Dan is a young collector who at such a young age, amassed a small but solid collection consisting of Panerais, vintage Longines, and Cartier. It is evident that his taste in watches tends to be leaning somewhere between rugged, tough watches that can take a helluva beating, and still hold up just fine, and also elegant-dressy watches. What’s most interesting is the fact that Dan literally grew up with watches, it is most definitely a refreshing sight to see someone as young as Dan with such exposure, amassing a collection of his own of such beautiful and historically significant pieces. Therefore in this episode, we invited Dan to talk about those pieces in his collection, as well as his story. #watchfam This is #wristalk EP7. Enjoy!
If it’s on your wrist, its apart of your life.
Daniel (@danthewatchguy on Instagram)
How it all started?
Taking into consideration of my age, my journey did not start all that long ago. I believe I was about six or seven when my interest in Horology was peaked. At a young age, I was always surrounded by fancy jewels and precious metals. This is due to the fact that my mother was and still is a jeweler. Often times after school, I would stick around her store and take a few glances at the exquisite pieces that would come by (Even now, I trot along to her store to look at whatever she has new. I also go to collect my free lunch) We are known for our appraisal work. Some of the pieces that we would see aren’t your every day, run-of-the-mill piece. Some days, a golden A. Lange & Söhne would pop by and on other days, you could see a platinum Jaquet-Droz. The moment which I believe really sucked me in to the fine world of watches, would have to had been when I saw the inner mechanics of a watch in our store for repair. There was something about the complexity, the finish, the detail that went into that piece that just drew me in more and more. As we all know, once you’re in, it’s a struggle to get out. Not like we want to anyways… Right?
What was your first watch?
My first watch, like many in this game, was a Timex. A chronograph to be exact. It was a gorgeous watch which I wore pretty much everywhere. I was about ten when I received that watch from my parents. I was a very short and chubby kid at the time. In every photo that I was in, you would see a short/fat kid with a thick metal band across his wrist. It was quite horribly proportioned and looked absolutely hilarious.
What do watches mean to you?
The topic of watches and their importance to me is a very passionate topic of mine. Often times, I’ve been challenged about my affection with the ticking machines that we wear on our wrists. Not many can appreciate the time (no pun intended) and effort that goes into a watch. For me, watches aren’t an object of time. It is a display of fine engineering, art and design. It is a stage in which brands show off their technical abilities for all of us to feast our eyes on and experience. Horology is drawing my path into adulthood. At this point you might be wondering how old is this Daniel guy? Well, at the time of this interview, I am seventeen years of age. Horology has carved a path for me; it has shown me what I wish to do with my life. My end-goal is to work for brands in a creative way. I intend to become a Creative Director for brands and direct them into markets the way I see fit. Apart from professionally, watches have always been a part of my life. I like to think that not only do watches record/tell time. It records all the memories that you share with it. Whether it be your first kiss, or the signing of that dream contract. If it’s on your wrist, its apart of your life.
What is the focus of your collection?
I’ll break this question down into three parts. Firstly, my personal collection; It’s something that is hard to describe. I have currently four very solid watches. Two Panerai’s (PAM 243, PAM 390), one Cartier Santos 100 and a WWII Vintage RAF Longines Pilot. These four watches all have a perfect place in my heart and rotation. They all carry some history within each brand and can be worn in a variety of ways. Although, I do not have a ‘proper’ dress watch like a Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso, I do have the Cartier; its casual but can be dressed down. I like the idea of versatility, which is a great segue to part two. When I am out watch hunting, I look for a few things. First of all, I love the idea of versatility. I feel that a great watch can be worn a multitude of ways. Secondly, great design goes a long way. A watch which is built to last, looks good and shares some uniqueness technically will always be regarded highly in my book. Last but not least, history. If the watch or its brand has any historical significance, I will be more than likely purchase that watch over other offerings from other brands. It feels good knowing you made a purchase with actual significance. You’re often buying the brand, make your money count. If my collection HAD to be summarized into one word, it would have to be, robust.
What was the last watch you bought?
The last watch that I had purchased is my Panerai PAM 390. I located it through a private dealer of mine. This happened right around this time, last year. Gorgeous watch all round and is a joy to photograph. The beautiful tobacco brown dial and golden hands blend seamlessly in the right light. It gets loads of compliments and I often get caught staring at it sometimes.
Which is your favorite watch in your collection?
Undoubtedly, my Panerai PAM 243 Submersible. There’s nothing like it. The build quality, the presence on the wrist, the size, the design, the feel of the brushed steel, the bezel, the crown guard, it is all absolutely amazing. Out of all my watches, it gets the most compliments. It is also the most durable; it can take an absolute beating and with 1000 meters water resistance, I don’t have to worry when I go take a dip in the pool.
What is the dream watch?
The one question to rule them all; a simple question with a whole spectrum of answers. This is a very difficult question to answer as there are so many factors that are involved. You want to pick a watch which that is technically sound, built with meticulous care and very precise. Above all else, it has to be a watch that you like aesthetically will and one which you will wear for years to come. Lots of brands speak to me when taking all these factors into consideration. Some are micro brands like Manufacture Royale or Speake-Marin. Others are brands that are larger and widely known, such as, Jaquet-Droz, JLC, Ulysse Nardin and BlancPain. To me, there are two watches that come in mind when someone asks what is my grail watch. Those two watches are The Roger Dubius Skeleton Double Flying Tourbillon and The A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwork. Two very different watches, but both equally stunning in their own rights. We could go into vintage watches, and without a doubt, it would have to be The Patek Philippe Reference 1563 Split-Second Chronograph.