Greetings #watchfam ! We are very excited to introduce our guest today on our latest episode of #wristalk. A very interesting individual and I wouldn’t want to spoil the excitement by spilling everything on the introduction. Checkout his very own webpage http://www.bearwrist.com . He is currently in the phase of merging his career with his passion of watches. Without further ado, this is 14th EPISODE of #wristalk only on CHRONOMATICK.
the choice of a timepiece can really bring out one’s personality, state of mind, status, lifestyle, etc
Barry (@bearwrist on Instagram)
How it all started?
It all started when I was 4 years old. Back then, I saw a kid’s Swatch in a shop window, which was yellow and purple featuring a cartoon dinosaur on the dial. I thought, “oh my god I can wear this cool thing on my wrist that can also tell time?” My mom got me that watch. I was already wearing it to school on the next day. Since then, I seldom leave my house without a watch on my wrist.
15 years later when I turned 19, I got my first internship in a medical research company. However, I got bored after 7 days knowing this kind of structured work is not my thing. At the same time, I started to get obsessed with luminescent watches because of my Lum-Tec M12. I started an online business in the summer of 2009 selling Lum-Tec watches online, as well as Military Watch Company’s tritium watches. I ran SixxFifty Watch Co. (Ex – Bearwrist ) for 18 months in HK selling to China, Hong Kong and Macau. Since then, all profits I made got all re-invested into watches and I started to expand my collection. Thinking back, it is the best decision I have ever made.
What was your first watch?
The Lum Tec M12
What do watches meant to you?
Watches are important to me in two different ways. To put it short, 1.) It tells the story of a man. 2.) It indicates someone’s taste and preference towards lifestyle.
I believe self-expression is human nature. For men, the choice of a timepiece can really bring out one’s personality, state of mind, status, lifestyle, etc, which is usually accurate. Watches and horology is also a good icebreaker when meeting new contacts. Once I chatted with a collector in a supermarket back in London. He was wearing a vintage Rolex Submariner Big Crown and I was wearing a Sevenfriday P2-2. We connected instantly and talked about watches right in front of the cereal shelf for 20 minutes. It is this kind of connection between watch hobbyist that means something to me. Nevertheless, every morning I get up with excitement knowing that I can choose a perfect watch for my day before matching my outfit accordingly. Every day is different and full of challenges isn’t it? It is my personal way to spice up my routine.
The concept of time is also fascinating. Time is not tangible; it is just a concept of measurement. Different styles of watches present time distinctively. For me, it is interesting to see how brands develop their signature through leveraging dial designs combined with existing or innovative watch movements to come up with a bespoke instrument of time.
What is the focus of your collection?
Design inspiration, movement and the owner’s community.
I aim to have a variety of watches with unique dial and case designs, movements and complications in my collection. Having wicked cases and dials in my collection is the only way for me to express my attention to details.
As I am mostly focused on Instagram to share my passion of collecting watches and jewellery to my friends and followers, the community of watch owners’ online presence and vibe is amongst the top list of considerations before adding a new piece into my collection. Brands like Sevenfriday , Bomberg, Jean Richard are one of the few watch brands out there that managed to nurture and acknowledge a group of watch hobbyist to share information, knowledge and passion online.
History and heritage, of course, is very important, especially to professional collectors / traders who can actually accumulate wealth by collecting watches. Time to time, I do purchase pieces knowing that its value would appreciate in the future, i.e. my 1968 Omega Speedmaster Professional Calibre 861 with ‘First Watch Worn On The Moon’ horizontally engraved on the case back. It is the 2nd rarest variation of that particular model. However, I am actually more open to support and try out small boutique brands that stand for a set of clear values and missions.
A little shout out here, myself and some others including @ian_cognito @scofielddj @thepaullewin @kidwizzle @apkane7 and @timevaluestl formed #FCWatchFam and we are posting every thursday using #FCThursday to share out Frederique Constant pieces. Started about a month ago and it is spreading! @FrederiqueConstant also reached out to us acknowledge the hashtag and will be collaborating in the very near future!
What was the last watch you bought?
The Jean Richard Aquascope Hokusai Limited Edition.
Jean Richard Aquascope Hokusai Limited Edition, featuring Hokusai’s famous painting “Great Waves Off Kanagawa” engraved on the black dial. Jean Richard is my client for my day job as a digital media executive for Kering Group in APAC. I got it in mid 2015.
What is the dream watch?
The Rolex Sky Dweller.
This will be a battle between the Rolex Sky Dweller and the Tag Heuer Black PVD Moncaco, a.k.a the Dark Lord. The former is a new model released by Rolex in 2012 that hasn’t been done for years, featuring a new complication with an annual calendar, while the latter is a timeless vintage piece which is hyper rare. A Heuer Dark Lord was sold for almost £50,000 a while back ago in Europe. It is acclaimed as the King of the Vintage Tag Heuer World. I think I will go for the Rolex Sky Dweller because of its sexy looks in conjunction with an innovative complication by Rolex.
Which is your favourite watch in your collection?
The Roles Milgauss.
I have to make a very tough decision. I must say it is the Rolex Milgauss, which is my graduation watch from my father as a gift. Besides its intrinsic meaning to me, I love the watch because of its history and craftsmanship.
The first Rolex Milgauss was introduced in 1956. The name is derived from the Latin mille, which means one thousand, and gauss, the unit of a magnetic field. This model is so named because it can withstand a magnetic flux density of 1,000 gauss. Back then, It was a true innovation for scientists / engineers who has to work in lab environments who gets constantly exposed to magnetic fields due to different substances, machinery and equipment, which could affect small watch parts in the movement and reduce the watch’s accuracy. My Rolex Milgauss 11610GV ‘glass verte’ is a 50 years anniversary version of the Milgauss featuring a green sapphire crystal.
According to the Rolex Forum, these green sapphires are made using the hydrothermal method. It is based on the transformation of melting crashed sapphire and copper together at 600 degrees under the pressure of 800 PSI in order to obtain the optimal green tint. The process takes 4 weeks. What a Legend!
Could you tell us about the most interesting piece you ever owned/found?
The Sevenfriday M2-2.
Sevenfriday is the one and only watch brand that stroke me with radically innovative designs while using a common Japanese Miyota movement. I currently own two SFs, a P2-2 and the latest rose gold M2-2. Sevenfriday fascinated me because of their design philosophy, which resonates with the roots of my passion for timepieces. They managed to launch two collections of watches in a radically innovative way in terms of design, housing a simple and mass Japanese movement. I love how they redefined the niche market for haute horology, which enabled a lot of us to access these unique timepieces without breaking the bank. It was never possible if you look at the prices for a MB & F or Ressence watches etc. Of course, their technology and craftsmanship are miles ahead. Regardless, Sevenfriday definitely deserves a credit. I even wrote a review here on my blog (http://www.bearwrist.com/blog/2015/6/28/watch-review-sevenfriday-m2-2)