Interview with Maristella and Chiara Pisa

Located in the heart of Milan, the Via Pietro Verri and the Via Montenapoleone are reminiscent of an elegant past. The neighbourhood once hosted the great families of Italian high society and today presents the shop windows of nearly every important high-end fashion brand found worldwide. An 18th century building nestled firmly into the historic locale displays a large bronze plaque emblazoned “Pisa Orologeria” inviting one to step into the world of the Pisa family. Sitting with mother and daughter team Maristella and Chiara Pisa at their multi-brand store in Via Verri, makes clear how active the pair has been in acting as a distributor for some of the most famous watch brands in the world. The ladies hold court in a delightfully elegant lounge, where with Tharawat magazine they discuss fathers, uncles, sisters, mothers, daughters, and how instrumental each have proven in making possible the legacy of their business.

The two brothers

Maristella Pisa proudly states that her family has been in the watch business for nearly 50 years whilst stroking her furry companion Grace, a gentle terrier lying within arm’s reach. Decades ago, Pisa started working in the family business established by her father and uncle. Ugo Pisa and his brother Osvaldo founded Pisa Orologeria in the 1940s in a small workshop in the Via Pietro Verri. Osvaldo was a great watch repairman and Ugo an eccentric entrepreneurial visionary, a serendipitous coupling, which resulted in the establishment of their joint enterprise in the city centre. “My father Ugo told me that they started with the reparation of watches and only later became distributors. They started with small brands. But then they landed the distribution deal for Rolex. At the time Rolex, contrary to the tastes of people who were used to flat mechanical watches, designed large, automatic, self-winding, waterproof watches, which was a revolution. Ugo Pisa was the right man for the job,” says Maristella.