Sunday, 20 October 2019

Break Time Talks Summer Success, New Offers, and Franchising in 2020

October 20, 2019 - TCN caught up with the brains behind everyone’s favorite handcrafted nautical jewelry brand to discuss the wild summer behind us, what we can expect this winter, and the biggest news yet - franchising next year. A closer look into all things Break Time with Mirela Rus.

We’re finally into the heart of autumn, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still reflect on the season behind us. How did the summer of 2019 treat Break Time? 

We had a fantastic summer in terms of business. We launched a couple of new collections: #reCYCLED with rope from recycled plastic bottles, made especially for us by a rope factory in the Netherlands, and YACHT CLUB, which uses an amazing minimalist anchor design, created for Break Time by Attila Kim and Bogdan Ciocodeica, a brilliant team of architects/designers. 

We are happy to report that our customers received both collections with great enthusiasm, so we will be building on that for 2020.


That being said, with five Croatian shops running and an international online shop, there was not much time left for relaxation, but that is what winter is for!

Which shops performed the best and what were the bestselling products?

The two Split shops were the stars of the season and we tend to believe a part of this success stems from the fact that we live here and, therefore, we can focus more on these two shops than the ones from Dubrovnik, Istria, and Zagreb.

As for the best-selling products, as mentioned above, the new YACHT CLUB collection was an absolute hit and managed to surpass every other collection in sales. A close second is our already very popular DUBROVNIK collection of nautical bracelets with a decorative compass, designed especially for men.

What changes can we expect from Break Time in the offseason?

We are keeping two of our shops open until the New Year: the Ilica 14 store in Zagreb and the Zadarska 1 store in Split. 

Any special Advent offers?

We are actually preparing some really cool stuff for Advent! First of all, through December, we will offer FREE ENGRAVING (in-store and online), so that our customers can get one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces as gifts for their loved ones (and for themselves). We will also have at least one day in Zagreb and one day in Split when we will bring the engraving machine to the shops and do custom engravings on the spot. We will make sure to announce the dates well in advance!


However, the Advent news does not stop there. We plan to launch the mini and the big versions of the Yacht Club collection - and they look so cool, we almost couldn’t wait!.

But the most exciting Advent news is that we will also launch a VERY limited edition of a special variant of the big Yacht Club anchor bracelets, which I think our fans will absolutely love. And they will make for very cool Christmas presents, too. I promise it will be something very innovative and cool. I wish I could tell you about it now, but I am doing my best to keep the surprise for one more month.

But there is still even bigger news. You’ve announced a Break Time franchise - tell us more!

We are so, so excited about this and we are working on it 24/7 currently, with the help of an amazing franchise consultant – Andrija Colak, the owner of the Surf’n’Fries franchise, with over 60 units opened all around the globe so far. And we owe thanks to TCN’s Paul Bradbury for introducing Andrija to us.

It has been four years since we opened our first shop and all this time, we had countless requests for the distribution of our handmade nautical bracelets, coming not just from Croatia, but literally from all over the world, from Dubai to Florida.

In these four years, we wanted to focus on delivering amazing products to our customers in our shops, first of all. And that, plus continually evolving and developing new collections, did not leave much room for external cooperation. 

But we feel that we have grown and learned enough now to be able to open the Break Time brand to the world. Experience and trial and error led us to choose the franchise as the optimal way to develop the brand internationally.

We hope to officially launch the franchise system at the beginning of 2020, targeting coastal locations with high tourism flows, all over the world. We made a soft announcement to get some feedback on the possible interest, and we are overwhelmed by the response we received already. We had interest shown from the UK, US, and Asia. Of course, there is still a long road ahead until we will be announcing the opening of the first Break Time franchise, but we are enjoying this new experience and will do our absolute best to make it a great one.

You can learn more about the Break Time franchise here

What else can we expect in 2020? 

The new franchise path meant that we also needed to reorganize ourselves in terms of both production and our stores. 

We realized that we would not be able to focus and give enough attention to our future franchisees if we keep all our five stores. So, in 2020, we are keeping the Zagreb store (Ilica 14) and the two Split stores (Zadarska 1 and Trogirska 8).

The Trogirska 8 store will move to a new location – but it will be at the same address, just next door. We are doing that because the next-door space is l, and it also has an upstairs large room that my partner, Leonard Copoiu, will use as a workshop during the summer. That will allow us to make custom bracelets and custom engravings on the spot, in less than one hour for our Split customers.


