Wednesday, October 20, 2021


 I interviewed young Modican watchmaker Gabriele Aprile for this blog in April 2019 and I thought we should visit him again to see how his EKWATCH project is going and find out what has happened since the pandemic began:

Hi, Gabriele. The world has changed since April 2019 so can you tell us what has changed for you?

Despite the pandemic, I've been happy with the small steps I have been able to take since 2019: I began with five models for my EKWATCH and now there are seventeen. There are new straps and I have also launched a women's line, featuring smaller models.

Has it been difficult to keep your business going during the pandemic?

Lockdown actually allowed me to take a break from the frantic rhythm of the traditional working day and think about new models and ideas for the EKWATCH. I improved the look of the product and increased my presence on social media with regard to the watch. I also got organised and, as soon as it became possible, I participated in trade fairs, where I made new contacts. This, in turn, helped me to sell my products in other sales points.

Is your inspiration still an eclipse?

Yes, from the Greek EK = “eclipse / to eclipse”; the brand will continue to be inspired by this natural phenomenon which has, through the ages, given rise to scientific research, as did the 1919 eclipse which supported Einstein's Theory of Relativity. This was the greatest scientific discovery of the last century and my first model was called EK – 1919 as a tribute to it. I was able to do this thanks to Eddington's eclipse photos, which proved the validity of Einstein's theory and inspired the many studies of it during the twentieth century.

EKWATCH came into being because of a wish to rediscover the innovative and scientific spirit that has characterised eclipses since ancient times. Although the 1919 eclipse is among the most famous ones, eclipses have always been admired as sensational events. They have provided research opportunities for scientific, philosophical and religious studies in every culture and every century.

Coming back to the present day, can you tell us more about your new models?

Certainly: I have restyled the original 39 mm. EK – 1919 model, reducing the crown thickness to make it much more comfortable on the wrist. I have also changed the shiny finish on the hands to opaque, added BGW9 SUPERLUMINOVA luminescence to improve night-time visibility and designed a leather strap for the model. In response to the many requests I have received, I have produced a petite version with a 33 mm. case for smaller wrists. This has a new stylistic configuration and minimalist design details such as the crown becoming hidden inside the case and the logo appearing on the dial.

Last time we met I asked you how you saw your future and I'd like to ask you the same question again today.

I'm hoping to increase shop sales in different outlets in addition to the three we already have, beginning with Southern Italy. With the right models, I'd like to get people talking about EKWATCH in other places.The news for 2022 is that I would like to organise a new crowdfunding campign on Kickstarter for a new model with an automatic mechanism, in order to improve the quality and prestige of the brand.

Are you able to sell abroad?

Yes, indeed. Thanks to my new website I am able to offer a 10% discount to first-time purchasers of the product with free shipping all over the world. In fact in the next few days, and with great pleasure, I'll be sending one of my EK-LADY models to the USA.

What do you think the impact of the pandemic has been on watch retail in general?

It has been difficult for the entire watch trade because when people have to concentrate on their health they don't think of watches as necessary items. People couldn't even leave their houses and all celebrations were prohibited so it hasn't been easy to cope with these circumstances during my first year of marketing my EKWATCH.

Do you think people will go back to, and continue, buying luxury goods?

Yes, as an investment and as a safeguard, even when they feel exasperated, because sometimes people don't buy an item of jewellery to wear it, but in the hope that its value will increase. They don't enjoy the item in the same way, though. I've seen from my family's jewellery business that many people still wish to own a precious jewel for its intrinsic value or buy it as a gift for a special occasion so that it becomes a reminder of that event for their whole lives.

What do people mainly look for in a watch?

I think the design is what first attracts them but they also look for original features. They don't just want an ugly copy of a high-end item.They want a watch that speaks for itself and tells its own story, a watch that makes you feel emotional whenever you check the time.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

My passion for watch-making spurs me to participate in all its processes, from repairing watches in my workshop to the creation of my own micro-brand. Every second of my day, I feel inspired to think about what I can do tomorrow which will be better than what I did today. I believe in my project more than I can say here and I believe that tomorrow can offer a new emotional experience to those who choose to wear my timepiece.

Thank you, Gabriele and good luck with all your future projects.

Thank you.

If you find yourself in Modica, Gabriele will be very happy to welcome you to his shop at

Via Resistenza Partigiana 42,  97015, Modica (RG)

Tel:  +39 328 7109 579

Friday, October 08, 2021


Oh dear, oh dear! Yes, I just checked and he really did say it: Chef Gordon Ramsay, during episode 1 of his roadtrip cookery programme Gordon, Gino and Fred Go Greek, first commented that Greek cooks are as good as their French and Italian counterparts and then said that actually, Greek cooking is better than Italian. This, as you can imagine, has not gone down exactly well in Italy and it stupefied Ramsay's travel companion Gino D'Acampo too, whilst French maître d'hôtel Fred Siriex appeared to agree with Ramsay, citing the longevity of the Greeks. (Has he ever been to Ispica, I wonder?)

There are plenty of amusing comments in the outraged newspaper articles this event has inspired and some of the comments on social media make good reading too, referring to Ramsay's rather unconventional -  and therefore scandalous to Italians - interpretations of traditional Italian dishes.

Me? I love both Greek and Italian cuisine but I have never been lucky enough to eat Greek food in Greece. Therefore I would say I have a slight bias towards the country I live in but other than that I'm keeping out of it!

It was the Greeks who brought grapes, figs, olive trees and pomegranates to Sicily, among other culinary plants and of course they planted vineyards. Some say that even pasta may have originated in Greece but nobody knows for sure.

I did think of adding a poll to this post but then remembered that such ventures sometimes end in the resignation of Prime Ministers and the withdrawal of a country from a trading bloc so perhaps it is best to leave well alone. I would love to read your preferences in the comments, though.

Meanwhile it doesn't seem as if Gordon is going to eat humble pie so he might just have cooked his goose in Italy.


View My Stats