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Meet the petrolhead horologist behind Singer Reimagined

Debonair chats to Marco Borraccino as Singer Reimagined releases the Geneva Edition of its revolutionary Track1 watch

My favourite aspect of my role is to be able to express my vision and to apply real design thinking to all aspects of the business. ~ Marco Borraccino

I became interested in the watch industry because… I’ve been attracted to these tiny little mechanical marvels in jewelry windows since I was a child.

As cofounder of Singer Reimagined my most unbelievable find has been... to be able to give full expression to my vision and my take on high watchmaking, both in design and as overall inspiration and approach.

The brand I currently feel most connected to is… of course, Singer Reimagined. But I still have a deep passion for Panerai.

The first watch I ever received was… a mechanical manual winding watch my parents gave me in the hospital when I had broken my arm at the age of 6. They gave me that watch to keep track of their visits. I can’t recall the brand, but I remember very well the NATO strap was in the colours of my favorite football club.

My favourite aspect of my role is to be able to express my vision and to apply real design thinking to all aspects of the business. ~ Marco Borraccino

I think the watch industry and high-end luxury is… about making a connection with people that can understand the effort behind an exceptional object.

The greatest development from my brand is… the revolutionary engineering of a completely new way to display the chronograph, both on a design and technical level.

I’m very sensitive in general to a certain functional aesthetic without too much space for useless decorations. A vintage Porsche 911 is as good an example of what inspires me as a vintage Brionvega TV — beautiful bodywork, clean aesthetic and state-of-the-art technique.

An object from outside the industry that has an important effect on my work is… cars, of course. But I’m very sensitive in general to a certain functional aesthetic without too much space for useless decorations. A vintage Porsche 911 is as good an example of what inspires me as a vintage Brionvega TV — beautiful bodywork, clean aesthetic and state-of-the-art technique.

On my desk you’ll always find… a Bic roller pen and a Moleskin sketchbook.

My favourite aspect of my role is… to be able to express my vision and to apply real design thinking to all aspects of the business.

The Track1 — Geneva Edition is presented in contrasting black and gold, a stylish, luxurious colour combination. The only exceptions are the orange hands for optimal legibility, both for the chronograph and time indications.

The last gift I received from someone in the industry was… two awards! One for innovation in watchmaking and the other as the best watch of the year, in Warsaw.

I think the Middle East market is… one with amazing potential, and with very well-educated connoisseurs.

Watch journalism is important because… it’s the way to let people know and understand what watchmaking is about.

If you had a time machine, is there a period of watchmaking you would change, and how? Actually, each and every period brought or taught us something important. I believe in evolution, and learning from the past is at the core of it. Sometimes we can experience style mistakes or technical dead ends, but it is part of the path. Evolution is also made out of failures. And without failures you cannot achieve success.

Marco Borraccino

You have a dinner party and can invite any masters of the watchmaking industry past or present, who would you invite? Definitely [legendary watch designer] Gérald Genta and [Rolex founder] Hans Wilsdorf. Just because I’ve already had the opportunity to have lunch with Jack Heuer.

How do you unwind outside of work? Being in this launch phase, I’ve had very little time to unwind. But I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy sport and taking care of my cars.

The advent of digitisation in the industry… is natural and quite delayed compared to many other fields. We need to move forward quickly.

If I didn’t work in the watch industry I would… work with cars, of course! 

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Debonair talks to Khaled Elsayed, Khalil Al-Kaddo and Adil Iskander, the team behind Timepiece 360, the region’s first dedicated online marketplace for pre-owned luxury watches