We also need to make changes related to production. Up until now, Leonard himself made absolutely all of our jewelry pieces. In the next months, we will focus on developing a production unit, and Leonard will do the training and personally supervise all production to make sure that the quality (which is what we are most proud of) stays the same.

But those are things regarding our internal functioning. What our fans would most likely be more interested in finding out is if new collections will be launched in 2020 - and the answer is YES! 

As we have done each year since we opened, we are constantly working on new products or improving our existing products. But I won’t say much more at this point; we need to keep some surprises for next year, too. 

To make sure you never miss a Break Time beat, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 11 October 2019

Unlicensed Korean "Tourist Guide" Gets Fine and Expulsion from Croatia

In Croatia, you often hear of people trying to avoid paying a tax or two, even going as far as to entirely fake business expenses. The list goes on, these things tend to happen everywhere and owing to Croatia's typically draconian and outdated policies when it comes to taxation and carrying out business, most people tend not to bat an eyelid.

Of course, there are limits with that, as there are with almost everything. Being a Korean citizen on a short stay taking up illegal work as a tour guide in Rovinj is one of them!

As Glas Istre/Nina Orlovic Radic writes on the 11th of October, 2019, a Korean citizen who was ''working'' as a tourist guide was leading tourists around the popular Istrian city of Rovinj received a fine of 10,000 kuna and expulsion from the Republic of Croatia for a period of three months because he carried out this activity without all of the necessary permits.

The Korean man was caught in an action undertaken by the State Inspectorate to control the activities of tourist guides. In addition to the hefty fine and expulsion from the country, he also received a decision on the prohibition of performing activities in the Republic of Croatia. He was initially discovered by inspectors near the famous St. Euphemia's Church. He didn't have a license for the conduction of the job a tourist guide in Istria County.

The 49-year-old Korean citizen was issued a fine of 10,000 kuna in accordance with a violation of the Prohibition and Prevention of Unregistered Activity Act of the Republic of Croatia. In addition, due to the fact that he used his established residence in the country for illegal work, the Rovinj administrative police station terminated his short-term (kratkotrajni) stay, giving him a period of seven days to leave the country, they also issued an expulsion order from Croatia of a term of three months.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Conference on Media and Healthcare to Take Place in Rovinj

ZAGREB, September 23, 2019 - Healthcare professionals, representatives of the medical and pharmaceutical industries and economists will gather in the northern Adriatic resort town of Rovinj on October 4-5 for a conference on the media and healthcare, organised by the Croatian Association of Health and Medical Reporters, the Zagreb School of Medicine and the Difrakcija association.

Croatia annually allocates slightly over 1,200 euro per inhabitant for healthcare, which is 2.4 times less than the EU average, constantly generating deficits which are covered from the state budget. In the last 24 years, the country has injected an additional 18 billion kuna (2.4 billion euro) into the healthcare system through various aid schemes.

In Croatia, life expectancy at birth is 77.5 years, almost three years lower than the EU average, and the country is near the bottom of EU rankings on mortality from cardiovascular and malignant diseases.

"In Croatia, the prevailing impression is that we have a good health care system. It is a fact that we have good doctors and that we rank high in certain segments of healthcare. However, it is also a fact that it is increasingly difficult for people to exercise their right to healthcare, that we are facing increasing problems with ensuring expensive diagnostic examinations and procedures, that there is no systematic cost control and that the system is uncontrollably sliding towards privatisation of some services," said Ognjen Brborović of the Difrakcija association.

"We want to encourage discussion on an optimum system of financing that would ensure quality service for all citizens at the lowest possible cost, because we consider a good healthcare system to be key to further economic and social development of Croatia," he said.

Health Minister Milan Kujundžić will also be attending.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Rovinj Weekend Media Festival Latest in Croatia to Reduce Single-Use Plastics

September 12, 2019 - The Weekend Media Festival in Rovinj is the latest event in Croatia to fight against single-use plastics.

Glas Istre reports that the 12th edition of the largest communications festival in the region, which takes place from 19 to 22 September in Rovinj, will feature specially designed washable cups for the first time to reduce the use of single-use plastics. Along with the festival logo, the glasses will display an encouraging message that 'by using this glass, you are saving the planet'. After use, visitors will be able to bring the glass home as an extra souvenir from the ‘best Weekend of the year’.

