Giovanni & Bobby
MEET THE FOUNDERS
Giovanni, born and raised in some cosy village in Southern Italy, moved in his teen years to the Netherlands. After finishing High School, Giovanni went to the country's most prestigious Business Fashion School. In his spare time, he started to work at one of the oldest high-end fashion retailers of the Netherlands, which even had a Royal Warrant of Appointment. This is where he met Bobby, a prominent Corporate Law student and watch collector. The guys worked several years together for the purveyor of the court. After finishing the Business Fashion School, Giovanni started his first company creating and selling quality bracelets made of natural stones and precious metals. The bracelets became a huge succes and still are, as they're being sold at several stores throughout Europe. Bobby started a successful publishing office for Dutch law books. Even though their ways parted, the guys remained friends over the years and kept seeing each other over dinner or drinks.
Both Giovanni and Bobby dreamed of designing their own watch. After some drinks about two or three years ago, the guys decided it was time to come up with their own watchbrand. This brand had to be special and unique, since the market was already flooded by a lot of new 'companies' selling 'minimalistic' watches. Because of the experience the Giovanni has in the field of fashion, he has been appointed as the leading designer of the Bussora watches. Bobby focuses, due to his professional experience he gained with his publishing office, on sales, marketing and management. Together they have founded Bussora, a company that offers pilot watches with an unique design and story, that pays tribute to the first days of aviation. Bussora heralds a new era for fashionable, yet reliable timepieces with an unmatched appearance.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The term Bussora is a contamination of the Italian words bussola and ora and refers directly to the early days of aviation at the beginning of the 20th century. At this early stage of aviation, airplanes were very primitive and the cockpits had (almost) no gauges or meters, let alone computers, which could provide the pilot with information about the flight. A pilot would solely rely on his timepiece (ora) and on his compass (bussola) for navigating, especially above sea. Watches played a crucial part in aviation throughout the first and second World War, since it was the only way to determine the route in air. This severe form of aviation also explains our maxim: Orlogi solo per eroi, Italian for Watches only for heroes.
The symbol above the Bussora brand is multi interpretable. Some might think it's an old propellor, some believe that it's a silhouette of an aircraft taking of into sunset, while others say that it's a simple drawing of the outline of the case of our watch. We think it's just perfect.
The first flight
THE HISTORY OF AVIATION
AND PILOT WATCHES
Even though the Wright Brothers were the first to fly in 1903, pilot watches gained fame quickly because of the flamboyant Brazilian-Franco Alberto Santos-Dumont. In 1906, he enabled himself to takeoff under his own power instead of using a catapult system for takeoff like the Wright Brothers did.
At that time, wrist watches weren't very common, so Santos-Dumont used a pocket watch to navigate. He complained to his friend Louis Cartier about the difficulty of checking his pocket watch while flying and an idea was born. Cartier developed a watch for his friend that he could wear around his wrist. The watch was affixed by a comfortable leather strap and secured with a small buckle: design elements that are also present on our Retro Pilot.
Because of the popularity Santos-Dumont throughout Europe, men began to wear wrist watches instead of using pocket watches. Since then, the design of pilot watches has developed and other watch manufactures, besides Cartier, started creating their own interpretation of the Santos-Dumont watch.
THE GOLDEN AGE OF AIR TRAVEL
Just a few years after the pioneers of aviation, like the Wright Brothers (1903) and Santos-Dumont (1906), flew for the first time in history, the first commercial airliners were founded. The earliest fixed wing airline was the British Aircraft Transport and Travel, formed by George Holt Thomas in 1916. In the upfollwing years, a lot of other commercial airlines were founded throughout Europe. The Oldest continuously operating airline in the world is KLM Royal Dutch Airline, legally Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij NV. KLM made it's first flight in 1920 from London to Amsterdam and flew in a small Airco DH.16 which could only accommodate four passengers. In the upfollowling years, commercial aviation grew rapidly and planes became bigger, quicker and safer.
In the early 50's, airlines started using aircrafts powered by turbine engines instead of propellors. This innovation marked the beginning of a new era: The proverbial Golden Age Of Air Travel, that lasted from the 50's until the late 70's. In that time, people actually looked forward to flying. Aboard the aircraft, people had plenty of space and their seat could even be used as a bed. For lunch, lobster, caviar and fresh fruits were not uncommon and people could drink an unlimited amount of alcoholic beverages for free. However, this decadence came with a price: A ticket from America to Europe could easily cost €4.000,- in today's money.
Unfortunately, times have changed and aviation became a 'normal' business, causing it to lose a part of the romantic glance it had 50 years ago. If we could only experience this kind of luxury just one more time...
ITALIAN DESIGN INSPIRED BY THE GREATEST TIME IN AVIATION
The first pilot wristwatches were basically pocket watches equipped with wire lugs on both sides, strapped tight to the wrist by a leather strap. Giovanni's plan was to create an original and unique approach of the these watches, altered and adapted to the dynamic lifestyle of the 21th century. He achieved this goal by using high end materials and unique colors to create a distinguished blend of different textures.
The 44 mm case made of 316L (surgical grade) Stainless Steel has a soft, cool touch and is perfectly complemented by the roughly cut leather ZULU Strap. Depending on the version you'll take of the Retro Pilot, your dial is either Prosecco colored, off white or grained taupe. In just a matter of seconds, your watch can be easily customized by changing the strap, so it can always match your mood or outfit.