Serpico y Laino: The Story

Discussion in 'Rolex Watches' started by Cortez.Ramon, May 13, 2009.

  1. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    Hi my friends, After a period of hard work I came back to greet you and promised you the Serpico y Laino family story.

    Kind permission of the heirs of Vicente Laino

    good reading :cheers:
  2. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    The Joyeria Serpico y Laino was founded in 1925 in Caracas by Leopoldo Serpico and Vicente Laino. The store had exclusive trademarks of Rolex, Patek Philippe, Ebel and Luxor.

    Was located in a Bolsa Mercaderes 21 and 59 open another branch as "Joyería Sucursal del Este" in Avenida Francisco Miranda at the second Avenida de Campo Alegre.

    The shop at Bolsa Mercaderes was on three floors with a lift and articles for sale were numerous. The proposal had the jewels to silverware from clothing to porcelain.
    Mostly imported from famous Rosenthal & Hutschenreuther.

    The plan also included the clockwork pendulum wall and desk. Some of these were specially produced in Switzerland for Serpico y Laino, personalized with their brand.

    It was really an important reference point in Caracas

    You need to Serpico y Laino the most important "double name" on Rolex watches and Patek Philippe.
  3. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    The Story


    Vicente Laino was born in Rivello in the Basilicata region, a young
    goldsmith who emigrated to Venezuela, like many Italians of that
    time, to look for work. Throughout the long oceanic cross his eyes
    sparkled with pride and hope, while he imagined the land still
    unknown to him, the land that would become his second Homeland,
    where his sons and grandsons would be born.

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  4. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    When VicenteLaino arrived to Venezuela, he had nothing but was full of hopes
    for a better future. He met a countryman with whom a great
    friendship started immediately: Leopoldo Serpico

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  5. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    There were many
    Italians in Caracas, all more or less with the same history and all
    with good will and hope in their heart. That's exactly why they all
    helped each other. The meeting between the two Italians marked
    the beginning of a great gold house and got into the history of world
    watchmaking. Leopoldo Serpico had managed to open a small jeweller's
    shop where he sold and repaired jewels. We're talking about
    the shop where the whole story started: it was called “JOYERIA
    SERPICO".

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  6. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    Since Vicente Laino was a goldsmith, instead, Leopoldo
    Serpico proposed him to put their strengths and resources together
    and join him in his jeweller's shop as his partner.

    Vicente had no money but Leopoldo noticed his great intellectual
    and business skills, asked him to join the jeweller's shop as "SOCIO
    INDUSTRIAL". Vicente accepted thus putting in their partnership
    as capital not money but his commitment, his imagination and his
    business skills, i.e. his intellectual capital.

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  7. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    This is how for the first
    time in history the brand “Serpico y Laino” appears. To increase the
    sales, at the beginning of the 30's Vicente Laino spoke with his partner
    and friend Leopoldo Serpico, proposing to him the idea of going
    to Europe to look for a brand of watches that still wasn't being sold
    in Venezuela. This time Vicente left with a different spirit in his
    heart, the entrepreneur's spirit. He headed for Switzerland, Geneva,
    and he chose the Rolex house
  8. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    His choice was a lucky one, because
    in fact they had many sales among Venezuelan buyers and not only
    them. Therefore they decided that Mister Laino should go back to
    Europe, in order to negotiate with Rolex House, the sole right of the
    brand for “Serpico y Laino”.

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  9. Cortez.Ramon

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    Vicente is travelling once again and in
    Geneva he meets up with Mister Wilsdorf, the founder of the Rolex
    house. The sole right of the Rolex house had a big success in Caracas
    and the jeweller's shop got other sole rights for watches and silver-ware.

