The idea of making watches was in his head from the early age of five when his father gave him his first wristwatch. This was a mechanical Russian made timepiece "Raketa", and the fascination with its design and inner workings sparked an interest. Intrigued by its mechanical propulsion and simple but elegant functionality, he started collecting watches. This proved to be a difficult task, since he lived in communist Yugoslavia at the time.
History of Filip & Co. Fine Watches
Born and raised in Croatia (former Yugoslavia), Filip Blazevic was always interested in finding out how things work. His interests throughout his traditional schooling leaned strongly toward the sciences. This highly analytical and detail oriented approach was evident in his wide array of interests which included building of go-carts, cars, furniture, and later watches. He enjoyed immensely seeing things created from scratch based solely on just a simple idea in his head.
His ambition in life led him to emigrate to US in 1984, at the age of 21. His new home provided all the other necessary ingredients needed to feed his hunger for creating things. It also proved to be a fruitful ground for watch collecting. The first major introduction to the world of ìrealî watches was during his first visit to NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) in Florida. This event was a complete culture shock realizing that there is an entirely new world of watches out there. This trip resulted in his first "major" purchase of a fine high-grade collectible timepiece. It marked the beginning of the serious watch-collecting period.
After a few years spent collecting watches, he realized that all highly desirable watches are either put away in people's safety deposit boxes or offered for sale at the big auction houses. Collecting became too expensive and time consuming. Never loosing the urge to create, he began housing different movements into existing cases. After getting good at this, he moved onto modifying watchcases to accept different style bracelets and leather straps. Not satisfied with this simple task, he than started designing his own cases and casting them out of precious metals. The movements used, were always mechanical. The idea of making a watch became clearer and clearer with every piece he made. These first watches were made out of 18K Gold and Silver housing a fine mechanical movement, and strapped with a crocodile or ostrich leather band. The idea of making a watch did not stop there. The presentation box was just as important. After a long search, he commissioned a local craftsman to custom create a watch box.
This box made out of black walnut and lined with white silk and satin, was just as much a work of art as the watch itself. Since all the details had to be in place, every piece was numbered and it came with a Certificate of Authenticity.
The new and current phase in watch making began with his latest design. This watchcase was originally hand machined out of a piece of brass as an experiment. The look and the feel of it, was so gratifying that he decided to perfect it. First three finished timepieces were completed and carried 11 Ω ligne mechanical movements and white porcelain pocket watch dials. These watches received a lot of attention from friends and relatives that he decided to make his first production series. After seven years of experimenting with watches, in October 2002, FILIP & Co was born.
The real challenge was still ahead. With all the high standards in mind, every component had to be perfect in order to be offered as one of FILIP & Co watches. After researching the industry for the past fifteen years, manufacturers and suppliers were chosen based on high quality and experience in their respective fields. The cases were to be custom manufactured in Euclid Ohio out of antimagnetic stainless steel #304 to the highest standards and closest tolerances. These cases are then hand polished and laser engraved. The dials are custom made in traditional white with black roman numerals to the desired specifications. Watch hands on menís watches are executed in an old traditional way of tempering steel. Using this method, steel hands are heated until they change their color from gray to deep blue. Only the worldís finest timepieces carry these blued steel hands. The women's version of this watch is fitted with custom designed luminous hands specially created for a more feminine look.
The leather bands are also custom made overseas by a Swiss company. These bands were made especially for this line of watches and are equipped with an engraved deployment clasp. The heart and soul of FILIP & Co watches are automatic movements. These highly decorated movements are a gold standard of traditional watch making, ETA 2824-2. And finally, the presentation box is an elegant wooden box that houses and accentuates these fine timepieces. No project is complete without paperwork. Accompanied with every watch, there is a Certificate of Authenticity, which represents sort of a Birth Certificate documenting all details pertinent to each piece in the collection and its warranty.
This timepiece is a tribute to traditional watch making excellence once widely enjoyed throughout this country and a mere attempt to reintroduce some back. With its quality and style it should be enough to satisfy the most discriminating tastes of watch connoisseurs and every day people alike.