To me, Holden has always been a supportive friend ever since the beginning as we go way back – before the birth of CHRMTK. Holden has a very distinctive composition language which resonated with me and the rest of the team here at CHRMTK, it is clearly a calibre of writing we would love to see here on CHRMTK as Holden provides a very refreshing and nostalgic perspective to the watch-collecting scene and timepiece photography. We featured Holden a couple of times already as you can see here and here. Without further ado, this is an introductory article dedicated to our newest guest columnist – Mr. Holden Brant.
My name is Holden Leo Brant; I’m 19 years old and I first got into watches a little over three years ago. Ask anyone who has the patience to listen to me ramble on, and they’ll tell you my favorite brands; Patek, Heuer (pre TAG), Seiko, Steinhart, and above all else, Omega.
I’m currently at the Hallmark Institute of Photography and come graduation in June of this year, I’ll be heading to Boston to work as an event and executive portrait photographer. The end goal for me is editorial photography, documenting watches and the people behind them, much like HODINKEE, WornandWound, and others.
I’m an avid writer, photographer, and lover of vintage cars. I’m a huge history buff and literature geek as well, finding solace in the words of Poe, Frost, and my studies of the Third Reich, Napoleon’s rise to and ultimate fall from power, and the entirety of the Roman Empire. History fascinates me.
That being said, I honestly had no idea where to begin this article. Marshall and I spoke on the phone about anew entry to the #fieldnotes column, where I would have a bit of creative freedom, which in turn inspired me to write about my vintage Omega Seamaster; a gift from my grandfather when I graduated high school. So without further ado:
What can I say about this crazy, seemingly over-materialistic passion we all share for horology? Frankly, it’s something I never thought I’d be as obsessed with as I am today: but that statement comes with a slight hint of second guessing. I’ve always had an appreciation for mechanical things, especially early in my childhood when I spent hours taking things apart in order to see how they worked, then inevitably failing after numerous attempts to piece them back together.
Horology isn’t much different than that in my eyes. At our (watch lovers) core, we all love the tactile feel of winding a crown and listening to those miniscule gears turn and click; it’s a physical connection on an emotional level.
My love for vintage timepieces stems from a deeply rooted desire to live in a simpler time. I suppose that, in a way, we all live vicariously through the small things that so majorly impact our lives; whether we ever care to admit that to the general public or not. But, I digress.
From the industrialized feel of the case, to the black vortex of the dial; the perfect proportions on the wrist, or the allure of a tool watch with a dressed up aesthetic, my Seamaster is a wondrous thing to behold for any avid lover of vintage timepieces. It’s a one-of-a-kind vintage piece, as despite my best efforts, I’ve failed to find another exactly like it; and I could not possibly love that fact anymore than I already do. It’s a piece I’ll always have and love; something my children’s children will pass down when I’m long dead and gone; I love that.
As a photographer, I have a trained eye to find beauty in the world around me; that’s never been a challenge to me as I believe all things are beautiful in their own way: a philosophical view the world should learn to adopt. When I started collecting watches, I only bought what spoke to me: not for the value, not for the brand prestige or for recognition; for me it was (and still is) about the things I find beautiful. Since the start, however, I’ve narrowed down my collection and brought my focus more to pieces with history behind them, so as you can well imagine, I’m always knees deep in the vintage forums and the dreaded eBay searches. I still buy what speaks to me, but there’s a criteria now (if for no other reason than to cover my ass from bad buys and help keep my bank account at a relatively safe level.)
Continuing on about my Seamaster, I would have to say it is by far the most aesthetically pleasing watch I own; the lugs hug the wrist in a way that make you forget the watch is even on your wrist, but when you’re driving down the freeway on a Sunday afternoon and the flawless gilt dial catches those evening sunrays, a feeling of nostalgia washes over and your whole outlook on the journey ahead simply takes a turn back to the 50’s. You slow down, look out the window, and appreciate the countryside, and for a brief moment of time, the heart flutters. Whether in the studio snapping portraits, in the kitchen prepping chicken alfredo, or a night on the town in a blazer and khakis, my Seamaster has been on my wrist during it all. From the beach to the boardroom, it’s versatile enough to make the transition with impeccable style.
Ticking away behind a solid case back emblazoned with the familiar Omega hippocampus logo, is the robust cal. 285 manual movement, which after its first servicing in 62 years, is still keeping ultimately perfect time.
There isn’t much more I can say, seeing as how I’ve already written about it once before for CHRMTK in the very first #fieldnotes article, but I do hope you’ve enjoyed this look into my own opinions as a collector and nostalgic writer. Stay tuned for more to come from both myself and the CHRMTK team!