Owner of Rinascita Concepts, Dino lives and breathes quality – as you’ll see through his Instagram feed. Head over and you’ll find some of the finest custom accessories and haute horology that money can buy.
NAME: Richard AKA ‘Dino’
OCCUPATION: Lover of gears on a large and small scale, and part-time creator of watch accessories.
LOCATION: New Orleans
How did you get into watches?
I own a company that services marine propulsion equipment so gears and engineering are directly in front of me every day, on a very large scale. I think this was what brought me into watches – I love to see the gears work in such a small scale. My first “nice” watch was a Ball Engineer, in about 2001. That’s when I fell in love with watches.
What criteria do you look for in a watch when making a purchase?
I’ve grown to buy what I want and not what other people think is “hot.” For a while I had a bad habit of thinking of watches as an investment and growing to like a watch afterwards, rather than just buying what I liked or wanted. Most of the collection I have now I intend to keep. I look at movements, I look at brands, and talk to their people. I prefer talking to designers than sales people.
So, what’s in your current collection?
I really don’t post all of my collection on social media. It’s a personal thing and where I’m from in New Orleans people don’t understand the concept of spending six figures on a watch. I have gone strictly independent brands as of late. I’m over the mainstream brands; I tell my friends if a rapper mentions it, I don’t want it in my collection. I’ve sold all of my AP and Richard Mille as they’ve become too “mainstream” people begin to notice and it makes me feel awkward when people ask how much something cost.
Right now one of my favourite brands is MB&F. I have six: LMP Rose Gold, LMP Purple, HM6, HM3 and a few others. I’ve been drawn to H. Moser for the simplicity. I have a “Swiss Alp” watch in my weekly rotation, and just picked up the purple Horophile version. Finally Angelus, I am waiting on my U10 to arrive and I have a U30 that I use as my daily beater. I wear my watches to do everything from cleaning dishes, working in the garden, and charity events. Watches are meant to be enjoyed and used. There is no point in buying a watch and having it sit in the safe.
Tell about your watch accessory side business – looks like you’ve made wallets, sheaths for cigar cutters, all kinds of things.
I have an overactive imagination and I’m extremely impatient! I wanted a Panerai 446 pocket watch and still haven’t found one at a decent price, so I developed a watch saddle idea to adapt a wrist watch into a pocket watch. That filled my need. From there, it rolled into a side business that I really love. I honestly didn’t think anyone else would want one but to my surprise I’ve sold over 60 in the past two years. More recently we’ve been working on an Applewatch saddle. Unfortunately our first time we melted all the parts in the anodising tank due to the size and not having the proper voltage… We’ll keep at it.
How do people buy from you?
I had a website for a while but it wasn’t cost effective there was little to no traffic so I didn’t keep it. I also noticed that a lot of “Custom Knife Makers” don’t have websites -they work off of leads from IG and Facebook. They build a queue and get to work. Also direct contact gives me a more personal connection with my customers. I feel like this generation has lost customer service knowledge and we need to get back to the old ways. So, I get on IG and post product photos mixed in with lifestyle and travel photos because people want to know you’re not a robot.
You sometimes collaborate with others on special projects. How do these come about?
About 99% of the projects and collaborations we work on come from IG. Companies see something that we build, and say ‘Hey, can you guys do this?’ I love a challenge so we hardly ever say no. We built four “Iron Man” Jericho cases for guys in Dubai – that was a crazy project that took a lot of time but came out amazing.
We always love working with the guys from Discommon Goods – Neil and his team are amazing talented group of people. We are hoping to collaborate on a few projects in the near future.
What’s your daily ride?
Right now I have a 2016 S63 Sedan and just picked up my 2017 Ford Raptor Crew Cab. I love cars, just like watches, but living in New Orleans, the roads are about as close to driving in the Congo jungle as you can get. They just don’t agree with having a nice sport car, like a Lambo or a Ferrari.
How do you unwind?
I take an hour or two with no electronics, grab a nice cigar from my humidor (I’ve been favouring Padron lately), grab a nice glass of single malt, and sit back and just collect my thoughts. I find having time away from distractions allows you to collect and process your day.