Olivier Reza talks personal taste: Part One

The jeweller is reviving his father Alexandre’s iconic Parisian haute joaillerie house and Place Vendôme atelier

Olivier Reza
Olivier Reza

My personal style signifiers are my watches, all in white gold, platinum or silver with an element of blue – dial, indices or strap – which I buy at auction. I’m a big fan of Gérald Genta and have several versions of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak and Patek Philippe’s Nautilus. For me these are the two most iconic designs: 1930s style with a touch of the 1970s – sporty and very modern for their time. www.audemarspiguet.com. www.patek.com.

Three of Olivier Reza’s watches
Three of Olivier Reza’s watches

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a jacket by Brunello Cucinelli. It’s reversible blue suede and leather, from the spring 2015 collection. I love what Cucinelli does and his New York store is around the corner from my house. 683 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10065 (+1212-813 0900; www.brunellocucinelli.com).

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An object I would never part with is a small pocketknife my father brought me from Toledo. It’s very beautiful, engraved and inlaid with gold in typical Toledan style. He gave it to me when I was about 17. It’s also special because he never gave presents – unless told to – and this was his idea, given of his own accord.

Olivier Reza’s gold-inlaid pocketknife from Toledo, a gift from his father
Olivier Reza’s gold-inlaid pocketknife from Toledo, a gift from his father

The last music I streamed was a compilation by Turkish DJ Nisso. I’m a big user of SoundCloud and recently discovered a remix of his I’d heard at a party. The Turks are very advanced in techno music.

Olivier Reza’s Joseph Csaky sculpture, Femme Accroupie
Olivier Reza’s Joseph Csaky sculpture, Femme Accroupie

A recent “find” is the little shop inside the Hotel de Russie in Rome. It sells flowers and decorative faïence vases that are absolutely spectacular. www.sebastian-flowers.com.

Olivier Reza’s Bruno Cucinelli reversible suede and leather jacket
Olivier Reza’s Bruno Cucinelli reversible suede and leather jacket

The best gift I’ve received recently is a little sculpture called Femme Accroupie [pictured] by Joseph Csaky, a Hungarian working in France. My mother bought it for my 40th at last year’s Sotheby’s sale of the great art deco dealer Félix Marcilhac’s collection. I like small objects – they’re very hard to execute – and this is extraordinarily beautiful. It also has great provenance – its first owner was Marcel Coard, one of my favourite furniture designers from the 1920s and 1930s. www.sothebys.com.

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In my fridge you’ll always find fontina cheese, which I buy at Citarella in New York, and a bottle of white burgundy. I love Meursault, which I buy at auction or from the Burgundy Wine Company. Burgundy Wine Company, 143 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001 (+1212-691 9092; www.burgundywinecompany.com). Citarella, 1313 Third Ave, New York, NY 10021 (+1212-847 0383; www.citarella.com).  

The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a very old, engraved bronze lantern from a trip to Istanbul 12 years ago. It took me two years to negotiate with the dealer, in the Horhor flea market. Horhor Ecz, Sofular Mah, Horhor Cad, 34091 Fatih, Istanbul (+90312-525 0249).

The books on my bedside table are several, all on the go at once. At the moment I’m reading Empire and Holy War in the Mediterranean by Phillip Williams, which is fascinating. I love biographies, books about art, design and architecture, and dorky stuff like macroeconomics. I buy them at Galignani in Paris. I rarely finish a book though, especially the biographies that finish badly; I like happy endings. Galignani, 224 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris (+331-4260 7607; www.galignani.com).

The grooming staple I’m never without is the soap that’s formulated specially for me by dermatologist Dr Joel Kassimir. I use it on my face – it’s like no other soap and completely removes everything you don’t want on your skin. 10 E 88th St, New York, NY 10128 (+1212-876 3319).

My favourite websites are Christie’s and Sotheby’s. I use them to educate my eye, to learn about cultures, periods, styles. These sites are so dynamic, constantly changing; there’s always something new to see. Plus I’m a collector; it’s a passion, and I’m always looking for that one thing that is really great. It’s a search for beauty in all its simplicity and complexity. www.christies.com. www.sothebys.com.  

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