“WhoAreU” interview with Vincent Calabrese, Co-founder of the AHCI

Temps de lecture : 2 minutes
Vincent Calabrese and Amandine for the WhoAreU interview

My name is Amandine, I am now 13 years old and keen on watchmaking. Since the age of 7, when asked what job I want to do, I answer “watchmaker-designer at Bulgari”… In the meantime, I interview people in the industry… At this year’s Time to Watches trade show in Geneva, I had the good fortune to meet Vincent Calabrese, an independent watchmaker, compulsive inventor who has made many brands famous, co-founder of the AHCI, and so on. What immediately appealed to me about this veteran watchmaker was the passion in his eyes when he talked to me about his watches.

By Amandine, the youngest Swiss Watch Passport columnist
Amandine’s portrait | Insta SWP | Insta JSH® | Insta Amandine | Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin

Who is Vincent Calabrese at the office?

A solitary man enjoying his freedom.

And in real life?

Always the same

How did you get into watchmaking?

Luckily, I left school against my will.

What do you remember about your first watch?

That it was damn small.

Vincent Calabrese
Vincent Calabrese, veteran independent watchmaker

And which watch has the most sentimental value for you today?

The one with my latest invention.

Do you make watches for young people?

Very few! Few are like you at 13 / 14.

What would you say to a young person under 15 to get them interested in mechanical watchmaking rather than their Apple Watch?

I wouldn’t ask.

Svend Andersen (l) and Vincent Calabrese (r) at the GPHG 2023
Svend Andersen (l) and Vincent Calabrese (r) awarded at the GPHG 2023 in th name of the AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants) that they co-founded.
book Le Temps d'une Vie about Vincent Calabrese
Le Temps d'une Vie, Vincent Calabrese' biography
Vincent Calabrese, laureate of the Prix Gaïa in 1996
Vicent Calabrese, Laureate of the Prix Gaïa in 1996 with Günter Blümlein (l) and Jean-Luc Maynaud (r)

And what are your brand’s assets to win him over?


There’s a lot of talk about durability. What does that mean to you?

It’s all about manipulation.

Do you prefer TikTok, Instagram or LinkedIn?


Vincent Calabrese Instagram account
Vincent Calabrese Instagram account
Fly'Ora watch - Vincent Calabrese
Fly'Ora watch by Vincent Calabrese

What advice would you give me to be able to live my passion and work in watchmaking?

Try it and see.

Anything you’d like to add?

Congratulations on your passion and keep it alive.

I had the opportunity to do a cross-interview not long ago, and I thought the idea of the interviewer being interviewed was great… Would you have a question for me?

If you were making a watch, would you give priority to aesthetics or complication?

It’s hard to answer. In fact, a few months ago, I think I would have said aesthetics, because it’s the first thing you see and it’s often what makes you like or dislike the watch… I wanted to be a designer. But today, the more I meet watchmakers, the more I touch movements and the more I want to become a watchmaker, so complication is going to count. In the end, both are super important, so let’s say aesthetics at the service of complication. A bit like your watch with the butterflies (editor’s note: the Fly’ora model).

Shall we take a selfie for my album?

Luckily, you already took one before the interview… But come and visit my workshop in Morges with your dad, and we’ll take lots more photos.

Vincent Calabrese and Amandine for the WhoAreU selfie
Vincent Calabrese and Amandine for the WhoAreU selfie

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