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  10. Cortez.Ramon

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    After the birth of the "Serpico y Laino" jeweller's shop, fate
    wanted to tie up Vicente and Leopoldo even more. Vicente meets
    Leopoldo's wife's sister and falls in love with her. Thus an old fashion
    love story begins. In fact, just in the middle of the wedding
    preparations Vicente gets a letter from the Italian government that
    asks him to show up as soon as possible in Italy to take part in the
    army when the World War starts. Vicente must leave to go to war;
    in a very dramatic moment, with pain in his heart and in the
    heart of his future wife, Vicente leaves Venezuela that had already
    given him so much, his beloved woman and his best friend and
    business partner



    Vicente Laino

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  11. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    One year before the end of the World War, Leopoldo
    Serpico dies in 1944. The whole weight of the shop is now on
    Vicente's shoulders. After the war the relationship with Europe is
    restored and Vicente for business reasons intensifies his journeys that
    last months. He used to travel throughout Switzerland, Germany,
    Belgium, Holland, France and to send the goods he bought directly
    to Venezuela from each of these countries by ship, except from precious
    stones that he carried personally with himself. After each journey,
    Vicente always used to go to his birthplace, Rivello, where he
    stopped by for about one week, to rest himself before starting again
    his work in the jeweller's shop.

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  12. Cortez.Ramon

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    . Unfortunately fate wants Vicente's
    wife to get ill and die prematurely, leaving her husband and two
    children. Vicente dedicated himself completely to the shop, and partly
    managed to fill in the emptiness left by his beloved and to overcome
    his unhappiness. All this dedication brought about a lot of
    success and work for the “Serpico y Laino”, which was due also to
    the fact that in the shop the best of the European manifacture was
    being sold, in a time when the oceanic cross lasted many days

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  13. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    Dur
    ing Vicente's journeys to Europe after Leopoldo's death, the shop's
    persons in charge were: Fernando Ponce de Leòn, husband of
    Leopoldo Serpico's daughter; many watches' guarantees are signed
    by him. Agustín Laino, Vicente's eldest son. Efraín Serpico, Leopoldo's
    son. Domingo Laino, Vicente's brother. Domingo Laino,
    though, was not in the partnership even if he worked in the shop as
    a salesman. Also Vicente's nephew, Andréas Gambardella Laino
    dealt with the shop.





    Agustin Laino

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  14. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    Unfortunately Vicente Laino passed away in
    1959, thus "Serpico y Laino"'s “success brain” was switched off.
    Anyway this success went on for some years, until things started to
    change in the country... crimes, murders, thefts and kidnappings.
    Members of both families underwent kidnapping attempts, until
    they even underwent an attack with a bomb that was put in the
    "Joyería Sucursal del Este".




    Agustin Laino Sucursal del Este

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  15. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    The shop's windows exploded and this
    led to the decision, in 1966, of closing down the shop, giving back
    the goods to the parent company and start a business in a different
    branch, without partnership between the two families. After the
    first closing down of “Serpico y Laino” Andreas Gambardella
    reopened the shop, but didn't get at once the right to call it "Serpico
    y Laino", so for a short time the shop was called “Serla”, before
    being able to use the original name.




    Agustin Laino

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  16. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    Unfortunately, however, since
    some years had passed, Gambardella didn't have the sole right of the
    brands that had been previously dealt with anymore. But the worst
    thing that made the shop close down is that Anrdres died prematurely
    at the beginning of the 70's. Gambardella's widow named a
    shop manager and went to Italy to live with her four sons. The person
    responsible in charge tried to win back “Serpico y Laino” 's
    fame, but for a fate's game that didn't come true.






    Sucursal del Este Interior

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  17. Cortez.Ramon

    Cortez.Ramon

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    A SPECIAL THANKS TO LAURA TEDESCHI FOR HER LOVE FOR ART
    AND HER PASSION FOR HISTORY. WE OWE TO HER WHAT WE CAN
    KNOW TODAY ABOUT THE FAMILIES OF LEPOLDO SERPICO AND
    VICENTE LAINO. TO MEET HER WAS AN HONOUR TO ME. ANOTHER
    THANKS IS FOR ‘ELGUAPITO’, FOR HIS PASSION FOR WATCHES AND
    FOR RESEARCH THAT ALLOWED US TO CARRY OUT THIS ARTICLE.


    www.lauratedeschi.com

    http://lauratedeschi.synthasite.com

    http://www.lauratedeschiarte.blogspot.com





    Vicente Laino portrait, painted by Laura Tedeschi

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  18. Cortez.Ramon

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    ---

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  19. SPACE-DWELLER

    SPACE-DWELLER

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    Wow! AMAZING stuff! :worship: :happy: :thumbsup: :goodpost:
  20. SSD

    SSD

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    I'm amazed with the rich story and the beautiful vintage timepieces! Thanks for sharing all of that with us!