Now, I waited to showcase this watch not because it’s #10 but really, because it’s #1. This is the watch I “go to” when I want to wear a watch but have nowhere “to go”. The conversation among watch lovers is that we all dream of the One watch and most of us never really find it, no matter how much we spend or how long we look. There’s always another one waiting down the road (this opens up a conversation about the expectations we have on material things to bring us joy. I’ll save that for another blog entry). This watch for me will always be a one of a kind and cherished keepsake, not just because its rad, but because I had the honour of being part of its conception, development and manufacturing. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!
When I moved to Vancouver in 2017 and started working for Jason Gallop at Roldorf and Co., the relationship between him and Jason Lim of Halios watches was already very solid. Roldorf is such a warm place to connect with people who love watches and it was natural that 2 such awesome guys would find each other and develop a lasting friendship. When I met Jason Lim, Halios was a force to be reckoned with in the watch world as his watches received consistent praise and acknowledgement. He was a celebrity of sorts (I think he’s the David Bowie of the micro-brands) and I felt like an excited teenager every time he came into the shop. There was talk for a while about them doing a collaboration and when the brainstorming started, I was right there to add my two cents. I felt so grateful to be there and be part of it. Both of these guys have such a vast knowledge of watches and styles. It was amazing and humbling to see the sparks fly while creations and prototype designs bounced back and forth. When we had almost landed on the perfect design, Lim sent us several mockups to pick between. At this stage, we were splitting hairs and making the fun calls, like the dial colours and the font choices etc. I knew we had a winner and we were all very stoked and excited to see how the finished product turned out.
I loved being part of the manufacturing process. When the boxes of movements, cases, dials, and hands arrived, I couldn’t wait to get going. We all learned a lot about this process and it was eye-opening to say the least. We wanted this watch to be a cut above in several ways and we wanted the assembly to happen here in Vancouver. We chose the best movement available in the ETA 2892/A2, and we pressure tested, time tested, and regulated each watch to 5 positions. How many micro brands put that much love and care into each watch? We also wanted it to truly be a limited edition by only making 100 pieces and they quickly sold out. There continues to be inquiries in the hopes there might be 1 or 2 still lying around. Sorry, but no dice.
The Jasons gifted me this watch when the assembly and sales were completed and we affectionately called it “The Watchmaker’s Edition”. Gallop and I traded parts to make our watches unique. My watch had the stainless steel case and his had the DLC coated case. I gave him the crown and caseback of mine and he gave me the caseback and crown of his. The three of us took an amazing trip out to New York for Hodinkee10 and we each wore our Roldorf Edition. I couldn’t believe how many people recognized the watch and expressed love for Halios! It was very cool! I took this photo in the airport on our way. I call it “Brothers in Arms”.
I enjoyed this version for quite sometime until I changed it to the bronze case, but I kept the DLC crown and caseback. The latest modification was when I painted the red flower on the case back .
All of my watches tell a story and on their own they are special and unique in my life. The thing about this watch is that I helped make it. So what is a “watchmaker”? This term is loosely interpreted but there are some defining traits that differentiate a watchmaker from a watch technician. Check out the definition here. I am a watchmaker as I have years of experience and most importantly, I have received certified training at a recognized watchmaking school. I once met Roger Smith (arguably the best independent watchmaker alive) and he asked me what I do…. I hesitated to call myself a watchmaker in his presence for obvious reasons. That’s like brushing my teeth and then calling myself a dentist. But honestly, as a watchmaker, my goal is to grow and learn and try new projects and to continually test myself, as I have done from this experience. I’m excited about the future and the unlimited opportunities for learning. Maybe someday I’ll try flossing.
This concludes this series on “what does a watchmaker collect”. Please check out some of the other entries from this series on my blog. Send me an email and subscribe. Thanks for hanging out!