"The Weekend Media Festival always thinks green, which can also be seen in the visual identity and decoration of the festival space itself. We do not consider ecology to be just a trend, but a lifestyle. By going without single-use plastics at the festival, we want to raise awareness about ecology and take care of nature as much as we can,” said Tomo Ricov, director of the Weekend Media Festival.

Washable glasses will be available at the bars located inside the festival complex at the Old Tobacco Factory Rovinj. Visitors will be able to bring their glasses with them, but also leave them at designated places/points.

This year's Weekend brings more than 150 speakers and panelists, and over three days, over 5,000 participants from all countries in the region will be able to enjoy the vibrant festival program, which will take place in five parallel halls. A novelty is the Weekend Masterclass, which brings the legendary leader Tag Heuer and Hublot Jean-Claude Biver to the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj. The duo will unveil the secrets of running luxury brands on Thursday, September 19 at 11 am, thus opening this year's festival program. 

You can find out what current media topics and interesting lecturers and experts can be expected at this year's Weekend in the detailed program on the official festival page.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Monday, 2 September 2019

Break Time Says Goodbye to Summer, Hello to September with Discounts!

September 2, 2019 - Saying goodbye to summer doesn’t have to be sad,  that is, if you let Break Time jewelry cheer you up with September discounts. 

Here we are, at the end of yet another summer season. The grueling temperatures have cooled, the busy streets have thinned, and we welcome a new month that will bring us into a new season. While many of us will miss the season behind us, the summer blues don’t have to thump us this time around. 

Break Time nautical jewelry is giving you a chance to shop smart this autumn with a world of new discounts you can delight in. 


From September 1, 2019, shoppers can enjoy

10% discount off any 2 Break Time nautical bracelets (use code 10OFF at check-out)

15% discount off any 3 (with code 15OFF at checkout)

20% discount off 4 or more (use code 20OFF)

Break Time announced that the offer applies not only for the online orders, but is also available in-store. 

The discount codes will appear automatically at check-out, if conditions are met (10OFF for 2 bracelets, 15% for 3 bracelets or 20OFF for 4 bracelets).

In case you add, for instance, 4 bracelets to the shopping cart and press check-out, you will automatically see the 20OFF discount code applied. However, if you change your mind and modify your shopping cart, for instance, by removing one of the four bracelets initially selected - then the code will no longer be applied and you will have to introduce the appropriate discount code (15OFF for 3 bracelets) manually.

FYI, the offer does not apply to the Zadar key-rings collection or the replacement pins. 

If you're in Croatia and don't need to shop online, you can find Break Time’s five Croatian locations below: 

Ilica 14, ZAGREB

Zadarska 1, SPLIT

Trogirska 8, SPLIT

Antuninska 5, DUBROVNIK

Via Arsenale 10, ROVINJ

To make sure you never miss a Break Time beat, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 26 July 2019

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Break Time Jewelry Says No to Plastic with New Collection

July 26, 2019 - From plastic bottles to nautical bracelets, meet the new Break Time #reCYCLED collection. 

Croatia is catching onto the plastic-free movement, which can be seen in just some examples of introducing reusable cups at the two sold-out Foo Fighters’ concerts at the Pula Arena to initiating actions at the Motovun Film Festival. Though it’s not hard to see why, considering the world is currently producing 300 million tons of plastic each year. 

Today, we have even more good news as we bring you yet another example of one Croatian company saying no to plastic - Break Time nautical jewelry. 

Namely, Croatia’s favorite jewelry team has introduced a brand new collection that vows to do its part in reducing plastic waste - meet the #reCYCLED by Break Time nautical jewelry collection. 

Screenshot 2019-07-26 at 10.37.28.png

“We are committed to doing our small part in reducing plastic waste, so we have partnered up with one of the oldest rope factories in Europe - Langman (operating since 1638 in the Netherlands), and we are proud to use - for our new #reCYCLED by Break Time® collection - their absolutely innovative yachting ropes, produced for us in beautiful colors (navy blue, red, bright orange, bright green) and - most importantly - made 100% of recycled plastic,” said Break Time when they announced the new collection on Thursday, and further revealed that 40 PET bottled are used to make 1 kilogram of yachting rope. 


