Watches have always fascinated me. One of my earliest horological moments that I remember is getting a Mickey Mouse watch resplendent on its sky blue rubber strap. I remember a few years later purchasing a digital watch on a family holiday. Whilst everyone else was busy swimming, eating and drinking I was pouring over the details of my new clock, alarm, stopwatch, calendar thingy.
Years later the bug would really take hold. Working a weekend job in a high end AV store in a well-to-do suburb of London I would serve these cool middle-aged guys with longer hair, beards and these incredible watches in various metals. They were in the oil and gas business at the diving end and of course wore different versions of Submariners and Sea Dwellers. At that point I knew that one day I was having one of those.
It took a few years and the sale of a flat in the heat of the London property market aged 26 to get my first Rolex. I was by now a hairdresser with a cool London clientele one of whom had a 2nd hand watch business with great connections. Within 1 week, my brand new GMT was in. Now I felt special. I joined an exclusive club. Knowing glances could be shared with other members and every time I looked at the time I remembered those cool guys back in the 80s.
Another property deal occurred and a Franck Muller arrived to join the Rolex. These 2 were traded a few years later and a blue two-tone Submariner replaced them. By this time it became apparent that bought carefully most high-end brands could be bought, worn and traded for little if any loss. (You can quote me if you need to assuage your partners’ fears about all the money you’re spending on watches!).
Fast forward to now and as well as running a successful education business, I find myself turning my lifelong hobby into a new business. Having found a more recent love of vintage watches (again blame those bearded guys in the 80s) and always being a detail freak, I started sharing my hobby and finding timepieces for my friends.
A few recommendations later and I’m now sourcing pieces. Not the overpriced, overpolished, frankens that blight our shared love, but honest watches that I believe in and would be proud to wear.
And on my wrist? My first Panerai, a 390 limited edition which I love. 2 hands only. It just tells the time. No ceremony, no flash, and winding it every couple of days feels special. I have a Tudor Big Block which is my absolute favourite, after all it’s a Daytona with a date (and more rare). And a 2004 Rolex Submariner 16610 LV. I love the classic case, the maxi-dial, green bezel (with the all important flat 4).