Interview with Alfredo ParamicoBy Ross Povey
If you spend any time on social media and follow any of the most prominent Italian watch dealers, you will undoubtedly have seen Alfredo Paramico. Whether enjoying a good lunch on Davide Parmegiani’s yacht in Capri or enjoying a glass of Meursault in Monaco with Corrado Mattarelli, he moves with the pack of the most prominent Italian watch dealers and market makers. He is a passionate collector and dealer and has been fortunate enough to handle some of the most important horological discoveries. He is also a serious fitness fanatic and a devotee of CrossFit, a fitness regime based on aerobic exercise, strict diet regimes and Olympic weightlifting. It’s not for the faint-hearted and requires absolute dedication and focus. So it was the perfect choice for the dedicated and focused watch collector Paramico.
“I was born in Naples [Italy], the epicentre of the best tailors in the world, 51 years ago. After completing a degree in economics, I went to Milan to undertake a master’s degree in econometrics, and then the year after that, I commenced my investment banking career.” This successful career in banking spanned almost 20 years and led to positions in New York, London, Frankfurt, Madrid and Milan. However, since 2004, Paramico has enjoyed US residency living in Miami.
View this post on Instagram
Last days of this amazing 2020 summer at @borgoegnazia Happy to have discovered after so many years such a great place like #puglia. Proud to be #italian 🇮🇹 ... ... #italy #puglia #borgoegnazia #summer #sea #fun #rolex #patek #vintagerolex #miami #amazing #beautiful #life #family #fitness #crossfit @reebokcrossfitmiamibeach
So how did Paramico first became interested in watches? “Since I was 10, I have been attracted by small and serious objects, and I loved the idea of keeping one in my pocket. I remember in the early 1990s I came across the very first watch magazines, and it was truly love at first sight!” And it was vintage watches that drew Paramico into the vortex of collecting. “My belief is that the 1950s were probably the best years ever for design and objets d’art. And so I was incredibly attracted by the Patek Philippe and Rolex pieces of that era. But it didn’t stop there, and soon I was equally in love with Longines, Universal Genève and Omega.”
View this post on Instagram
Part of what used to be my @patekphilippe collection. Can you name them all? 😉 ... ... .... #patekphilippe #rolex #patekaholic #patek @phillipswatches @christieswatches @only_vc_ @patekaholic @goldberger #amazing @jcbiver @lucamusumeci @watcharts #collection #best #rare #unique #dream @rolex #rolex #vintagerolex @audemarspiguet #audemarspiguet @hodinkee @wei_koh_revolution ... ... .... Photo credit @goldberger
Much like myself, Paramico has an affinity for rare, gem-set Perpetual Daytonas. What drew him to those and which have been his greatest finds? “This is very interesting to me. The so-called ‘bling’ watches, especially Rolex and Patek Philippe pieces, have always been very keenly sought after by the top watch connoisseurs. We see rarity and unicity in these watches, and indeed they are extremely rare! Even if I respect any opinion, I don’t really understand why a vintage Patek Philippe collector can’t appreciate the beauty of a GMT ‘SARU’ [sapphires and rubies] or a Daytona 6270.
“Among my best finds, without any doubt is the unique set of four Patek Philippe white-gold Nautiluses with different-colour gem-set bezels; emerald, ruby, sapphire and diamond. In terms of Rolex, I believe the incredible emerald bezel and hour marker reference 16528 ‘EMRO’ Daytona and the 6270 with Omani khanjar caseback, which I had been chasing for almost 10 years, are my finest finds.”
But there have been others that could literally break Paramico’s heart. “Ross, you ask me two questions which have the same answer. What was my ultimate grail find and which watch do I regret selling the most? Let me first dry my tears…. The unique platinum Patek Philippe 2497 with emerald Breguet numerals. This was the most incredible and beautiful watch that I have ever seen…never mind owned! Let me tell you that 20 years ago it was much easier, not only because grail watches were more affordable, but they were also in some ways more readily available. Today they are all cherished trophies in incredible collections and very likely will never be on the market again.”
What is that Paramico looks for when buying an investment-grade watch? “Simply quality and rarity! And that is what it boils down to.” And on this basis, which have been some of his best buys? “I would say the [Patek Philippe] steel 1518, the white-gold 3450 with Breguet numbers and certainly the platinum 3700. But I have also bought some super-rare Longines watches, like the Siderograph and a stunning 18K gold chronograph. Having told you that quality is a key factor, then I should mention a virtually NOS [new old stock] steel Rolex 6062 I found last year from the family of the original owner. When I had the watch in my hands, I had to take a deep breath and pray I was not dreaming!”
It is often said that the Italians “invented” watch collecting. Why does Paramico believe that watches are so important in Italy? “In some way, it is true. Maybe it’s the proximity to Switzerland but also the love and the passion for beautiful objects. I mean Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Bugatti are all Italian, right?” Whatever the reason, the Italian dealers are a very strong community. “I have had the honour of being close friends with John Goldberger since I was 20 and it is impossible not to be inspired by a man like him. Not only a great collector but a real friend. I love our watch conversations! Over the years I have become friends with some of the most important dealers from all over the world. In Europe, Davide Parmegiani and Roberto Caso, and in the US, Luca Musumeci, Andrew Shear, Eric Ku, Matt Bain and Justin Gruenberg I would count as great friends.”
With a constant stream of new, young collectors entering the market, good advice isn’t always the easiest thing to find. In fact, seasoned collectors always welcome advice from experts such as Alfredo Paramico. “I always say to collectors that they should not be afraid to pay a multiple — yes, I said a multiple not just a premium — to buy the very best example of the watch you are looking for!” And are there always emerging trends or undiscovered watches that collectors should be looking out for in the current market? “I think the super complicated Gérald Genta pieces from the ’90s are amazing value. These were watches made for gentlemen with an unparalleled taste; people who wanted the very best. And let me add that a perpetual calendar, tourbillon, minute repeater, grande et petite sonnerie Westminster Chimes is a no-joke watch! Taking the big picture view, I would say that generally the market is very solid for the rarest and best preserved watches and the trend will continue for the very highest quality pieces.”
Aside from watches, as I stated earlier, Paramico is often photographed training. And we’re not just talking a light job or some free-weights. We are talking serious lifting and extreme high-impact interval training that would make even the most hardened marines end up on all fours, throwing up their last meal. How did it start? “When I was 25 I weighed something like 270 lbs. Overnight I said ‘STOP’ and since then I started a healthy nutrition regime and CrossFit. I like any kind of cardiovascular activity, I think we have the duty to keep our body and our heart in good shape.”
View this post on Instagram
My second home and my second family @reebokcrossfitmiamibeach the place where you feel like being home 🤗🤗🤗 Amazing workout today with @riccardograssi_ and the 9am crew. Thanks 🙏🏻 @hi.wham.blam for the picture and for looking after my back 😂😂😂 @crossfitgames #crossfit #wod #workout #reebok #miami #friends #family #rolex #patek #patekphilippe #audemarspiguet #offshore #vintagerolex #beautiful #gym #fun #fitness #fit #barrysbootcamp @barrys @barrysmilan @barrysfrance
Surely he enjoys some downtime? “Of course. I like movies and music, but is there any better thing than enjoying time with friends and family? As I previously said, I was born and grew up in Naples; seaside has always been very important to me. When I decided to move to the US, I started looking for a place by the sea, with nice weather and where sports and fitness were part of the DNA. It was LA or Miami — I’d have to say it was a very tough decision, but you know the outcome!”