La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita

Antiquorum Watch Expert Giovanni Varesi talks about luxury, watches and style in his native Italy

Tell us about the Italian consumer’s love of luxury and fine timepieces:

Love for luxury is not only an Italian phenomenon, but the Italians have learned to be at the forefront in almost all fields of luxury.
From cars to clothes, from wines to arts, we could mention hundreds of Italian brands that are now famous all over the world.
It’s not a secret that we have in Italy some of the most beautiful collections of watches! From private collectors
to dealers’ stocks, many of the most important top lots for auctions came from Italian people.
A taste for luxury and special timepieces are qualities that Italians have in their DNA, and even times of economical crisis can’t weaken this love of luxury.

Discuss the history of passion for horology in Italy and its current place in the culture:

During the golden era for Italian industry — the boom in the 1970s and 1980s — we started to understand the value of precious watches and we learned how to collect timepieces of higher and higher quality. For example, I started with my first watch (a Rolex Daytona Ref. 16528 with floating dial, gifted to me when I was 12) and before I knew it, I was looking for my first “Paul Newman” Rolex. It’s natural to start from modern watches to arrive at vintage ones; I think that’s the same for cars, furnishings, arts and all the collectibles. We could say that love for collectibles is a relatively new phenomenon in the world. Over the last 20 years, I think we’ve seen the best period of collecting with an exceptionally growing market and the development of a completely new business segment made of antique shows and professional sellers with a level of quality that is consistently increasing. The apparent disinterest for all that is precious is actually a desire for a low profile as a result of the current economic situation. I’m sure that after this time of crisis could be the restart of the collectibles market in Italy! We know that in Italy, the most interesting collectibles are watches, cars, arts and all luxury in general. Affluent people especially have a passion for things that are precious, rare and unusual. New generations obviously are driven in their passion, in part, from the Internet and a virtual view of life. In my opinion, this is not always good as the best quality of the Internet is speed — and being in a hurry all the time is the easiest way to do things badly. Being a collector requires passion, patience and love — the opposite of being rushed or careless.

Milan is considered one of the fashion and style capitals of the world. What is the relationship between fashion and fine timepieces?
All of the Italian places could be elected as capitals of fashion and style! And all of the manufacturers know exactly that Italian taste is universally appealing!

When you dream of a sports car, probably you are dreaming of a Ferrari or Lamborghini. When you dream of clothing or
a handbag, you are looking for a Prada, Gucci or Valentino. I can continue with examples for all categories of fashion and luxury.

Italian style is prevalent in markets around the world. If we look at many styles, we notice that all the famous brands are adapting products to the tastes of new markets, but I think it’s only a question of time and all new markets will evolve themselves and favor our taste and style.

In the 1970s, in Italy we saw the best era for gold “flashy” watches, (the Rolex Day Date was the best seller) and now
we are looking for steel, low-profile ones (Rolex Datejust, Submariner, GMT). But this is only the result of the actual popular way of life, and we see that for the elite client, gold
is coming back stronger than ever. The market is cyclic, and taste continues to change, so some watches not appreciated or desired today will be appreciated and desired tomorrow.


Source: VOX


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