Ignacio is not only capable to work on the complex movements from the past, but also to service the word’s most complicated watches of today. We asked him a few questions… enjoy Part 1 of the interview:
How did you get involved in watchmaking?
Even at young age, I was always very interested in everything mechanical. But unfortunately I lost some of my hearing, and I looked for a profession which is quiet and focuses on good eyesight.
Why did you become a watchmaker?
It was always clear to me that a good, formal education is the foundation for any successful job, so I went to the watchmaking school in Havana, Cuba for six years. In my first years as a watchmaker, I worked mainly on Russion watches but also on American brands like Elgin, Hamilton and Waltham.
What brought you to Miami?
A chance for a better life and the “American Dream”: My wife Gilda and I are both from Cuba, and we wanted to live in political freedom and experience economical opportunities. So in 1994 we came to Miami with nothing in our pockets, but with hard work we were able to create better lives for ourselves and our 4-year old son Justin.
There are watchmakers and watchmakers – what makes you special?
Simply put, I love what I am doing, and I try to get better at it every day.
What is your biggest challenge as a watchmaker?
Although the watch industry appears to be rather slow, there are tremendous innovations to keep up with – new movements, new materials for parts, and new service tools.
What kind of work do you like most?
To me it is most rewarding to watch the owner when he gets his serviced timepiece back, and experiences the “before-and-after effect”.
Aside from patience and good eyesight, what other skills are required?
Everything where dexterity is involved, attention to detail, finickiness. I can easily pour several hours over one particular movement to get something difficult done.