One doesn’t get into watch collecting without running into the Mondani family in one way or another. Be that in the shape of some of their reference books covering the details of various watches, by browsing and buying watches through Mondani Web or by literally running into the family which is seemingly omnipresent at the various watch related events around the globe.
Giorgia Mondani is clearly set on making her mark and that drive has amongst other resulted in her founding of Mondani Web. It is therefore with much pleasure that I can publish you this candid and refreshing interview with Ms Mondani.
Jan: You are one of very few strong-women in the watch industry. Do you consider being a woman in this industry an asset or a liability?
Giorgia: It’s true, there are not many women in the watch business and I have to say I am happy to be one of the few. At the beginning it was a bit difficult because dealing with watch dealers, brands, etc was not easy.. But now I consider it a strength, people respect me and the fact that I have always been extremely serious. Actually, I never travel for business without my husband and the family union is certainly a strength today. Actually, he is my strength.
Jan: You work more than full-time and have recently become a mom, how do you manage such a busy schedule and this big change in life?
Giorgia: This is really not easy. I try my best to spend with her as much time as I can and at the beginning when she was born I never stopped working, not even one day..
I used to work from home while being with her but it was exhausting. So now I organized with grand parents and baby sitter, but still I spend lots of hours at home with her. I also travel with her, we took her to the watch shows in Miami when she was 6 months old and it was so much fun.
Jan: The Mondani name is almost synonymous with (vintage) Rolex, but there is a lot more to your repertoire than just that. Which other brands or watch models have your particular interest?
Giorgia: Yes this is because the Mondani Books are 90% about Rolex (and Patek) and because my father is one of the biggest experts and collectors. I am a collector myself as is my husband, so our world will always be connected to Rolex. We have a nice relationship with them and truly appreciate what this company does.
But my new company Mondani Web, gave me the chance to collaborate with many brands that produce amazing timepieces, from the sport one to the most complicated and now I appreciate (and wear) some other brands such as Meccaniche Veloci, Formex and more. I truly love Omega as well and we bought our first Speedmaster with the new Ultraman (which I consider a good investment).
Jan: Can we expect future and more detailed book releases covering other watch brands and models?
Giorgia: Making a reference book is very difficult and you must be 100% sure of what you say because you cannot cancel what you write on paper. So probably we will stay on Rolex and Patek (also commercialize books written by experts of Omega, Tudor and Panerai) but never say never…
Jan: Are there any plans to issue Mondani books in more languages such as Chinese, Russian or Japanese?
Giorgia: I am talking with a partner to see if we can do in chinese, it will be interesting.. Let’s see..
Jan: Buying a vintage timepiece, especially Rolex, can be quite scary. Can you explain how Mondani Web helps to improve this shopping experience for potential buyers?
Giorgia: It is actually very dangerous and Mondani Web wants to help worldwide collectors by supporting very reliable sellers. Today buying a watch online (especially vintage) is a nightmare and from my point of view it is essential to know the watch’s sellers when it comes to buy an expensive timepiece.
Buying a watch is not like buying a t-shirt on amazon and a collector should really know the seller. That is why we try to put in contact collectors with the world’s most reliable watch dealers, people we can personally guarantee for. And that is why the identity, name and “face” or Mondani Web Trusted Dealers are one of our priorities. We strongly believe human relationships are still the most important in life.
Jan: You have continued the watch book business of your father and have then started MondaniWeb. Do you have more projects in sight which you can already talk about?
Giorgia: We are working 100% on both Mondani Books and Web and both business will keep growing and we will develop our services and products every year more. So you really have to stay tuned 🙂 In particular, you can follow me on instagram and also mondani web and mondani books.
Jan: Have you noticed any big changes or trends in watch buying interest the past few years?
Giorgia: Yes everything is different and social medias changed our life forever, also in the watch market. Social Media is giving collectors the chance to see watches all over the world, there are no limits anymore. We can see watches from dealers from all over the world and we can get in touch with everyone. This is the good thing, but also potentially the bad part because this aspect brings with it thousands of problems.
Jan: Mondani is not just a name or business, it is a family business. What are the main pros and cons of working in a family business?
Giorgia: Well, it’s good because you can almost do whatever you want. You also try to create a familiar environment with your employees, but the risk is that out of the office you keep talking about work, and this is not good for mental health.
Jan: Rolex is very protective when it comes to the use of their name and logos but on the other hand, Mondani has surely contributed to the current boost of collecting vintage Rolex watches. How do you see this relation between Mondani and Rolex evolve? Is there some kind of mutual respect existing?
Giorgia: Yes, as you said, it is a mutual respect but nothing more. Our name is far away from them 🙂
Jan: Did you already get your daughter a ‘birthyear’ watch by any chance?
Giorgia: That’s actually a good idea! I still don’t have a birth year watch in her honor but for her birth I gave Daniele a watch as gift, and I did the same for our wedding. The wedding watch is a Rolex Daytona 16520 with Patrizzi dial and Mia birth’s watch is a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711.
Jan: If you could only keep one watch out of your collection, which would it be and why?
Giorgia: My wedding watch, the Rolex Day-Date that Daniele gave it to me during our wedding
Jan: I have to ask, which watch are you wearing right now?
Giorgia: I am wearing the Omega Speedmaster Ultraman because I just posted a video of it on instagram !