Where does your interest in watches originate?

My Interest in watches originates from when I was a young boy; 11 years old to be precise. It was then that I was given a 1940s wristwatch. From that moment onwards I was hooked on mechanical objects in particular watches.

What was the first watch you owned?

The first watch I owned, and still own for that matter, is a Gruen Curvex. As I mentioned, it was a gift from my grandmother, who originally received it from an American pilot friend in 1943.

I love the central seconds chapter on its dial and its tonneau style, curved case. For me, it was such a rare and precious thing to own considering that most of my school friends were wearing Timex and other more common watches.

Why do you collect watches?

On a very personal note, it’s about the visual joy they bring to me on a daily basis. Some say, “I just look at my phone for the time”. I, on the other hand, prefer looking at a chronograph or a moonphase watch. The visual stimulation from these objects is far more appealing to me.

What do you love about collecting watches?

I’ve collected many things over the years but nothing has captured my heart and imagination, in terms of history, provenance and variety of design, as wristwatch collecting.

Gruen Curvex

Is there anything you don’t like about collecting?

No, I wouldn’t say there is anything to dislike about collecting. The watch collector groups are a very eclectic mix of people but all share common ground with great passion for watches. Whether it’s for Patek Philippe, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin or Seiko. There’s something for everyone.

What is your favorite watch in your collection?

Choosing a favourite watch is always a hard one. I have quite a few that I really do love. To narrow it down to two, it would have to be a Rolex Daytona reference 6239, which is mint and with box, papers and original Daytona booklet. 

The other, is an unusual watch, my Mulco Prima, which is a moon phase chronograph with calendar in steel. Dating from the 1950, and in new old stock condition, I absolutely love it. Just talking about it makes be want to wear it again.

Rolex Daytona
Mulco Prima

Is there a watch you would love to own that isn’t in your collection yet?

I have a thing for world time watches. So, if I had to mention a watch that I don’t own it would have to be a rectangular World Time by Patek Philippe. To be specific, it must have a pink gold case, dating from around 1945.

Unfortunately, there’s only one of its kind in the world.

How do you decide which watch to acquire next?

Watch collecting is often a matter of opportunity. When a certain watch comes up, it’s easy to be captivated and lose yourself. But I always try not to let my heart rule my head.

I always look to acquire the best condition watch, paying particular attention to its dial and its originality. I don’t necessarily go out hunting with a specific or certain type of watch in mind. Sometimes when you encounter a watch, it just speaks to you. Watch collecting is not a science, there isn’t necessarily a formula to it. I try to keep it all very fluid and, most of all, fun.

Editor’s Note: For more from the interviewer, go on to mrwatchmaster.com

Paul Maudsley

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