Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer re-runs: A Few Minutes with Stefano Macaluso

And now the other half of the dynamic duo!  This originally ran on April 8th, 2011

And now, once again, a few minutes with Stefano Macaluso -
Courtesy of Girard-Perregaux
James Henderson - What was your first watch, was it a gift?   Is there a story behind it?

Stefano Macaluso - It was a Casio ‘Star Wars’ watch with the  Imperial march, Darth Vader, droids… I was 6 years old.

JH - As with your brother, you were in many ways born into "the family business", is it ever difficult to separate Girard-Perregaux from the Macaluso family?

SM - Since the Haute Horlogerie renaissance begain some 20 years ago, Girard-Perregaux has become woven into our family's culture, so it is quite difficult to separate the two.

JH - When you were a boy, what did you want to be "when you grew up"?

SM - I wanted to be a car designer.

JH - Where did you go to school, what did you study?

SM - I studied architecture in my hometown of Torino, Italy.

JH - Did you ever consider doing something else for a living?

SM - I would have also loved to be involved in industrial design.

JH - And because I asked Massimo, I have to ask you - who was/is your favorite to wear the black and white?

SM -It depends on the year or the situation.

JH - You and your brother Massimo are now by tragic necessity at the helm of the Sowind group. How are things progressing for 2011?

SM - It is, for certain, a challenging time for us, but globally the business is progressing well.

JH - Will there be more Girard-Perregaux boutiques coming?

SM - We are continually studying several options round the world.

JH - I know that it might be hard to choose, but is there a favorite GP or JR model for you?

SM - I particularly like the design of the GP Sea Hawk as well as the JR Highlands.

JH - Who else out there is making watches that interest you?

SM - Most of our competitors produce iconic watches I like.  To give you a name, I would say Lange & Söhne for the extreme quality of finishing and design of their movements.

JH - If you weren't doing this, what do you think you might be doing?

SM - Again, I would have also loved to be involved in industrial design.

JH - What is a typical "day in the life" of Stefano Macaluso?

SM - It seems that lately I have two kinds of "typical days" - The first is a 12-hour work in our Manufacture of La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. The second would be a 12-hour flight to somewhere on the
other side of the globe.

JH - What do you like to do in your down time?

SM - I like to explore the world, either by traveling or through books and movies. I also enjoy outdoor sports.

JH - You and your brother represent, in many ways, a changing of the guard. Needless to say, with the nature of watch companies being family owned, there will be more second and third generations taking the reins of their companies. What advice to you have for those who take over the family firm?

SM - My advice would be to keep an intellectual coherence with the brand but also to interpret and maintain the heritage with the spirit of your generation.

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