Collecting for almost 20years and obsessed with watches for a lot longer. Not a flipper - more a buy and keeper. Not a huge collection - but they’re all much loved. Have more watches that I’m sure I could give a great home to, so always on the look out.
One of my brothers bought a Sucura “Stunt” watch via mail order in the 1980s. It was advertised as “indestructible”, which encouraged myself and my eldest brother to test the verasity of their claims: somehow it actually survived. It triggered a lifelong fascination with watches.
Q: What was the first watch you ever owned?
A Timex. No idea about reference, and afraid to say it didn’t survive my childhood.
Q: Do you have a watch with a particularly interesting story behind it?
As a teenager I would go into Selfridges every summer to lust after unobtainable watches in their fine watch room. There was never any risk I would be able to afford a proper watch, but myself and two (equally deluded) friends would don our smartest clothes pretending to have a silver spoon and a trust fund: dream big we thought.
Fast forward to the summer after I graduated university. My grandmother had gifted me £250, and there was nothing I could think would honour her better than to buy a nice watch. So obviously I headed to Selfridges. This time I was not only willing, I was able: I would finally buy my first proper watch.
I spent maybe 2 hours going from one cabinet to the next, trying on dozens of watches in the process. But in the end it all came down to two watches: an Oris dress watch and a Victorinox field watch.
My decision was agonising - the Oris was simply a classic - and really fit the part as a proper “Swiss Watch”. But I had a concern: I would be heading off on an epic adventure later that year, spending months backpacking around South America. The Oris would never be able to join me on my travels. But that Victorinox: you couldn’t choose a more appropriate watch for an outdoor adventure?!
I chose the Victorinox.
The watch was amazing: it tackled arid desert heat, crashing ocean waves, and freezing mountain altitude. But, it didn’t survive the trip. Trecking through the Amazon, I lost my footing and fell pretty hard. Winded, but with no bones broken,
I got to my feet only to discover the watch was gone. After a lengthy but fruitless search, I finally accepted the jungle had taken its sacrifice.
I felt guilty for loosing it, but oddly it was the Oris I’d seek forgiveness from over the subsequent years and decades, as if I needed to say “sorry I didn’t choose you”. Finally, 30 years later, I atoned when I bought a Big Crown Pointer Date, and better still, gifted it to my brother for his 50th Birthday!!
Q: What is one piece of advice you have for someone just getting into watches?
Wear your watch or don’t buy it.
Q: What brands have been getting your attention lately?
Seiko, anOrdain, Studio Underd0g, IWC, Tudor, Vertex, Longines and Rolex.
Q: What is your grail watch and why?
Tier A: JLC Reverso Classic Large Monoface Small Seconds. The design is captivating, the history is unique, the brand is stellar, and the feel on the wrist like nothing else. Been eyeing up the Reverso for the past 15 years. Nearly pulled the trigger a couple of times. Regret not doing it given the insane price hikes.
Fingers crossed for my 50th birthday.
Tier S: A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Chrono in white gold with black dial. Handled one at an AD around 10 years ago and fell madly and deeply in love.
Fingers crossed for a lottery win.
Tier “God-like”: If I’m allowed one more, got to mention the Patek Philippe 5004p with black dial and Arabic numerals. Saw one in the flesh in Dubai. Must have been it’s last year of production - but god only knows how or why it hadn’t already been allocated. Genuinely the closest thing I’ve ever seen to magical.
Fingers crossed for meeting a genie in a bottle and having 3 wishes (JLC, ALS and PP please!).