You can have a look at the entire collection here

Fortunately, you can help save the planet, too.  The new #reCYCLED by Break Time collection is available now online at and over the coming days in Break Time’s five Croatian locations: 

Ilica 14, ZAGREB

Zadarska 1, SPLIT

Trogirska 8, SPLIT

Antuninska 5, DUBROVNIK

Via Arsenale 10, ROVINJ

To make sure you never miss a Break Time beat, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Rovinj & Dubrovnik: Pearls of Istria, Adriatic as They Once Were (1973 VIDEO)

July 20, 2019 - Continuing our look at tourism in Croatia almost 50 years ago through archive video, a visit to Rovinj in 1973. 

This article started out as a blog about Rovinj back in 1973, and the video shot by an Englishman on holiday which you can see below. Having done the same with Dubrovnik, I thought it would be fun to do a short nostalgic series on Tourism as It Once Was. 

And then I noticed one of the comments below the video:

With the exception of people's clothes, this video could easily pass as 2018. 

Which is not quite the same feeling you get with Dubrovnik these days. 

Interestingly, Rovinj has the most overnight stays of any destination in Croatia, more than 3 million a year, while Dubrovnik has by far the most cruise ship visitors. 

Which destination do you prefer these days, and why?

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Moet & Chandon Festivities Taking Place in France and Croatia

June 9, 2019 - In an appropriately sparkling fete (how else - when it comes to sparkling wine?) famous champagne producer Moët & Chandon recently unveiled its majestically-restored Château de Saran, an architectural jewel in the lush landscape of Champagne.

One of the most impressive suites of the palace is the historic “Impériale Suite”, an ode to Napoleon I staged in homage to the patronage of France’s imperial family that gave its title to Moët Impérial, born on the centennial of Napoleon I’s birth.  Interestingly, Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the biggest Moet & Chandon fans ever! The palace was proudly inaugurated just in time to host a celebration marking the 150th anniversary of Moët Impérial. A star in its own right, Moët Impérial has shined on the cinematic stage, been celebrated for its savior-fête and fair, and is frequently captured by the lens of paparazzi as it has been joyfully toasted by the glitterati.


Once upon a time in Cannes in the 1960s, film legends such as Kim Novak and Cary Grant were photographed toasting with Moët Impérial at a star-studded dinner. Also, at Studio 54, a symbol of the dazzling New York nightlife of the 1970s, Andy Warhol was photographed sharing a bottle of Moët Impérial with his famous friends and entourage.

Fast forward to the present: Gracing the glittering evening in Champagne with their presence were some of the brightest stars of today’s Hollywood like Natalie Portman and Uma Thurman; style icon Kate Moss and British actor Douglas Booth; New York blogger and influencer Derek Blasberg. Famous tennis player Roger Federer, Moët & Chandon’s ambassador since 2012 and a true tennis legend, was also present - to pay a personal tribute to the signature champagne.


“I am thrilled to be here in Champagne to toast Moët Impérial, a symbol of global success, at this splendid family château, a grand new symbol for Moët & Chandon whose ‘family’ I am honored to be a part of,” said Roger Federer. Towering over the vineyards of Moët & Chandon, the Château de Saran has been a property of the House since 1801 and today is a superb “Château de Famille,” destined to become the site of festive celebrations again. To honour the 150th anniversary of Moët Impérial, born in 1869, Moët & Chandon arranged for its most emblematic champagne to be served throughout the evening from the new limited-edition anniversary bottles. Following an elegant cocktail party at the Château, a festive seated dinner was served in a mirrored structure specially designed to reflect the beauty of the House’s vineyards. The meal, prepared like a concerto “with four hands” combined the unique culinary talents of Yannick Alléno, the three Michelin-starred French chefs and brand ambassador for the House since 2014, with the artistry of Dominique Crenn, co-owner and chef of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco.


Their unprecedented collaboration made for a delectably-curated culinary experience paired with the flowing bubbles of Moët Impérial. The evening was highlighted, after dinner, by a live musical performance courtesy of British singer-songwriter, Freya Ridings, Britain’s biggest breakthrough artist thanks to her 2018 platinum-selling hit “Lost Without You.” A few days later, in Zagreb, Moët & Chandon Grand Day was announced in Kaptol Boutique Cinema. It is a continuity of the tradition – celebrating the 22nd of June as Moet Grand Day, this year especially highlighted due to the celebration marking the 150th anniversary of Moët Impérial.


