Friday, September 20, 2019

Why the Watch World Needs Stefano Macaluso

Regular readers will know that Girard-Perregaux has long been a personal favorite.  But not unlike the awkward kid with a crush on the head cheer-leader, that love was not always reciprocated ; )

I visited the GP HQ on one occasion some years ago and it left a lasting impression.  And if ghosts do exist, and I mean that in the absolutely most positive way, the ghost of Luigi Macaluso most definitely frequented the halls of the buildings in La-chaux-de-fonds.  If a corporate office could be said to be a romantic place?  Well GP was the watch fan's equivalent of Paris in Spring.

Curious to relate, I only recently met (at least face to face) another key person from Girard-Perregaux, Stefano Macaluso, this past March when he participated in the Henki Time podcast.  What was striking to me in that conversation was that although he was no longer with Girard-Perregaux (at least insofar as the daily operations although I believe that his family still holds a stake in the brand), was what I can only call a romantic notion about Girard-Perregaux.  And thank God for that.

In an age where watch brands are, in effect, losing their collective shit about what to do next, throwing money at influencers, slashing their advertising budgets with traditional media and dumping their over production wholesale into the grey market, here was a quiet, contemplative man speaking thoughtfully about the family business.  Other watch executives leave (or get asked to leave) a position and they take off on booze and drugged fueled jags.  Mr. Macaluso?  He grabs his bicycle and his sketch book and travels the world, documenting his impressions, and sharing them via instagram and facebook.  Many of us locked in our jobs had the opportunity to travel vicariously through him this past summer.  I guess my point here is that he is something outside of the mold of what is typical in the watch business.  

Whether it is a G-Shock you were given as a 10 year old, or your father's watch that you inherited when he passed on, watches do more than measure the time of our days, they mark the times of our lives.  And it is hard not to be romantic about that.

Now I am 51, no longer a young man by any stretch of the imagination, but I still feel those stirrings in that place where my heart (alleged by some not to exist) resides when it comes to some things, and Girard-Perregaux is one of them.  In all honesty?  We don't need more celebrity ambassadors, more watches made from "unobtainium", more limited-edition-partner watches with "watch news" (excuse me while I die laughing) outlets.  We need more artists, more poets, more dreamers.  The watch world needs people like Stefano Macaluso to remind us of the value of beauty, of thinking, of listening and of dreaming.

For now, something simple from GP to inspire.  Not too much, not too little, but to quote that other great commentator on watches, Goldilocks:

"This one is just right."

Courtesy of Girard-Perregaux

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written. Having worked very closely with the brand while the Macaluso family owned it, and more importantly, having had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Luigi Macaluso (so fondly refered to as Gino) and Stefano, I can totally relate to this article.