In our latest episode of #wristalk we would like to introduce Andree. A collector with a very interesting collector’s perspective, he also saves up his money to collect meaningful pieces annually to satisfy his lust for watches. Aside from that, his collection consists of a wide variety of pieces, and they are absolutely interesting, ranging from vintage Bubblebacks to vintage Jaegers.
Anyway, this is episode 16 of #wristalk, live on CHRONOMATICK.
We may attach affection, memories, victories, milestones, etc. to the watches
Andree (al__watches on Instagram)
How it all started?
Looting boxes and drawers at my parents’ house in my late teens I found my father’s ultra-thin quartz Raymond Weil. The strap was gone, and it was not working. He had bought it at some airport in the early nineties. He gave it to me and I spent, what felt like, a fortune for new batteries, glass, and an original strap and clasp. I wore the watch every day for many years. It’s a gold plated watch and it really took a lot of beating during those years. I still have that Raymond Weil and wear it from time to time.
My first memory of premium watches was when I was 17 years old and an acquaintance ranted about the greatness of Rolex. It all started by me pointing at the Rolex logo and telling him how ugly it was.
Many years later after having collected everything from cigars to whiskey to vintage fountain pens from Montblanc I started looking at watches again. It was nothing special about my interest, just wanted a premium watch for the sake of premium. I ended up calling on a private watch advertisement. The watch belonged to the same acquaintance I mentioned earlier and I bought his Rolex GMT 116710. This was in 2009. Due to a divorce my focus shifted towards more profound things and sold the GMT.
In 2011 I bought my Rolex Submariner 116613LB. That watch means a lot to me even though it’s not vintage or anything special. That watch symbolizes my brand new start and it makes me thankful for all I have.
What was your first watch?
My first watch was an ugly Mooretime with a red metallic bezel. I was about 10 years old. I was so proud.
What do watches mean to you?
First of all, I do not agree that watches are “a lifestyle” or really tell that much about a person, at least not important stuff about personality. In my mind watches are accessories, period. But we may attach affection, memories, victories, milestones, etc. to the watches, at least this applies to me. Watches are a huge point of interest for me and I love the learning, hunting, discussing and the collecting part. I collect for me, not to impress others, but love to share my collection with others in the “watchfam” which has resulted in a few personal friends outside Instagram. Each year I save up for a watch or two, or none, all depending on price. Actually saving up for a watch is the one biggest motivator I’ve got for holding on to my money.
What is the focus of your collection?
Like many others, my taste has evolved from only wanting brand new watches to loving the patina, soul and rarity of vintage watches. Since I started buying watches I’ve always tried to get watches that were a good compliment to my existing collection. I still apply that same thinking. But over time I’ve moved from impressive towards interesting and from great value towards great feeling. I love learning about the story behind my watch models, if there is a story.
There are brands I wouldn’t buy and there are brands I wouldn’t even wear. Nothing of this has to do with price tags. At the end of the day I´m in to watches for the feeling and some brands just don’t do it for me.
Besides my 1945 Bubbleback all my watches have box and papers and some are complete sets, I guess this derives from my collecting side. I have this idea of only owning one watch from a brand and by that restriction forcing me to choose model rigorously, obviously I don’t have what it takes to only chose one watch from Rolex. I find it hard to sell of one of the watches you once sought after, searched for and finally bought. John Mayer says, in “Talking Watches”, that one is not a collector until one has flipped 10-12 watches, I think he’s on to something. As your taste evolves I think you should give your collection the opportunity to do so as well. I’ve not sold that many watches yet and I’m not sure I’m a collector at twenty watches, but I hope my collection evolves over time.
What was the last watch you bought?
Last watch was a Luminox Navy Seal Dive watch that I bought one month ago for my 15 year old son. I love that he’s getting into watches. Besides that I bought myself a Zenith Daytona a couple of months back.
Which is your favourite watch in your collection?
My precious gem is my mint condition 18c Jaeger LeCoultre from 1966 with original strap and buckle with tag, box and papers. I only use it on special occasions.
What is the dream watch?
I dream of watches that are within my reach. I dream of purchasing a Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time, an AP Royal Oak and a Patek Aquanaut.