lot of research and a lot of prototyping. I feel that it’s a lot more saturated.”
In the meantime, the team behind Sauro is focused on a new carbon fiber line as well as an ebony collection that will be unveiled just in time for the holidays. According to Sapir, the combination of gold, wood and carbon fiber will give men an opportunity to accessorize their timepieces.
“I like to call it the ‘wrist game.’ Men like to wear watches, but how do you accessorize them?” he says. “So we developed an entirely new line of ‘wrist game’ where men can wear bracelets with their watches.”
And it’s this type of thinking that has allowed Sauro to continue to stay on top of its game throughout the years. CJ