Thursday, October 03, 2019


I am so proud of my young friend Gabriele Aprile, a watchmaker from Modica who has created his own watch, the EKWATCH, launching online today. I thought you would like to meet him, so I interviewed him earlier this week:

Gabriele, this week you're launching your own watch. Can you tell us how this project began?

It has been three years in the making. I'd always wanted to design my own watch. I made two samples with different designs and chose the better of the two, the one that was the best expression of my passion. It seemed a natural stage in my life and Kickstarter, which has financed over 11,000 projects and encourages people to create their dreams, made the idea possible.

You were inspired by the concept of an eclipse, weren't you? Have you ever seen one live and can you tell us more about your inspiration?

I've been fascinated by astronomy since I was a child and it became my ambition to put an eclipse on a watch. I saw a lunar eclipse last July in Marina di Modica. It lasted three hours and I felt that fascination and emotion all over again. 

What's different about this watch?

The Swiss Superluminova disc on the watch dial encompasses the idea of an eclipse. The luminous pigment represents the solar crown formed during the event. This is the only element of brightness in an eclipse, as darkness fills the sky inside and outside the edge of the sun. The EKWATCH takes up the eclipse at the moment of its climax, with a single luminous ring illuminating the dial.

Wow! We all want one! Did you always want to be a watchmaker?

Yes, I'm from a family of jewellers. My great-grandfather was a watchmaker, my grandfather was a watchmaker and jeweller, my father is a jeweller and my brother Salvatore is a gemologist.

You now have your own shop in Modica where you sell and repair watches but at first you worked in your family's jewellery store. Why did you open a separate shop?

I think of it more as an artisan workshop than a commercial activity and it gives me the space I need to work on my projects. It's also in a very handy position for people to pop in and have their watch batteries changed!

Yes, I do that often! Modica has a lot of jewellery shops for a small city - more than you would find in a town of similar size in Britain. Why do you think that is?

Well, I think it's because jewellery is handed down the generations in families here, so we have a tradition of giving gifts of jewellery on special occasions.

What do you think the future holds for watchmaking and what are your own hopes for the future?

There will certainly be more smartwatches but traditional, Swiss-made watches will still be in demand. People will always want to wear something beautiful on their wrists. My hopes are to take the project forward and to make more models.

How would you sum up the experience of designing and finally being able to market your own watch?

I've created a watch that I would want to wear myself.

Thank you, Gabriele and I'm sure readers will join me in wishing you all the very best for EKWATCH and all your future projects.

If you are ever in Modica, you will find Gabriele in his shop at:

Via Resistenza Partigiana 42 
Modica (RG)

Tel:  +39 328 7109 579

He'll be very happy to see you!


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