Time is money. And in time of war, it can be also a matter of life or death. For this reason Napoleon, during his camps in Italy more than 200 years ago, decided to provide his perennially late officials with clocks. One of this clocks today is part of the Nuti collection of antique clocks and jewelries.
The collection is worth a visit. In addition to the clocks that Napoleon gave to his officials during military campaigns, it features, among the others, pieces that belonged to the Florentine aristocracy (which form the core of the collection); pendulum clocks from the French Directory period; a French amphora-shaped clock from the second half of the nineteenth century; English tower clocks by John Hoger; and clocks from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century by Breguet, a company established in 1775 in Paris.
All clocks and jewels are certified, making the shipping faster as it can take up to several days to ship a non-certified piece.
The story of the Nuti company is interesting itself. One day in the early 1950s a young woman took her son Valerio by the hand and led him to his first day of school. She wanted him to become a dentist. As with all mothers, she wanted a safe, well-paid job for her son.
The school was one of the most renowned in Florence, offering courses in different disciplines. But this particular day proved disappointing for the woman.
“The dentist school is full, but there is one place available in the watchmaking school – should we sign your son up here?” she was asked by the employee.
The woman said yes. The kid was lively and, even if the future she was dreaming for him was a different one, it was better to enroll him in a watchmaking school than have him create trouble at home or be led astray on the streets. At least he would do something.
No choice could have been be better. Valerio soon excelled at watchmaking; his manual dexterity was natural, as natural as the passion he developed for clocks.
After school he repaired watches and fell in love with collecting them. In 1975, he made the move and opened his own jewelry shop, Antichi Orologi e Gioielli Nuti.
The jeweller’s is now run by Valerio’s family, which keeps his spirit and story alive.
Time is money. At Nuti, it is also history.
Antichi Orologi e Gioielli Nuti
Via della Scala 10/r
055 29 45 94
Open: 9 a.m.–12.30 p.m; 4–7 p.m.
Closed on Monday morning