We are extremely happy to share with you an interview to Alessandro Ciani. Alessandro is not only a friend and a partner of Mondani Web, but he is one of the world’s most important, reliable and honest watch dealer.
Alessandro Ciani is a major player on the international vintage watch market scene since the late 80’s. His name and business are known and appreciated among collectors and professionals worldwide. Originally based in Rome Italy, where he is still operational, he lives and works now in Los Angeles, California.
With a long experience in the watch world, he has a lot to say, and we have decided to divide his interviews in more posts, because every answer tells a story..
So enjoy the first stories..
1. How long have you been in the vintage watch market, and how did that happen?
I bought my first Rolex watch at the beginning of my college years, in 1983, and that started everything. I actually lost money on it, so much for a good beginning! But that was the beginning of a life long passion, anyway. I started actually buying and selling with the idea of making a profession of it about four years later, when I was twenty three years old. So I am almost thirty years in the business now, am I? I suppose that makes me pretty vintage myself! Time flies…and how many watches, you have no idea. I wanted to own as many good watches as I possibly could, and I guess I had a fairly good share, so far: still, I just feel I haven’t had enough yet!
2. Throughout these years, did you just buy and sell, or did you approach the industry in other ways?
There are different ways to make a living as a vintage watch expert. I explored them all, except for being a watchmaker: I am currently a watch dealer specialized in vintage, but I worked for an auction house as expert director of the watches and clocks department, for a bank as an appraiser, an expert supervisor in watches and dials restoration and a writer on watch related topics (several articles and even a book!). As an amateur, I seem to be pretty well at watch photography and media manager as well!
3. Do you have a favorite watch, or manufacturer, or even just watch typology?
Yes and no. I really like all kinds of watches that have some intrinsic quality to them. After all these years, I can buy a million dollar piece or a two thousand dollars one with the same enthusiasm. On the other hand, I think I can say Patek Philippe means a lot me, some Rolex watches are still today the best timepieces ever designed, and AP, Vacheron and Cartier have made this world a better with a few but literally magic objects. Again, however, above models, makes and values there are watches out there that are really special and others that simply are not.
4. Do you collect watches yourself? What kind of watches do you like to wear?
I recently posted something on IG just regarding this. To answer your first question, I would like to quote those exact words: “some fellow watch dealers own a personal collection, consisting of the best pieces they found in their career: I don’t. I take pride in delivering my friends and clients the best possible finds ever. I think that makes me a great watch dealer better than having my own crazy collection. I collect watch collectors: their watches are my collection, my pride and joy. Sometimes, letting go is the highest form of love.” As per what I like to wear, I change my watch pretty often, as it’s part my work and lifestyle: so I really end up wearing all kinds of stuff. I have been hold on to a particular watch for some length of time over the years though: a platinum Rolex Day-Date 18206 with a grey dial, German calendar and platinum buckle for a while; a yellow gold Patek Philippe Nautilus ref 3700 for a handful of years; and I’ve been holding on a gold Rolex Submariner ref 16618 with blue dial for the last decade or so.
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