In June, Nicola de' Toma and Alberto Uglietti interviewed the people involved with the restoration of St. Mark's Clock and its criticism because they intended to write an article on this subject for their magazine, Orologi. We were among those people.
The article appeared on the July/August issue and the authors declared that they wanted to describe what happened from a "neutral" point of view.
Unfortunately, when talking about us, they used many allusions irrespective of our professional reputation.
We were interviewed for an hour only, a very brief contact, but nonetheless we were described as non-horologists only devoted to the computer hobby. How we would make a living from this is not explained, of course!
Briefly, de' Toma and Uglietti said that our workshop did not appear as an active one, because there were no dismantled movements all around.
Needless to say that each one is kept in a box to avoid dust, but they came to the conclusion that we do not carry out reparations at all.
They also said that only a couple of old pendulums were exposed, even if many repaired clocks of different kinds are standing on our shelves and hanging on our walls.
The authors insisted on the fact that we have plenty of computers, monitors, scanners, printers and a lot of other hardware in our workshop, just to say that they really believe our only activity is strictly computer related, suddenly forgetting they asked for the price of our gear cutters and wheel engine.
Why would we have bought these expensive tools, then? The truth is that we have only ONE computer in the shop; we really do not know where they saw the others.
During the interview, we were asked how many visitors our website has each day. We told them "about 300".
Well, in their article, which had to be simply descriptive, de' Toma and Uglietti said that this is hardly believable.
So, this would be a lie, but we can prove what we say with the evidence of the many e-mails we receive daily and with the files that record visitors' accesses to our web-server. Would we write e-mail enquiries to ourselves? Quite an annoying thing to do!
Further in the article, our site is described as a "home-made one", which attracts visitors mostly by means of very simple layout, even if there are many other sites more professionally made under the graphical point of view.
This way of thinking clearly shows how bad this people knowledge of the Internet is, but they still give an awful description of the site: in their opinion it would be used to attract customers to a place where timekeepers are not repaired at all!
But what is worse comes when de' Toma and Uglietti talk about the Horological Journal.
First of all, we have to remember that during our interview Uglietti admitted he did not even know it and de' Toma said he does not know English, so he did not read the Journal too.
The director of Orologi, Mrs. Puija, who spoke with us by phone some time ago, was not aware of the existence of the HJ, so we suppose this is true for the rest of the magazine's staff.
Despite of this, they wrote that the Journal lost its reputation as a valuable horological publication in the first ten years of the 20th Century, right "when the British horological industry started its decline".
They also said, even during our interview, that the place of the Journal had been taken by Antiquarian Horology.
We do not really know how this is possible: the Antiquarian Horological Society was founded in 1953, not in the first years of 20th Century!
Since de' Toma and Uglietti use to call Antiquarian Horology as "Antiquarian Horological", we suspect they really do not read it too, and that they are again judging something that is completely unknown to them.
De' Toma and Uglietti ironically asked if the task of writing an article on the subject of St. Mark's Clock was assigned to us simply because we were the only ones to receive the HJ in Italy.
We replied that we are extremely proud to have our article published where George Daniels and John Wilding write, but probably de' Toma and Uglietti do not even know exactly who we are talking about.
It is very strange to read a piece written (also) by de' Toma with such a number of personal attacks.
Usually, he was a good technical writer who never abandoned himself to negative opinions on other people.
The article is included in the "Technical" section of the magazine but the initial search for impartiality is completely destroyed by the final comment, where the whole story is described as a silly typical Italian fight for something that, after all, does not appear to be so bad.
The only things we have to say is to apologize with the HJ Editor for what has been said about the magazine by these people and to remember to our customers and website visitors that we are definitively watch and clock makers and not cyber-impostors.
Finally, we will not stop trying to bring the clock back to its pristine conditions, even if we are so heavily attacked.