So I took on a really great opportunity last month to film a full service of an old Admiral Pocket watch for a client. I’ve been wanting to offer an immersive watch repair experience for people for quite a while so this was a great first step.
I often get asked by people, as a watchmaker, what watches do I collect and why. We all love to talk about our watches, so I thought I’d take this as an opportunity to go in depth and talk about the watches in my very own collection. I wanted to talk about these 10 watches, how I chose them and why they’re important to me. So sit back, grab a coffee and have a go. Click on the watch you’d like to read and about, and please, let me know what you think. Happy reading!
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!
It’s no secret that I love chronographs. It’s the one complication that I just can’t get enough of. There are countless variants and approaches and I love the beauty and complexity of the differing systems of levers and springs. I’m amazed at how many different styles and types of chronographs are out there. All doing a similar function of timing something. Column wheels and vertical clutches, cam systems and automatic integration. It’s poetry really.
Finding yourself interested in watches has many roads. For me, it was a mechanical route as I first caught the bug from seeing a movement in an old Omega pocket watch. For some, it’s a combination of influences like style, history, and just plain coolness. It’s always an interesting conversation when someone new to the hobby questions why one watch is very expensive and a watch that seems identical or similar, is drastically cheaper. This is a question that I still can’t answer. Yes, quality in many instances, is dramatically different, but sometimes the reason cannot be rationalized. We all know that more than not, the brand on the dial is the most valuable thing.
Now it may appear that I am a big Bulova fan here, being that my third watch is yet another Bulova. Well, I guess you’d be correct as there are a few other vintage Bulovas that I also have my eye on. At the moment though, my collection is capped at 2.
This watch has a special significance for me as it was a gift to me from my wife when I graduated watchmaking school in December of 2016. We had moved from Montreal to Vancouver and I had just started working with Jason at Roldorf and Co. It was a couple of months of living in Vancouver before she gifted me this watch because she knew I had become increasingly difficult to shop for when it came to watches. As a watchmaker, my tastes change so much that she didn’t want to take the chance and surprise me with something. So she told me her intention to gift me a watch and then we started looking at different options together. I think this is a fail safe way to gift something. We looked at many brands and it wasn’t easy. I knew this would be a watch I would keep forever and that definitely added some pressure to the decision.