Angelo Bonati : CEO of Panerai

When did this passion for sailing emerge ?

It goes back to my childhood, when I lived in the country and was fascinated by the sails when I saw them on TV. I wondered how it was possible for them to float in the wind. Unfortunately, the years rushed by all too fast, and it was only after I turned 30 that I was able to take lessons on Lake Como.


What’s your best memory in this domain ?

The first boat I bought, a Jeanneau.


And as far as regattas are concerned? 

I love the sea but I don’t do much competitive sailing. I have excellent memories of a leg raced at 15 knots on the historical Bona Fide tall ship during the Régates Royales de Cannes a few years ago.


Of which achievement are you most proud ? 

Of the restoration of Eilean, a ketch built by the Fife shipyard in 1936 and brought back by Panerai from Antigua in 2006 in order to be entirely renovated in keeping with tradition. It took us two and a half years in order to restore its original understated elegance, a period that taught me a lot. It is a symbol of the love of the sea that only sailing can fully express.


What would be your ultimate dream ?

To sail around the world on a monohull, to get to know all the many seas and to meet people on the other side of the world – while taking time to stop wherever I feel like it and for as long as I like.


What do you think of the 34th America’s Cup ?

I have no opinion about it and am not even following it. They have totally destroyed a proud tradition.


How does this passion influence your professional activity ?

It’s not really a matter of influence, in that I definitely distinguish between the two. I am lucky to be able to manage a brand with strong maritime connections, and I am able to bring to the table my knowledge of this milieu. But even though it’s pleasant, it’s still work. The latter only stops when I’m aboard my boat.

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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