L'Ora di Capri - STORY


The L’Ora di Capri project stems from a love and passion for this island, together with skilful technical choices, culminating in a high-quality finished product.

Sophia Loren e Calrk Gable in 'It Started in Naples' - L'Ora di Capri
Sophia Loren and Clark Gable in "It Started in Naples"

The project, L’Ora di Capri, is the work of the architect, Massimo Esposito, one of the most original exponents of contemporary architecture on Capri. He is responsible for many of the restorations of prestigious villas and hotels, such as the Grand Hotel Tiberio Palace, the Hotel Villa Marina, the Hotel La Pazziella, the Gatto Bianco, the Capri Wine Hotel and the creation of the Panta Rei restaurant and club, winner for two consecutive years of an award to restyle a building introducing a new concept of well-being.

The idea for a line of watches dedicated to Capri did not happen overnight. In a sense, it is rooted in the history of the island, in the 1950s and 60s during Capri’s Belle Epoque. A period when the most famous people in the world strolled happily down our romantic alleyways. Film stars like Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Clark Gable, Rita Hayworth and Vittorio Gassman, as well as royalty like the Shah of Persia, aristocratic families, men of culture, poets and writers. Unforgettable characters, enchanted by the beauty of our island, to whom a special welcome was reserved; one of deferential respect, smiles, attention and a sense of familiarity.

Hotel Gatto Bianco - L'Ora di Capri
Hotel Gatto Bianco, Capri

One of the most popular places was the Hotel Restaurant Gatto Bianco, founded in 1952 by Giovanni, Peppino and Tonino Esposito, where the Shah of Persia, Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy, Niarchos, English lords and ladies and many noble Italian families stayed. It was the custom at the Gatto Bianco to welcome these distinguished guests by leaving not just flowers, fruit and champagne in their suite, but also a gift to welcome them that was also a symbol of Capri. It was usually a shell, a starfish, a ceramic pot, a pair of Capri sandals, or an oil painting portraying the silhouette of the island seen from Naples or the Faraglioni.

It was objects such as these that inspired the author of our collection, the architect, Massimo Esposito, son of Tonino, one of the owners of the Gatto Bianco. One by one, the memories of these gifts for the hotel’s guests have taken on an energy of their own. They have become sketches and shapes, portraying ideas that have found their way onto the faces of the L’Ora di Capri watches. As precious gifts from the island, as traces of a memory, as souvenirs. This is how the magnificent collections presented on this site came about.

Jacqueline Kennedy in via Camarelle - L'Ora di Capri
Jacqueline Kennedy in Via Camerelle, on Capri

There is another fundamental moment in the technical development of our watch project. It is the long-standing friendship between Massimo and Angelo Monti, an established Como-based architect, son of Franco and nephew of Palmiro Monti, a historical family of watchmakers and owners of Eberhard. As children, they often visited the workshops where they had fun together designing new collections. When completing the design of the “L’Ora di Capri” watches, we consulted Angelo’s brother, Mimmo, who has carried on the family business, to gain from his extensive experience on materials and technical choices to obtain the best quality for the final product.

The person responsible for transforming the designer’s idea and creativity into a business venture was Jacopo Fronzoni, a lawyer who has adopted Capri as his home, and has defined the collection and promotional aspects.

The road has been long, but in the end, we have succeeded. Our watches, a labour of our love and passion for this island, are finally ready for you.