An interview with Dario Spallone, President & CEO of D1 Milano

Members of the D1 Milano Team in HK from left to right: Mattia Bodini, Alexandro Pedersoli & Dario Spallone.


Q: Tell us about D1 Milano.

D: We started D1 Milano in 2013. It was a passion project between myself and 2 friends of mine. Our collection was showcased during Milan fashion week 2013. Since then, we’ve been working very hard to enhance the quality and the appearance of our product. D1 has a presence in 200 multi-brand boutiques worldwide including WOAW store, Lane Crawford, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols – the best boutiques worldwide. We have 7 directly operated stores and we are internationalising.

D1 Milano is not only a watch brand but a lifestyle brand. It is an experience. For example, if you go into a shop and purchase a Louboutin bag or a Gucci bag, you don’t just pay for the products itself but also for the experience. D1 Milano offers the high-end experience at an acceptable price. Our products are carefully curated by leading boutiques that engage their customers. This is what D1 is, the authenticity and the people. 

Q Have designing the perfect watch always been your passion since your young age? What is your first ever watch as a kid?

D1: My first watch was a Swatch. Swatch was a game changer in the watch industry. There was a quartz crisis in Switzerland that triggered the emergence of Swatch. It was no longer just a watch. It became an accessory. Modern watches pay high attention to technical details. Aside from that, D1 also focuses on the aesthetic qualities. All our products, branding and packaging are thoughtfully designed to give a unique experience to our customers.

Q: Which D1 Milano watch is your fav?

D1: My favorite one is the total black monochrome. I also like the marble black. It’s a black on black with pure marble dial. It has character and fits many occasions.

Q: How’s your Hong Kong trip been so far?

D1: I’ve been travelling back and forth since we have an office in Hong Kong. I am here at least once a year and I love it!

Q: What’s your #OOTD?

D1: I don’t really plan what I wear. I just put on what makes me feel comfortable when I wake up in the morning.

Q: Can you let us know more about the ultra-thin collection?

D1: Yes! We’re super excited – it launches in September. The ultra-thin collection has a thickness of 6mm, it’s our slimmest model yet. It’s also our first leather collection. It’s made out of Italian suede leather and has a classic modern look. At US$295, the price point is very accessible.

Q: What’s challenging in producing the ultra-thin collection?

D1: in comparison to other existing brands, we invest a huge amount on the aesthetic of the collection. We are very precise about every single detail of the watch and our standards are very high.

Q: I noticed all the watches have fixed straps. Would you consider designing detachable ones?

D1: No. The strap represents the product. If you change it, you change the vision, and it won’t maintain its identity.

Q: Use 3 words to describe D1 Milano.

D1: Cultured Italian, authentic and an experience.