Young and successful man at the helm of one of the biggest Croatian watch companies. How did your "adventure" in the world of watches start?
Watches had been deeply rooted in my whole life, starting from early childhood. My father laid the foundations of today strong Dicta company in the early 90s, and literally out of nothing created one of the largest watch importers and distributors in Croatia. In 1990 he was employed as a lawyer in the Rijeka city government and in 1990 he remained out of work. Although without any initial capital, he decided to found a company of his own. In order to start a company he had to borrow the money from his parents. It was a very difficult start, but we still happily recall many anecdotes from that period. The most striking is that of my father coming in the old Yugo to negotiate with the director of then all-powerful Emona Obala Koper company, which had more than 60 exclusive stores throughout the former Yugoslavia. He drove in the old Yugo to the interview with the director General Boštijančićem and hid it in the nearby street so nobody would see it. Although the Emona director was interested in our watches, he insisted on payment delay of 60 days. Despite his request, my father did not give up and in the end they agreed on a 30 days payment delay. Although my father was convinced that director Boštijančić "read right through him" and knew all about him and his old Yugo, with the words "Let your trucks go," he finally agreed and signed the invoice for the amount of, for us at that time, a whopping 25 thousand marks. After that initial tail wind, our business began to develop rapidly in spite of war times. In order to meet all the orders, in 1993 my father asked his wife to leave her job as a lawyer in Riječka banka to join him in his enterprise. Relying only on faith and his own abilities, that same year Dicta decided to go a step further and start importing Citizen watches. Over the next few years of working with Citizen, we were always on time with our obligations and continued to constantly expand the business. This professionalism and fair-play were crucial in the beginning of 1996 when we started working with the Swiss Swatch group. In fact, one of the Citizen directors with whom we cooperated, started working for the Swatch group. Knowing our business qualities, he suggested that we apply for Swatch Group distributor in Croatia. We won the tender and became the exclusive Swatch Group representative for most of their brands. The rest is history. Growing up with watches, the logical next step was to join the family business, and to continue what my parents literally created out of nothing, only with their hard work. In the coming years, Dicta brought many top watches and jewellery brands to Croatia for the first time, and become one of the leading companies in the Croatian market for the import, distribution, wholesale and retail of renowned watches, fashion jewellery and straps. By continuously monitoring and researching the development of modern information technologies and their implementing into the business, with the professional and ambitious team I gathered, Dicta today is a modern and ambitious company with steady growth. Out of our new projects I would like to emphasise Dicta's revolutionary, licensed web shop: http://shop.dicta.hr, with responsive, superior design, fully adaptable to desktop, tablet and mobile devices. By offering more than 8,000 immediately available products, best prices, fast and free shipping with the possibility of return regardless of the reason, and the provided aftersales service within the manufacturer's warranty coverage, Dicta web shop project, with strong investments, has grown into one of the most respected web shops of highest quality in this part of Europe and set new quality standards in internet business. Of course I want to point out Dicta’s expert communication team which provides real-time support to its customers and visitors, 7 days a week. With its dominant presence in the largest and most popular social networks Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, tens of thousands of satisfied followers, customers and watch enthusiasts, Dicta reaffirms its leadership position in the watches and jewellery market, and dictates new standards of professional communication and service towards each customer. I am particularly proud of our renowned retail stores chain in Rijeka and Zagreb where we strongly and continuously invest, especially in the professional education of personnel, respecting high standards of quality of represented brands, to the satisfaction of our loyal clients. I am also proud of the entire team of professional and educated people who are part of Dicta, as with their dedication and responsible work they deserve merit for all business results that modern Dicta praises.
How much are watches important in every man's life today ? Are they a status symbol, a fashion accessory or simply - a time indicator?
