EP33 – #Wristalk – Fazleen Hazis (@fazwrist)

Faz here, is a dear friend of ours and is an avid follower of Chronomatick on Instagram. From time to time without fail, he will drop us a direct message stating the theme of watch shots we should contribute to the #watchfam. Believe it or not, I discovered Faz through random browsing on Instagram. I stumbled upon his Instagram profile and was instantly hooked through the uniqueness of this watch shots. The best part of all this? He’s from Singapore, which is close to home! His playfulness with Lego and watches sparked an interest in me, and I thought to myself, I need to get this guy out there, and I need to tell someone about his story! 

Faz, like us in the beginning, started out with “fashion watches”. To tell you the truth, my first watch was a Police.  I. Kid. You. Not. Thankfully for us, we are past that stage. He’s evolved to owning pieces from Seiko, Orient, and vintage Omegas.

I’ve spoken too much, today let’s hear it from Faz! All the way from Singapore, ladies, gents, and #watchfam. This is EP33 of #wristalk.

-Max-

I now realised that a watch have many faces. Through watch photography, every different angle of a watch shows a different perspective.

Fazleen Hazis (@fazwrist)

How it all started?

I’ve always loved watches and throughout the years, I bought watches where many would consider them as “fashion watches”. The ones that normal layman would compliment for the slick look but never the movement. They are mostly quartz anyway.

It was until in early 2015 before my birthday in March that I told my wife I wanted to get a Seiko watch. I didn’t have friends who are interested in watches back then, so I had to turn to Google. So I did a little research on automatic movements and Seiko seems to be the most affordable and the most dependable. So with contributions from my family members, I got a Seiko Sumo (SBDC001) as a birthday gift.

Not long after, I keep finding myself staring at the Sumo and how beautiful it is. I started taking photos after photos of it and even joined a Seiko group on Facebook to share my photos. I had used my personal Instagram account to post my watch photos. But after I received many friends request, my wife suggested I create a separate IG account for my watches as my watch photos are slowly overshadowing my family photos.

That was how @fazwrist came about. But what really got me started to take watch photography to another level is because of #head2headcopycat. I really looked forward to the interesting themes every Wednesday till today. The kind compliments from Doc @kicktoc when I first started, was followed by more support from the rest of the #watchfam which really spurred me on to take better photos in the name of fun and passion.

In addition, the camaraderie and bond with the #watchfam grew with every photo uploaded. In this community, just an “Awesome” can make anyone’s day. I even started interacting with some of the #watchfam more personally through DMs. This is how I really got started and sustained my interest in watches.

My first shot of my Sumo on my birthday last year while on vacation
The Seiko SBDC001 “Sumo”.

What was your first watch?

The first watch that I can remember was back in the 90s when my mom bought me a Casio Baby G with a nylon strap. I was about 13 years old, and it was the “in-thing” back then. It was my only watch for quite some time and I eventually stopped wearing it because the strap started to smell.

Needless to say that strap changing was not heard of then and I have not discovered NATO straps then. I lost the watch while moving. Then in 2013, I decided to get my very first automatic watch. I went to the watch shop and ended up getting an Arbutus Automatic watch which had a moon phase feature. The only reason I bought it because it looks quite awesome. I really had no watch knowledge back then so a lot of my initial watch choices were purely aesthetic and like I mentioned, I really didn’t know enough about movements.

First automatic watch
The stunning-looking Arbutus Automatic.

Hence the first real watch will be my Seiko Sumo. This is the one that kick started my novice watch journey. The Sumo is so versatile that it looks good on its original SS bracelet, on NATOs straps, leather NATOs and even leather straps. Heck, it even looks good strapless or with my Legos.

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What do watches meant to you?

Watches tell time. But more interestingly, I now have realised that there are many ways to look at a watch. Through watch photography, every different angle of a watch shows a different perspective. 10 different people can have the same watch but hardly can you get the exact same photos. That is how watches intrigue me so much. In addition, this relates closely to the reality of life. Everyone has a story to tell and we should never judge. I hope to create many stories with my watches because someday I want to pass down my experiences to my children through these watches.

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The #horolego shot, Seiko SARYo55.

What is the focus of your collection?

My family has to come first before anything else, and  therefore my budget for watches is always very limited. So the watches I buy are very affordable. I even ask for watches as gifts during special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. Since acquiring the Seiko Sumo, I only tried to look for automatic or mechanical pieces.

Initially, I did not want to get anymore quartz watches because I dread the battery change. But I have a soft spot for solar watches and thus I have two Citizen Eco Drive watches in my collection. Nevertheless, my current focus is definitely on affordable automatic/mechanical watches below the $1000 range. In recent times, I also added a Seiko SARY055, an Undone Aqua and Orient Day-Date to my humble collection.

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Citizen Eco Drive Aviator.
Citizen Eco Drive Titanium
Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium
Undone basking in the sun
Undone Aqua basking in the sun.

I Love the SARY055 for its blue hands and Kanji day indicator. Decided to get the Undone Aqua because of its customisable options and I was also able to design my own case back. On top of that, I also wanted to support a fellow #watchfam buddy Barry @bearwrist who happened to be the Marketing Guy at @undonewatches.

One of my favorite because of the Kanji day.
Seiko SARYO55, note the Kanji (Japanese character) which indicates Sunday, displayed beside the date.

As for the Orient Day-Date, I got it because of the blue dial and it also pays homage to the Rolex Day-Date. Just recently, the vintage bug has bitten me and I ended up getting my first vintage piece. In time to come, I will be exploring more vintage pieces, affordable ones of course, to add to my collection.

I have yet to own any chronograph pieces and I am hoping to get a vintage Seiko chronograph. I also plan to add an affordable GMT watch to my collection. This is the thing about watches is that there is so much to learn and too much to buy and/or collect. It is especially harder with Instagram as you get to see so many beautiful watches. Truly this passion is very ‘poisonous’ as it is filled with temptations.

Orient Classic DayDate with custom made strap
Orient Day-Date that pays homage to the Rolex Day-Date.

What was the last watch you bought?

The last watch I bought is the first vintage piece in my collection. It is a vintage Omega Seamaster Date Cal.565. I bought it from a local vintage watch shop at a very affordable price of course. The shop owner tried to work within my budget and recommended a few vintage Omegas and a Tudor Prince Oysterdate. In the end I chose the Seamaster because it was just more appealing to me. It was also better kept as compared to the rest on display. Having a date on the dial was an added bonus and because this piece used Cal. 565 for its movement, changing the date is also unique. The moment I pull out the crown, the date jump which is very interesting. I am definitely going back to the same shop to survey their vintage Seiko’s in time to come. My last watch is my first vintage piece and it certainly won’t be the last.

First vintage piece and last watch purchase
The vintage Omega Seamaster with movement Cal.565, the dome crystal really brings out the beauty of this piece.

What is the dream watch?

A holy grail must still be attainable to me at a later stage of my life. So I have to be realistic and say that I must have a Rolex Daytona, an Omega Speedmaster (with broad arrows) and a Grand Seiko (Spring Drive). These will be my holy grails. Additionally, getting a Rolex Datejust of my birth year will also be included in my grail list.

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The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
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The Rolex Datejust

Which is your favourite watch in your collection? 

Definitely my Sumo! So much so, that I created the hashtag #SumoTuesday to share my love for the piece. I never get tired of it and it is on my wrist at least a few times a week while other watches will be worn occasionally. I love all my watches in my current collection but the Sumo is my favourite, for now.

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2 thoughts on “EP33 – #Wristalk – Fazleen Hazis (@fazwrist)

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