The world of haute horlogerie is somehow connected to that of tailoring. Craftsmanship, savoir faire, nobility and exclusivity of materials are just some of the elements that these two apparently distant worlds share.
Luca Rubinacci is the creative director of the maison Rubinacci, representative of the third generation of one of the oldest and most famous tailors, with exclusive ateliers in Naples, Milan, London and Tokyo. Rubinacci's is an unmistakable cut, capable of combining Neapolitan tailoring with the needs of an international clientele.
As a lover of tailoring and a loyal 'follower' of Luca su Instagram, where with his always sunny "Hello Everyone…”Dispenses nice and useful style tips, I met the man who GQ Magazine defined being one of the best dressed in the world to learn about his vision on watchmaking and discover the watches he loves to wear!
What does the watch represent for you? Is there a criterion by which you decide to wear one rather than another?
LR The watch is an object that I wear with great pleasure, especially in the workplace. I believe that an important watch must also be worn in an appropriate context.
For example, this summer I was on my honeymoon in Indonesia and I left with a very simple Swatch. During this month spent in Indonesia I still stayed in very good hotels, where I saw people with really expensive watches on their wrists. I don't think it was the right context: you are on vacation in Indonesia! I believe that elegance consists precisely in this, in not showing off. Wear something solely for the pleasure of wearing it.
How was your passion for watchmaking born?
LR My passion for watchmaking does not come from a family tradition. My dad Mariano and I both approached this world about ten years ago, when I started asking him questions about the watches he wore.
It all started on a particular occasion. I was 22 and my father, a lover of vintage watches, decided to take me to an auction at Sotheby's in New York. I started leafing through the catalog of that review and immediately fell in love with a Vacheron Constantin 4072 in pink gold, hand-wound chronograph; while my father immediately pointed a Patek Philippe 'Tegolino'.
The auction base of mine Vacheron Constantin was $ 28, estimated at about $ 38. Mariano gave me the green light to be able to place my offer, but without the possibility of raising several times, just to entertain me. Also because with us there was an expert friend of ours, who reassured my father that the watch - one of the most coveted at that time - would have reached at least 50 thousand dollars.
I still remember raising my hand to make my bid, the first of that auction, and one immediately raised for $ 30. He promptly rested with 31 thousand and from that moment silence fell. I literally bleached. I did it without any real hope of being able to win the watch, instead .. After some time I discovered the importance of being, even on these occasions, in the right place at the right time. The final price of the auction very often depends on the presence or absence of people, collectors, who are really interested in that specific reference. It was the so-called 'beginner's luck', quite unexpected.
Which watches in your collection do you feel most attached to?
LR I am tied to watches that, beyond their value, remind me of a special occasion like this Piaget Altiplano ref. 3095 vintage, a gift from my twin sister Chiara for my 30 years. A beautiful ultra-flat 'dress watch' with a noble heart. Inside it is animated by the prestigious caliber 9P2, evolution of the famous 9P introduced in 1957.
The latest addition to the house is the Patek Philippe Calatrava Clous de Paris 3802, a watch to which I attach the greatest importance as it was my wife's gift for our wedding. I care in a particular way, because it makes you understand to what extent a woman can know her future husband. I never told her what I wanted, I didn't demand anything just as she never demanded the engagement ring. But when you find yourself giving something, if you care about a person, you try to represent them.
I must say that this Patek Philippe manages to best embody who I am: I am part of the Neapolitan Tailoring, and this timepiece somehow sums up the timeless elegance of a man. It is the classic watch that I would like to pass on to my son one day.
I have often seen you wearing a beautiful Parmigiani Fleurier, are you an aficionado of the maison?
LR The passion for the maison Parmigiani Fleurier was born from my collaboration as Brand Ambassador thanks to the initiative and sympathy of Maryline De Caesar, General Manager of the brand. A niche watch, super handcrafted, few pieces but for true connoisseurs. A bit like Neapolitan tailoring. From here was born this union between me, founder of the Neapolitan tailoring and their maison.
I could only choose the Tonda, which is a bit like the emblem of Parmigiani. I always wear it with great pleasure. I was also on a visit to their Manufacture, where I met Michael Parmigiani who showed me his restoration works and I was able to appreciate the great craftsmanship behind this maison. Craftsmanship that is very close to the world of haute couture.
Which watch in your collection do you think is more versatile than others?
LR Lo Zenith El First I like it a lot because it's super sporty. It is a watch that I easily wear with jeans, but not only, and it is very easy to wear, I carry it with me everywhere. It has a discreet charm not liking to flaunt what I wear.
How was the collaboration between Rubinacci and Hublot born?
LR It all comes from the collaboration between our tailor's shop and my dear friend Lapo Elkann, who wanted to express his wardrobe in Hublot watches. I liked the idea a lot, also because this maison represents the avant-garde in terms of style and design applied to watchmaking. However, it was not at all easy as Lapo is a great lover of our vintage fabrics. So when Hublot called to ask me for 10/15 meters of fabric, I replied that it was not possible and that at most I could guarantee him 2 meters of each type.
Before saying goodbye, which contemporary watches would you like in your collection?
LR I really like theAquanaut by Patek Philippe a watch that is simple to wear, in addition to the new one Rolex GMT Pepsi 126710BLRO