It is really difficult to give a general answer to your question, as it depends entirely on the preferences and profile of the man himself. Since I, at the beginning of my career, worked several years as a salesman in one of our stores and actually went through all positions within the company, I encountered many different profiles, preferences and needs. Of course, there are men who take their watches entirely as a status symbol. These are usually business men, managers, as well as those who wish to be associated with these circles. Those men prefer expensive, stylish watches to complement their business outlook, and confirm their status in business circles they move in or aspire to. Then there is a large number of the true watch lovers, as well as collectors. Such men usually prefer only automatic or mechanical watches, especially the limited edition watches. Those are very demanding, perfectly informed and sophisticated customers, who know exactly what they want, and it is a pleasure to do business with such clients. Their focus is on watch functions, movement type and quality and on the manufacture itself. Collectors often search for watches as an investment, especially the limited edition watches that keep their value. I would say that these watches are like fine wine, so in years they just increase their value. Then we have athletes who take their watches as an aid in their sports activities, divers for example. Functionality of the watch comes first, as depth gauge quality and declared water resistance. It should be said that the diving watches are generally extremely attractive, and are often chosen by men who are not engaged in diving or sport activities, but they simply like the watch and understand it as a fashion accessory. Also, there are men who buy watches only as an indicator of the time, although they are now the minority, however unlikely it may seem. In fact, today, when you see the exact time on every step on the various devices, like mobile phones, I can say that a wristwatch is no longer a necessity. It is often also a habit of men to carry wrist watches, regardless of its timing function. With the fair sex the watch mainly serves as a fashion accessory. Watch functions or movement are not crucial, the focus is on the looks and design, and the latest fashion trends. The above is confirmed by the collections of women’s watches of all the relevant watch manufacturers in the world. Manufacturers are adapting their female models and collections primarily to the latest fashion trends.
Your tips for men who are buying a new watch?
As with the previous questions, it's hard to give a general advice for buying a watch that would appeal to all profiles of men, but we can distinguish three general issues that should be followed. For the beginning, I think it is necessary to determine a budget a man is willing to set aside for the purchase of the watch, according to his abilities and needs. Then, according to his own preferences, it is necessary to determine the purpose of the watch, would that be a status symbol, a fashion accessory or just a simple timer. And the third, but not less important, is to find a watch that a man really likes, which reflects his personality, which fills him with pleasure and pride at every glance on the wrist. I would like to point to one of the main differences between quartz (battery), automatic, and mechanical watches. Men, which find precision especially important, would mostly decide on watches with battery-powered movement since those watches have much greater precision, that is, they have significantly less accuracy deviation compared to the automatic and mechanical watches. Most manufacturers declare their tolerance deviations up to +/- 15 seconds on a monthly basis for quartz watches, while for manufacturers of automatic and mechanical watches the tolerances are declared up to +/- 25 seconds on a daily basis. Despite the stated significant difference in deviation in favour of battery-powered watches, automatic and mechanical watches are much more appreciated. The vast majority of the true watch lovers have exclusively automatic and mechanical watches in their collections. Watches of this kind are especially appreciated because they do not pollute the environment, they are self-efficient and generate their own power and so contribute to preservation, care and respect towards the environment. Therefore, an automatic or a mechanical watch is completely opposite to today's consumer ("throw-away") culture. I should also point out another automatic and mechanical watches feature that fans particularly appreciate, and it is their resistance to weak magnetic fields. Namely, exposure to various magnetic fields can cause a battery watch to malfunction, unlike watches with automatic or mechanical movement. Also, at present, many renowned brands take great care of marketing and invest huge financial resources for the presentation of their products in various channels and media, recruiting celebrities from the world of sport, movies, music, as the ambassadors of their products. Unfortunately, this generally contributes to the increase in price of watches for the end consumer, while at the same time is not accompanied by the increase in the quality of the products themselves. In other words, customers pay for marketing activities of watch manufacturers. So, my advice to men who are buying a new watch is to be well-informed and to wisely choose a watch brand that offers real quality for their money. Thus, a pure quality, without participation in the costs of marketing.
Besides in your work, what is the role of watches in your personal life?
Watches have a very important role in my personal life. As I mentioned, my story with watches began in my early childhood, continued through my whole life, and eventually grew into a real "romance". I simply love watches. As a leading manager of the company, watches are following me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can’t help but to love them. Sometimes I forget my watch when getting ready for work and I am simply lost that day. I keep looking at my wrist the whole day and my favourite watch is not there. No smart phones or similar devices can replace the feeling of wearing a real, powerful timer on your arm.
