The Journal

Interview with a collector - Alex Maturo

Meet Alex Maturo from Italy – one of the earliest members of the IWC Collector’s Forum.

Alex Maturo, IWC collector
— Alex Maturo, IWC collector

AM: ALEX MATURO

MF: MICHAEL FRIEDBERG, IWC FORUM EDITOR

 

MF: Alex, I’ve always considered Italy as a watch-crazy place – in fact, where interest in mechanical watches was reborn. As a collector from Italy, would you agree?

 

AM: It’s definitely true, watch-crazy is the right definition. This market has always been very attentive to some very famous brands, mainly sports watches. The attention given throughout the years to IWC has always been high in Italy. Look at the Portugieser line, it’s always considered “the IWC” in this part of the world.

 

If I may add something, when IWC started its Collectors Forum in 2001, though, I believe Italians were very shy and not so many were following; the watch-crazy country on the forum was more the US!

 

MF: But you were an early forum participant. I recall meeting you at the first IWC Collector’s meeting back in 2002.

AM: That meeting was well beyond my expectations; IWC went the extra mile to “involve us in the family”. It was good to have a direct contact with many IWC people and it contributed to building good relationship also among forumers, and with our forum moderator at the time.

 

The mechanical shop, the assembly department, the test labs… and last but not least the drop-off repair shop. A small anecdote here: I had recently bought for my wife a Cal. 83 watch from 1942, with a really nice and clean design. I was not so convinced, however, that the hands were original, so I gave it to Rene Schwarz, the after-sales manager, to look at. One hour later he came back to me saying “the hands are original, in 1942, with the war the maintenance on the cutting molds was limited. But the crown was not original so we took the liberty of replacing it with an original one!” That’s really amazing.

 

MF: You also were among the first to order the Collectors’ Forum Ingenieur.

 

AM: Of course I couldn’t resist, considering also that I am an electrical engineer. An antimagnetic Ingenieur was just a must for me.

 

It was good to have a special edition, even if the special was limited to only the dial. I was actually fascinated by the Pellation movement that at that time I also had on my 7-day Portugieser. The first time I tried on the CFI I realized how heavy it was, but once you get used to carrying 240 grams on your left wrist wearing another watch is sort of no-gravity experience!

 

— Two vintage timepieces from Mr. Maturo's collection from 1941 and 1959

Portugieser 7-day reference 5001
— Portugieser 7-day reference 5001

MF: When was your initial introduction to IWC?

 

AM: That was in the mid-nineties, when I decided I should wear a “serious” watch. I did not look, unlike most of my friends, at one very famous international brand. I thought that brand was very nice but I wanted something different, and I saw that IWC had something special, I was fascinated by the Da Vinci and the Titanium Chrono Porsche Design.

 

Finally I fell in love with the Portugueser Chrono, reference 3714, and I simply had to have one. So, in 1998, I finally took the decision. It was simply a pleasure and a smile every time I looked at its clean and elegant dial.

 

MF: And what today is your favorite IWC watch?

 

AM: My Portugieser 7-day reference 5001.

 

MF: A few quick questions – could you describe your ideal watch. First, sports or dress?  

 

AM: That’s difficult; I like both. Sports, like my CFI Inge. Dress, Portugieser, of course.

 

MF: Complicated or time-only? 

 

AM: I’d like it complicated, with an easy-to-read perpetual or annual calendar.

 

MF: Size? 

 

AM: Between 40 and 42 mm.

 

MF: What color dial?

 

AM: Silver dial.

 

MF: Numerals or Indices?

 

AM: Numerals.

 

MF: Bracelet or Strap?

 

AM: Strap.

 

Mr. Maturo's IWC timepieces
— Mr. Maturo's IWC timepieces
Doppelchrono 3711
— Doppelchrono 3711

MF: One last question – is the watch are you wearing today like that?

 

AM: Not at all, but my Doppelchrono 3711 is a beautiful example of sports elegance in conjunction with a very interesting watch complication. I am glad to see that IWC has recently proposed the same dial look on some of the latest models, like the 3777-24 that looks exactly like the 3706 and 3711. It’s like they are going back to basics after many years.

 

MF: It’s a great watch. Thanks, Alex, for your time and friendship.

Michael Friedberg has been collecting watches, especially IWCs, for more than three decades. From 2001 through 2015 he was moderator of the IWC Collectors’ Forum and has written extensively about IWC’s history and technical features.


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