The Aesthete: Alvaro Maggini talks personal taste

Panerai’s first-ever creative director is fascinated by Madonna, prefers fact to fiction and feels like a movie star in his handmade Japanese jeans and jacket

Alvaro Maggini at home in Geneva
Alvaro Maggini at home in Geneva | Image: Beat Schweizer

My personal style signifier is my watch, a 42mm gold Panerai Luminor Due. I am a Swiss “machine”: time is precious. This watch is significant because it marks a new chapter in my working relationship with Jean-Marc Pontroué, after the period we spent together at Roger Dubuis, and it expresses my dual origins: Italian and Swiss. Similar style £18,700; panerai.com. 

Maggini’s Momotaro jacket
Maggini’s Momotaro jacket | Image: Beat Schweizer

The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of handmade jeans and a denim jacket by the Japanese designer Momotaro. I love the fit and the cut. They make me feel like a movie star. Similar styles, from £205; Rivet and Hide, rivetandhide.com. momotaro.design.

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A recent “find” is Henne Kirkeby Kro, one of Denmark’s best restaurants. What really impressed me was the tasting-menu formula of 10 amazing dishes combined with 10 different glasses of excellent wine – each was a unique and unforgettable combination. We were at the table for five hours. Evening menu, DKr1,395 (about £170); hennekirkebykro.dk

Maggini’s Jil Sander boots
Maggini’s Jil Sander boots | Image: Beat Schweizer

The grooming staple I’m never without is Vétiver Extraordinaire by Frédéric Malle. It’s completely understated. Malle considers himself a “perfume publisher” rather than a perfumer, and I love his approach of putting the talented perfumers forward and focusing entirely on uncompromising quality – he’s like no other. £200 for100ml EDP; fredericmalle.co.uk.

Frédéric Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire
Frédéric Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire

The best book I’ve read in the past year is Hunting the Truth: Memoirs of Beate and Serge Klarsfeld. I’m more interested in historical facts than fiction writing. We can never hear enough about the Holocaust, and seeing the news – that there are still extreme-right groups out there with their ideas and convictions – sends a shiver down my spine. I am completely anti-violence. £12.99; waterstones.com.

Maggini’s Kwok Hoi Chan chair
Maggini’s Kwok Hoi Chan chair

The best gift I’ve given recently was a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Duetto, a birthday present for a beloved friend. It has two distinct faces so the wearer can change styles whenever they like. Similar styles, from £8,300; jaeger-lecoultre.com.

Madonna’s Madame X
Madonna’s Madame X

And the best one I’ve received recently is one given to me by my Parisian “muse”: it’s the Boucle bracelet in platinum by French jeweller Goossens – part of the Chanel maison. It’s a boldly modern art deco piece, on the edge between art and goldsmithing. It was custom-made for me in platinum, which I love – you can’t tell by looking what it is, so only you know that it’s precious. Similar styles, from €290; goossens-paris.com.

Maggini’s Panerai Luminor Due
Maggini’s Panerai Luminor Due

Something I would never part with is a pair of combat boots from the early ’90s made by Jil Sander. They’re brown, which is no longer my colour, but at least once a year I find a combination to go with them – because I love them.jilsander.com. 

Lobster at Henne Kirkeby Kro
Lobster at Henne Kirkeby Kro

The last music I bought was the Madame X album by Madonna. She piqued my interest again with this album because the last two did not really work for me. Her eclecticism has always fascinated me and her ability to reinvent herself is amazing. From £7.89; amazon.co.uk.

The best book Maggini read this year
The best book Maggini read this year

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Kwok Hoi Chan. I love very round shapes, tubes and 1970s vintage – nothing too colourful – and objects that are not only beautiful but functional too. His chairs are just impeccable. From about £1,500; 1stdibs.co.uk.

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My favourite app is Runnin’City, which lets you choose from different running routes wherever you are and helps you discover new places.apps.apple.com.

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