Which watches could be found in your collection?
I my collection now I have Oris Aquis Chronograph, Bulova Precisionist Chronograph, Louis Erard Heritage, U-Boat U-51, and Breitling for Bentley.
Personally I am a fan of big watches, chronographs with a stainless steel bracelet.
Dicta is an authorised representative of many watch manufacturers: Breitling, Tag Heuer, Oris, Longines, to name a few. What is your favourite brand (and why)?
As authorized distributor of the top watch manufacturers in the world, through wholesale and our own renowned retail stores we offer following Swiss watch brands to our partners and customers: Oris, Louis Erard, Frédérique Constant, U-Boat, Breitling, Omega, Rado, Longines, Milus, Tag Heuer, sport watches: Bulova, Harley-Davidson by Bulova, as well as fashion brands: Caravelle New York by Bulova, Breil, Moschino, Versace, Colori and wall and table clocks Bulova and Hermle. In addition, to its partners and customers, Dicta offers a rich assortment of fashion jewellery: Brosway, Breil, Rossoamante, Miss Sixty, Condor straps, as well as luxuriously designed collector's boxes for watches and jewellery, of the Rapport of London manufacturer, intended for storage of watches and jewellery, with some models equipped with automatic watch winders. My favourite brands are Oris and Bulova. Those brands are especially dear to me, each for their own reasons. Oris - for over 100 years of "pure-bred" Swiss manufacturer of exclusive automatic and mechanical watches. Oris’ watchmaking "mantra" can be summed up in two statements: all Oris watches are automatic or mechanical and all Oris watches have a reasonable price compared to what they offer to their loyal customers. To accomplish the above, the company takes an industrial approach to watchmaking, using techniques and processes that ensure the best quality at the best price. This is the inspiration for Oris slogan: "Real watches for real people ". Thus, the Oris company is completely dedicated to quality craftsmanship and controlling the production processes, and contrary to other brands, they focus on marketing substantially less. Oris is the leading brand in the world when we look at sales of automatic watches up to HRK 20,000 price. Oris company has a history of over 100 years in the production of automatic and mechanical watches in Holstein in Switzerland. So, all Oris watches bear the Swiss made mark, which means that they meet high quality standards. Also, Oris designs watches in cooperation with people from the world of motor sport, diving, aviation and culture. All those people wear and support Oris watches, and Oris watches are handed over from one generation to another. Bulova Precisionist is the most accurate watch in the world with a continuously sweeping seconds hand. Most quartz watches of other manufacturers have accuracy up to +/- 15 seconds a month, while Bulova Precisionist is accurate to staggering +/- 10 seconds a year. I personally checked it and I am simply thrilled with the precision of my Bulova. Compared to any other quartz movement, Bulova Precisionist vibrates at higher frequency of 262.144 kHz, which increases precision and reduces the effect of temperature changes. Three prong quartz crystal increases frequency vibration up to eight times compared to the standard quartz movement. What does it mean? Standard mechanical watch vibrates at about 3-5Hz, which is satisfactory result for tolerance of several seconds a day. Standard quartz vibrates at 32,728 Hz (about 33 kHz), while Bulova’s UHF quartz vibrates at 262,144 kHz, it offers accuracy of the incredible couple of second a year. UHF movements also have continuously sweeping seconds hand, similar to the mechanical watches, while the battery lasts about two years. Best of all is that Bulova offers all of the above at reasonable prices, starting from around 2,600 kuna. It is also necessary to point out that, during the space race of the 60s, NASA used Bulova’s technology. On July 20th 1969, at exactly 8:17 am and 41 seconds, Bulova landed on the moon when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Adrin put Bulova’s measuring instrument in the Sea of Tranquillity to control transmission data back to Earth. Bulova’s measuring instruments were an integral part of forty-two NASA missions. Today, Bulova maintains the tradition of excellence in design and technology, and offers a variety of beautiful, powerful and extremely precise watches for every occasion.