Today on Chronomatick we have a special guest from the #watchfam community who would like to share with us his passion for watch collecting, although only being in the watch collecting world not more than 2 years ago, Mat or better known as @matstuff in the #watchfam, his passion for watch collecting is on par with other veteran collectors. Let us learn more about the humble beginnings of his collection and what watches really mean to him. This is #wristalk, only on Chronomatick.
To me, watches share so much with motor cars…that it’s like enjoying that world only in miniature
How it all started?
My real interest in horology only really started quite late in life. I’m 39 now and only really been into it for a couple of years. It probably started when I bought a TW Steel and thought that it being big and chunky was what made a good watch. After that purchase I started doing a bit of online research (pretty much trying to validate my purchase) and discovered Hodinkee, the Watchuseek forum and AskMen’s Watch Snob. Between these and Instagram, a Pandora’s Box was opened. Once I realised that old fashioned watchmaking was still going on and that quite affordable watches could still have cogs, springs and wheels whirring away on the wrist, I was utterly captivated.
What was your first watch?
My first watch would have been a digital on a steel bracelet back in the 80’s. I don’t recall the brand but it was most likely a cheap, no-name. When I was 14, I had a Pop-Swatch. It had a big watch head in a detachable plastic shroud which could be taken off its NATO style strap and placed on one’s clothing – very 90’s!
What watches meant to you?
The watch bug bites hard. Watches are perfect intersections of design & technology and aesthetic form & function. As an old gear head, the mechanical aspect is totally fascinating – to look at a watch movement beating away, with the balance wheel spinning back and forth, is mesmerising to me. Then there is the aesthetic design elements – so varied and nuanced, it’s no wonder people end up collecting so many.
I’ve always been a car lover but never had the funds to indulge that passion. To me, watches share so much with motor cars (again coming back to design & technology) that it’s like enjoying that world only in miniature (and much cheaper!).
What is the focus of your collection?
I’d say, ultimately, that value for money is my main focus. I have a moderate salary, a young family and a mortgage so it’s not realistic for me to collect any of the blue chip brands. I do, however, think there are certain watches which represent particularly good value in terms of design, horological significance and points of difference. I plan to buy one fairly significant piece next year for my 40th but, otherwise, only plan to collect a relatively small selection of affordable must-haves.
What was the last watch you bought?
The last piece I bought was the Carlton Chronograph from a relatively small, young Australian company called Melbourne Watch Company. It’s a very cool, cushion case reminiscent of the Senator Style watches of the 70s.
What is the dream watch?
I don’t think I could narrow it down to one grail. I tend to think in terms of possibly achievable goals, something like a birth year Speedmaster Pro or Datejust. If I had to think of a money no object, fantasy watch – probably a Patek 5970 in White Gold or a Lange Datograph Flyback.
Which is your favourite watch in your collection?
I think that would have to be my Tissot Visodate. It was my first mechanical watch, is my only Swiss piece and so has a pretty special place in my heart.
Could you tell us about the most interesting piece you ever owned/found?
My most interesting piece would have to be my 1970s Seiko 6139-8002. It’s my first vintage watch and I love the idea of the stories it could tell, not to mention its cool, spacey 70s design aesthetic.