From early morning of the 22nd of June until late in the evening, the Moët & Chandon Grand Day celebration will take place all over the world. In Croatia, everybody is invited and welcome to join the celebration in Dubrovnik  Copacabana Beach and Culture Cub Revelin. The festivities will be organized in Mali Lošinj, at Borik Meditteranean Bar, and last but not least, in the beautiful an inevitable Rovinj where there be an exceptional celebration prepared, traditionally at the Valentino Champagne Bar. However, the main Croatian celebration location of Moët & Chandon Grand Day will be the location preferred by many: Kornati islands, more precisely Konoba Opat where the big festivities will be held. The biggest stars of the whole programme will be the performance of the renowned Croatian band Soulfingers. But, the food created and prepared by the chef Ante Božikov will be just as interesting and awaited with excitement and joy. Moët  & Chandon Grand Day is eagerly expected everywhere in the world and Croatia, so don’t miss the 22nd of June and Moët Moments. Cheers to all!  

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

All photos by Mirko Janković

Thursday, 6 June 2019

VIDEO: Ryan Reynolds Releases 'Aviation Gin' Commercial Filmed in Rovinj

During his stay in Rovinj last month filming the ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ alongside Salma Hayek and Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds found the time to promote his new liquor company Aviation Gin, reports Jutarnji List on June 5, 2019. 

Recall, the actor took a stake in Aviation a little over a year ago, and allegedly, after taking just one sip, Reynolds asked the Portland owners if the distillery was for sale.

Making the most of his stay in Rovinj, Reynolds decided to use the stunning Croatian destination to film the latest advert for Aviation. The commercial was released on the company’s YouTube channel on June 5th, and in a video that lasts just over a minute, the actor asks "how far you would go for your company?".

With his peculiar and sarcastic humor, Reynolds claims he was personally committed to creating each bottle of Aviation himself and engraving them by hand. 

“Because, can you ever really go too far for your company?”

The commercial ends with Andy King, the most prominent figure in the documentary of the flop Fyre Festival. Recall, King became the No. 1 story in the US media after the Fyre Festival documentary was released back in January. King nearly went as far as he could to save the Fyre Festival from turning into a total fiasco - though it did anyway. 

In the end, Andy watches the Aviation Gin commercial from a bar, says that Reynolds “gets it”, and proceeds to order a glass of Aviation. 

Reynolds did not hide his love for Croatia while he made it his home last month. The famous actor even took to his Instagram profile saying “If you’re gonna be repeatedly punched in the face anywhere…I recommend Croatia. I love this place.” 

You can find the new Aviation Gin commercial below.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Balbi Arch - Old Symbol of Rovinj's Venetian Rule Shines in New Light

The Balbi Arch, an old symbol of former Venetian rule over Rovinj is given new life following over a year's worth of intense expert works on its cleaning.

As Glas Istre/Nina Orlovic Radic writes on the 1st of June, 2019, works which lasted thirteen months were carried out by experts from the Croatian Restoration Institute, and the cost of the works, amounting to 300,000 kuna, was co-financed by the Croatian Ministry of Culture.

After the restoration of Rovinj's famous stone Balbi Arch (Balbijev luk), one of the most recognisable symbols of Rovinj, which initially began last April was finally completed, the scaffolding and the plastic cloaks hiding the most frequwntly used entrance to Rovnj's historic core were removed. Yesterday, the Balbi Arch shone in a brand new light.

The seventh-century Balbi Arch had to be renovated and cleaned from exposure to various types of pollution and elements. Among other things, the weeds and other plants that had grown on the back of the arch were also properly removed. Since the Balbi Arch is a monument of culture, the necessary works were entrusted to the experts from the Croatian Restoration Institute.

Apart from being one of Rovinj's unmissable (and indeed hardly avoidable) top tourist spots, the Balbi Arch is one of the seven former city gates of medieval Rovinj, of which there are still three standing today and which remain in use.

Sitting a top of the Balbi Arch is a lion with wings on its back, a symbol of the Venetian Republic, depicted holding an open book in its paw, which means that Rovinj once accepted the rule of the Venetians without conflict or war, on the inside of the arch is the architecture style typical of the Venetian Republic, while the exterior is in Turkish style. 

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

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