Published on September 22, 2007
Italian designer Marco Mavilla's playful creations for his Toy Watch brand adorn the wrists of such American celebs as Oprah Winfrey, Sylvester Stallone, Naomi Campbell and Leonardo DiCaprio.
They clearly share the sense of fun that Mavilla has attached to watches since he first started literally playing with them when he was 14.
A devotee of vintage timepieces, he collected more than 200 pieces, then became a dealer and finally, three years ago, created his own line.
"My goal is to make something that people like, that's comfortable, easy to wear and simple," he says. "The concept is 'the game of life'."
The latest release, called Marco, is a fusion of styles, very sporty and masculine.
As a collector, Rolex and Patek Phillips are his favourite brands, especially the latter.
"I love its history. They've had many important watches since 1910, when they launched their first wristwatch. Many different brands are very collectible in my eyes, though."
His idea was to make watches look "younger", more fashionable and colourful - and more fun.
Toy Watch uses polycarbonate, nylon, and ceramics for the straps and cases, stainless steel for the bezel, crown and back, and Swarovski crystal, mother-of-pearl and diamonds for the dial.
Mavilla regards ceramic as a powerful material.
"It's very professional, cooked to 1,500 degrees, hard like a diamond and so scratch-resistant.
"As for colours, I like blue. I believe in it for watches even though it isn't very popular yet. Nevertheless, freshness is the key that attracts people."
The US is the strongest market for Toy Watch, but the brand is catching on in the Middle East, South Africa, Russia and Asia - particularly in Taipei, Shanghai and Bangkok.
"It's very important to create something I like, that I enjoy and can make other people like too," Mavilla says. "It's great when you bring out all the watches and the people can't choose because they like all of them!"