Tommy and I go way back, like back to the time when I first started this hobby. And it is no doubt that Tommy is one of the most down-to-earth guys I met in this community, he has always been a good friend of mine and his concept for @mywatchstory is one of the earliest representative manifestations of my idea to start up a homegrown watch blog to bring the whole community together, which would include wristwatches and timepieces of all ranges. Fast forward a year and a half, and we’re finally here. So watchfam! This is episode 8 of #wristalk with Tommy from MWS, enjoy!
Every watch has a story. And every watch is a mystery to unravel.
Tommy (@mywatchstory on Instagram)
How it all started?
My passion for watches began probably as it did for most people; through a fellow collector. I study and work in the field of architecture. My love for design had already been rooted in my mind for many years. I was introduced to the world of horology by a passionate young friend whom I had the opportunity of knowing through school. Although he was young, he had already amassed a large collection of very expensive pieces. I remember thinking, why would anyone spend that much money on a wristwatch? Let alone a collection of that magnitude. The only explanation I could think of was that these pieces are status symbols; a way of showing people what you are capable of financially. To this day, I still believe this to be the case for some people. And that’s fine. For me however, that is the last thing in the world I would ever spend money on. To me, a good watch is much more than that. Its worth extends far beyond its monetary value or a mere status symbol. Every watch has a story. And every watch is a mystery to unravel.
What was your first watch?
My first watch was a black Baby-G watch which I acquired at the age of 9. Moving on.
The watch I consider to be my first step into the world of horology is my Panerai Luminor Titanium (PAM177). The Panerai represented a lot of what I had always loved in watches; it’s a purposeful, no-bullshit military-inspired design without the gaudy, unnecessarily complicated features of other so-called “luxury” watches. I absolutely loved the brand. It exudes masculinity without making you look like a complete douchebag. It’s raw and unapologetic. They’ve essentially been recreating the same two models which they produced in the 1930’s and 40’s. Yes, you could argue that there are countless variations in the models over the years. And yes, they’ve recently developed a few in-house movements in place of their older ETA-based ones. But it takes balls to do what they do. I think Panerai is to the watch-world what Porsche is the world of automobiles with their 911 model. “We did it right the first time, so shut the f*ck up and buy my watches.”
What do watches mean to you?
Watches are complicated things. And not just in its physical form, but also in the way that I think about them. Sometimes, words are simply not enough to describe how a watch can make me feel. It’s more than just the design of the dial, the intricacies of the movement or the finishing of the parts. It’s also the history and the heritage behind the piece. A watch with a story is just so much cooler than one that is only superior from a technological and performative standpoint.
What is the focus of your collection?
When I started collecting, I wanted a well-balanced collection. A watch for every occasion. However, as I dove deeper, I began to find myself drawn to pieces which simply spoke to me. Purchasing a watch is like falling in love. Oftentimes, I first find myself attracted to a piece purely by its aesthetics. But I find myself thinking about a particular watch for a very long time before I make a purchase. Sometimes the purchase isn’t about strengthening the collection, but about obtaining a piece that I’ve really fallen for.
As you might notice from my current lineup, I prefer more masculine watches with a simple yet iconic design. Presence on the wrist seems to be a pretty common characteristic in my current collection. Lately, I’ve been looking into older things like Angelus chronographs and military issued field watches.
What was the last watch you bought?
The last watch I purchased was a Panerai PAM364 Luminor Submersible.
Which is your favorite watch in your collection?
Undoubtedly, my Panerai PAM 364 Submersible. There’s nothing like it. It has so much wrist presence without being intrusive as a daily wear. 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?
This is the question that I’ve thought about the most. After many long, sleepless nights, I’ve narrowed it down to 2 watches under the following categories:
Attainable dream watch: Patek Phillipe 5712 in stainless steel
Unattainable dream watch: A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Striking Time