More Than a Team – Giacomo Castelli
Giacomo Castelli can be best described in the words of his oldest friend – “Always ahead of his time – even if that time will never come!” Giacomo has been forever a man with more hobbies and collections than most – maybe too many at times. Sneakers, Toys, Japanese street wear up to watches– nothing can escape this magpie’s eyes. He joined Bulang and Sons in 2014 with a focus of managing the operational aspects of the business as well as taking a lead on finding products for the shop to sell. Having always had the collector gene, watches were a small part of this life…but nothing compared to what would become of his interest once he became a member of Bulang and Sons. “I had a passing interest in watches and bought my first proper watch around 2008. I had always been Influenced by my friend and colleague Danny (Danny Kuijpers who runs the Bulang and Sons Watch Department) and his life around collecting vintage watches,” explains Giacomo of his first toe-dip into the watch world. A black 1601 Datejust with a Door-Stop dial was his first ‘proper’ watch and he had no intention of ever buying another one – famous last words. “I added a few more vintage pieces to my emerging collection – I’m a compulsive collector after all! However, in the past five years at Bulang and Sons I have been fully exposed to the world of watches and so more pieces were added. Although I have let some go…to fund more watches.” On any given day you can find him wearing anything from a Rolex 1675 GMT-Master to a Wittnauer Electric and even a tiny gold Cartier. If pressed for a favourite? “I certainly have a soft spot for a rose-logo Tudor”.
Aside from watches, his favourite item in the Bulang and Sons shop is the medium sized feather bracelet from his friends at Harpo. “I am grateful to have been able to have travelled a lot in my life. I always picked up something whilst on my trips, stuff that I had discovered there. Of course, not the classic freezer magnet but anything that appeared to be interesting, unique and new to me. My personal guideline was always something you can’t buy on Amazon or Ebay and that carries a certain spirit.” And it didn’t have to be expensive – a vintage shirt, a little piece of local art or even jewelry. Even a small piece of furniture if distance and shipping options allowed it. But always some nice memorabilia as a memento of a trip.
“While traveling around the West Coast last year I ended up in Arizona and fell in love with Native American jewelry. The atmosphere on the trip and a certain person I met, awoke a personal fascination and I ended up buying a feather pendant necklace. Back home I started to research more and more into Native American jewelry until one of my friends in Paris pointed me towards Harpo, a family-run business that has specialized in importing Native American jewelry since the 1970s. They have an incredible amount of respect and knowledge for the heritage of the culture of these art pieces.” Bulang and Sons became a distributor of these pieces – the finest craftsmanship with real authenticity. And the feather cuff was the piece he bought for himself when placing the first order in Paris. This is mostly the way Bulang and Sons source products and partners. When the story and the people behind the brand resonate with the team – it just works.
“I really love wearing my cuff, because of its versatility. I can wear it pure as it is, twisted or combined with other things. The details are so fine and extravagant that it always draws me in to take a closer look. Especially when deep in thought – its spell draws me in! Whilst getting used to wearing a watch more regularly, I have also started to wear different cuffs. Combined or alone. At least one of my wrists has to wear something – I feel uncomfortable when not wearing something!”
Giacomo’s cuff has become his daily companion, mostly worn twisted and alone on one wrist. “At one point loved to wear it twisted with my watch peeking out between the ends. I know it is not the perfect way to treat a watch, but that’s the way I like it. I’m a big fan of recycling/reusing/reviving things in my life, especially accessories or wardrobe items. So, when I’m looking for some inspiration or new things I prefer to dig around my own archive and give old pieces a revival – sometimes with a new twist. I’m that guy that doesn’t throw anything away, so sometimes my personal trends get a comeback!” Or linking back to his friends quote: “I sometimes just have to wait until a piece’s time comes for me!”