Luigi Macaluso, known as “Gino”, embodied the virtues of boldness and entrepreneurship. Born in post-WWII bankrupt Italy, in a city devastated by bombing raids, the daring Piedmontese learned to cheat death and misfortune throughout most of his life, skillfully negociating business deals like he did with racing track curves. On October 26th 2010 though, the life that Luigi Macaluso was championing at came to a sudden halt. A heart attack took him away at the aged of 62.
Gino Macaluso started racing Gilera motorbikes at the age of 16, switching to cars at the age of 19. In the late 1960, as Italy’s industry was slowly rising from the aftermath of WWII, he took on a job as driver and tester for emerging Italian conglomerate FIAT. By 1974, Luigi Macaluso had helped win races and design racing cars, but he wanted to move on to something else. After completing his degree in architecture he was able to rely upon his connections in automotive sports to work his way to becoming head of the Italian branch of the SSIH.
Right before mechanical watchmaking was about to enter hibernation for the next decade, Macaluso founded Tradema and became official distributor of Girard-Perregaux and Breitling in Italy. Having succeeded against all odds in a quartz-ridden market, he took a 20% interest in flailing Girard-Perregaux in 1987 and entered the board of directors. In 1992, at least one decade before the revival of mechanical watchmaking, Macaluso bought over and restructured the company through Sowind, a mid-size manufacturing group in which PPR would later take interest in.
Besides his passion for high-end horology, Luigi Macaluso kept in touch with the racing industry and was appointed president of the Commissione Sportiva Automobilistica Italiana. Luigi Macaluso leaves behind his wife Monica, three sons and a daughter. Stefano Macaluso has slowly been taking the reins of Girard-Perregaux and Massimo Macaluso now oversees the JeanRichard manufacture.