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IWC Schaffhausen

THE JOURNAL

The Time Surfer

Time marks the swells, regulates the succession of the waves, and preserves the wait of those who are always looking for the perfect wave. The one that maybe will never come, the giant one, the one that will still be worth having spent a lifetime dreaming of it every day with wide eyes in front of imaginary oceans. For experienced surfers like Paolo, waiting time is a matter of being everything or nothing. It is the most precious luxury. Because they know that the perfect wave exists, and it is up to them to catch it with the generosity, power and grace of a liberating ride, of a flash that illuminates the present in a few handfuls of seconds, but etches the heart and memory forever. 

Paolo ready for a skate session (Photo credit: Carlo Furgeri Gilbert - GQ Italia)
— Paolo ready for a skate session (Photo credit: Carlo Furgeri Gilbert - GQ Italia)
A banker with a cause

48 years old, from Milan, Paolo Paschetta is the Italian manager of a major Swiss asset manager. He surfed his first waves on asphalt, aboard a skateboard, in the second half of the ’80s, and since then he has never stopped looking for other waves - this time of water and snow - around the world: “Between the ages of 14 and 15, I lived through a very emotionally intense period, one of those that you carry with you like a series of indelible memories. Those of the first great friendships and the search for a role in life. I found mine among skateboarders. Then I continued with snowboarding, wave surfing and kite surfing, very frustrating disciplines for those of us who live without the sea.” Paolo learned his first take-offs on the waves in Italy, on the Ligurian coast, in Arenzano where he spent his early years. Surfing for him is a state of mind, “it’s like living trying to reach a goal that you’ll never reach, it’s an endless goal that gives you continuous stimuli, a companion that never abandons you. It is all about being able to seize the moment: you always have to move, to find the right wave in the right spot. As soon as I can, I go to the Canary Islands and Hawaii, always looking for places that are compatible with my family, islands with flat seas on one side and storms on the other”.

Never too old to skate

Surfing also means knowing how to evolve, and giving time new opportunities. The birth of three children and then the urgency of a wave that didn’t require long trips, brought Paolo back to skateboarding in 2012: “Googling some names from my childhood memories, I found out that Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero and many other great skateboarders of the ’80s, all over 50, were still great champions. Therefore, I bought a board and got into it with enthusiasm. I found out there was an academy and started taking lessons. Some people must have thought I was crazy at first, but then they understood that I really believed in it because I was constant and very determined. Until the owner, Max Bonassi, a pioneer of skateboarding in Italy, one day took me under his protective wing to give me personal lessons. For me he had always been an unreachable guru, and the fact that he called me to skate together was priceless”. 

 

The reason why

“Before being a sport,” claims Paolo, “for me skateboarding represents a new approach in facing life. It has pure fun readily available, for someone like me who has such a busy life. It is a glimpse of freedom, the most important value in every man’s life. It is my moment, the one where I can be myself, in every sense of the word, without fear of being judged. If you do something wrong, others applaud to cheer you on. The happiness you feel when you manage to perform a difficult maneuver is a pleasure that no one who does not do this sport can understand. You can skate whenever you want, with whomever you want, with the rules that you give yourself. I do not need to travel, I just take my scooter, put my board under the seat and go to the skate park. It is an invigorating release valve that I try to dedicate as much time as I can to. In addition, I have discovered the community factor, because skateboarding is a crazy social amalgamator. At the skate park, there are no longer any differences in age, class, race, education. You can find teenagers who greet you like a brother or peers who are a bit embarrassed and ask you for advice on how to perform a maneuver. It’s great to get into a context where there are no titles, no barriers.”

“To me, skateboarding is the remnant of freedom, the most important value in every man's life” (Photo credit: Carlo Furgeri Gilbert per GQ Italia)
— “To me, skateboarding is the remnant of freedom, the most important value in every man's life” (Photo credit: Carlo Furgeri Gilbert per GQ Italia)
All we need it’s time

Skateboarding, for Paolo, is also a moment of gratitude towards everything that time has given him: the unconditional love of his wife and children, a “pillar without which I would not be able to stand, something that cannot be wasted even for a moment”. Moreover, that is when even free time is invaluable. “The hour spent at the skate park is priceless, it means living to the fullest, feeling fulfilled by doing something that reflects our way of being, of living, of interpreting ourselves. That is why it’s worth the two-hour drive to jump into the water in the cold of winter, and maybe discover at the last minute that the long-awaited waves will not come. Nevertheless, who makes you do it, they ask. That is life! And if one does not live life intensely doing what one loves, it means that one is not living life at all”.

 

 

 


To mark time among the waves of water, snow and asphalt, Paolo chose the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 Edition “35 YEARS OCEAN 2000” Ref IW329101 - designed as a professional instrument for divers, it is also perfect for any adventure on land.


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