Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Few Minutes with Carlo and Samuel Naldi

One of the nicest parts about this little "bloggy-wog" is it has offered me the opportunity to meet a lot of people I never would have.  Two such people are Carlo and Samuel Naldi, the father and son team behind Edelberg.  And as today is Father's Day, it seemed an appropriate topic.  And now, a few minutes with two gentlemen that I am proud to call my friends - Carlo and Samuel Naldi.

Carlo and Samuel Naldi
Tempus Fugit -  Carlo - how did you get started in the Pen/Luxury business?

Carlo Naldi - I have been a pen aficionado from a young age.

The subject of pens themselves does not interest me as such.  My interest really lies in  the purpose for which the pen was invented, to communicate and share ideas between people and to leave an indelible mark in history.

My passion for archaeology was born out of my love of writing, and therefore my work with objects used for writing is a way for me to perpetuate an art that should not be forgotten by future generations; the art of calligraphy.

Tempus Fugit - Why pens of all things?

Carlo Naldi - The pen can be a luxury item, but above all else it is an object that shows the love that a person has for writing, communicating and a pen symbolizes the love that a person has for culture.

Samuel Naldi

Tempus Fugit - Samuel, had you always planned to work in the "family" business?

Samuel Naldi - Obviously my parents had built something with the idea that one day their children would take care of the business for the future.  In my case it happened quite fast after my experience at working at Embassy in Lucerne.  This gave me the opportunity to face a lot of hard challenges despite my young age.  In those four years I’ve had the chance to feel how nice it is to achieve dreams when you work hard and also to take risks that are part of the game when you are an entrepreneur.

Carlo Naldi

Tempus Fugit - Carlo, where did you grow up?  What brought you to Zug?

Carlo Naldi - My father, Ugo, worked for the Italian government in Switzerland.  I grew up on the border between Italy and Switzerland, in Ticino, the Italian speaking part of Switzerland.

After completing my studies in business, I started to learn German in Germany, then German speaking Switzerland.  I  then settled down for 13 years in Lausanne where Samuel and Keren, my children were born.  We have now lived in Zug in central Switzerland for 13 years.  Zug is a fast-growing area, strategically ideal for our business activities.

Tempus Fugit - Samuel, what did you do before joining the family business?

Samuel Naldi - I worked at Embassy in Lucerne.  Embassy is a premier watch store located at the Grendelstrasse.  At Embassy, I learned a lot about marketing, timepieces and luxury thanks to mentors such as Beat Weinmann (now at ochs und junior) and Patrik König.

Tempus Fugit - Carlo, your two signature pen collections (the Tachys and the Sloop) are fairly different.  What was the inspiration for each of these pens?

Carlo Naldi- Edelberg is a brand born from a passion for writing and calligraphy, but not only that… 

At its heart, Edelberg was born from the love of beauty, style and excellence.
As a Swiss company, and working in close vicinity of the watchmaking world, we are particularly attracted by the ideals of being "SWISSMADE" but we also closely identify with the watchmaking quality that Switzerland is famous for.

We therefore wanted to design a product with strong technical characteristics, a product that is "SWISSMADE", and is very connected to the world of watchmaking.
The Sloop product is very innovative and contemporary, 

Edelberg Sloop

while the Tachys wants to be more classic and discrete keeping that dynamic touch that differs it from other products.
Edelberg Tachys

Tempus Fugit - What makes Edelberg so special?

Samuel Naldi -  That’s something that I normally like to let our friends and customers answer. Edelberg is a brand that pursues excellence, innovation and beauty. And this is what we would like to transmit to our customers - the feeling of an item that is stylish and qualitative.  In the meantime, one of the most important things is that we want to give VALUE.  Value can be defined as brand value but also through exclusivity and restricted quantities.   In addition the hand made work that goes into our items give the customers the value of a "One of a Kind" piece. All of these features can usually be found in both our Regular and Limited Editions.
In the End our customer should have an item that inspires and excites him daily!

Tempus Fugit - You have come up with some very interesting limited editions and collaborations.  Can you tell us about some of them?

Samuel - Last year we had presented the Animal Prints and the Bespoke Collection.
The first one is inspired to the World of Animals. 

Animals have great energy and power and mean a lot to people. So we basically wanted to take this force and reproduce it in a writing instrument. In addition to that, we also said, that we are not going to use Animals to generate Sales without giving back. This is why every Pen donates an amount of 20 CHF to an association that Helps Endangered Species. (the Panthera Tigris donates to 21st Century Tiger). Every year a new Edition is presented.

The Bespoke Collection

The Bespoke Collection takes the idea of clothing, fabrics and patterns. Patterns are such a marvelous thing. They decorate and give character to seemingly ordinary items.  With that in mind, last year we created and presented the Pied de Poule and Gessato Edition.  This year another "cult-fabric" has been chosen.  We selected denim to create our the newest member of the Bespoke Collection - Blue Jeans!

At Baselworld 2014 we presented a special collaboration with Chronopassion, one of the Leader in the Retail of Watches. 


With Laurent we have created an "Artistic-Horological" pen for the watch-enthusiast - a limited, hand-painted series of 88 pieces worldwide that was created by the Spanish Artist Alvaro Soler.

The future will bring other interesting and sexy collaborations with brands and houses that are leaders and innovators in their sectors.

Tempus Fugit - Carlo, what many people don't know is that there are several charitable initiatives that Edelberg is involved in - can you tell us about some of your partnerships?

Carlo - Edelberg loves to give back. We are priviled to live a life where we can’t really complain about anything, and we have everything we need to live well and in peace.  Having said hat, we know that it’s not the same for other people. This is why we love to give something that helps other people to live better, feel better and maybe face life more positively.

Tempus Fugit - Samuel, The Polio Watch - this is something that everyone has been talking about - can you tell us more about it and Edelberg's involvement?

Samuel Naldi - The Polio Watch is a great Project that was started by the Time to Act Foundation.  A good friend of ours, Marc Alfieri, contacted us and explained the whole Project.  Basically Marc created a beautifully designed watch, with a quite interesting electronic mechanism, stainless steel case, for 480€.   Of that, Euro 370€ goes to pay the production of the watch.  The other 110€ goes directly to the Foundation.  So that you have an idea of how powerful a contribution that is, 110€  will pay for 250 doses of vaccine.

Edelberg participates as an Official Partner and we have customized an edition with dark blue details.  Basically, we are helping promote the project and to give maximum exposure to this great initiative.

Tempus Fugit - So what is the next big thing for Edelberg?

Samuel Naldi - The Keyword for what we do will still be:  "Contamination".
Contamination is a mix of different worlds that in the end brings you excellent products with facets that attire different kinds of people.  Basically this is what we want: We want to be inspired by the world of tailoring, watches, engineering, nature, animals, writing instruments, art and sport.

This will lead us to create exclusive items not only in the world of writing instruments but also other luxury items.

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