The Watch Editor’s Pick – Frank Geelen

Chronos24.pl and Fratellowatches.com are proud to present you this new, special, bi-weekly section dedicated to our fellow watch journalists and bloggers. Ever wondered what they really like? – read on.

Without going into the long-lasting dispute about who is a journalist, who is a blogger, and which of this two is better (like it matters) we tried to find out about a  more interesting topic: what are the personal favorite watches of watch editors and which timepieces would they purchase when having unlimited resources. In the next coming weeks (every other Monday) we will bring you some of the biggest names from the world of watch editors, both acclaimed authors with an impressive track-record and new-age digital-world bloggers, who re-shape(d) journalism as we know it today.

So without further ado, here is the second “Watch Editor’s Picks”, featuring watch journalist Frank Geelen.

Who are you?

My name is Frank Geelen, living and working in The Hague, Netherlands. Some 15 years ago, when looking for a watch, I came across information about mechanical watches. On the dial it said Kinetic or Automatic and that intrigued me and I searched for more information. One thing led to another and 7 years ago I started Monochrome, where I posted my own stories about watches that I thought were interesting or noteworthy. I guess we can best call it a hobby out of control, because I easily spent 30 hours a week, writing about watches, which I did in the evenings and weekends. Almost a year ago I quit my job as policy advisor for the minister of Infrastructure and ‘watches’ became a full-time activity. Today I run Monochrome, with a team of six (part-time) writers. That means being editor-in-chief, but also doing the sales, PR, marketing, etc. And I write a few articles for other on- and offline publications.

The Watch Editor’s Pick   Frank GeelenWhat’s your ordinary writer’s day?

Does that exist? I’m afraid there’s no ‘ordinary’ writers day, because everything can change when a new press release lands in my mailbox. Usually my days are a hectic mix of appointments with brand representatives, editing articles from the writers, writing my own stories, sales, photos shoots, editing photos, writing for other publications. At least, when I’m not traveling in Switzerland. I also stay in daily contact with the Monochrome team, to talk about their articles, new ideas for articles and some good ol’ watch talk. Oh, and once in while I really have to do the finances ☹

What’s your favorite watch to wear (and why)?

This question is impossible to answer! I made my hobby into my job, so I’m officially a watch-a-holic. The last year I have worn my Hautlence HL Ti a LOT. Maybe not the easiest watch to read the time in an instant, however it is always a HUGE pleasure to see it when I look for the time. And often I forget to look for the time, and simply enjoy all that intricate mechanical beauty. Besides this highly technical watch I’ve also worn a small white gold Patek Philippe Calatrava a lot. My smallest and oldest watch, however extremely precise and a huge pleasure to wear. Other watches that get a lot of wrist time, are my Speake-Marin Piccadilly and Sarpaneva Korona K1. The latter was my first watch from an independent watchmaker. As you can see, I do have a weak spot for watches from independent (artisan) watchmakers. And not to forget… there are also many watches that I review, and these also get enough wrist time. As you can see, it is simply impossible to choose just one watch!

The Watch Editor’s Pick   Frank GeelenWhat’s your holy horology grail?

That’s a tough one, again. There are a few that I consider to be the pinnacle of fine watchmaking and art. My preference for watches is rather diverse, from one extreme to the far other end. The simplest Patek Calatrava and the super technical Hautlence. My grail watches are as diverse as my own watches. Vianney Halter’s Antigua is an absolute dream watch, and so is FP Journe’s Vagabondage II. On the far other end of the spectrum, I would love to (some day) add a Cartier Tank Chinoise to the collection. A very strong, but also clean and simple, design.

The Watch Editor’s Pick   Frank GeelenWhat is your best advice for a beginner collector with a 1500 Euro budget?

That depends if the choice is for a new watch or a used watch. When talking new watches, I must say that I’m really impressed by Longines and by Sinn. TAG Heuer and Omega have moved to higher price ranges in the last few years, so they’re outside this price bracket. I really like what Longines and Sinn offer and their price level is very good! I think you can’t go wrong with either of these.

When you look at used watches on the other hand, there’s so much to choose from. Personally I’d start on the safe side and choose a vintage Heuer, Omega, Longines, or Girard-Perregaux. When it’s a first mechanical watch, it might be a good idea to consult a trusted watch dealer or friend, who knows his/her way.

Visit Frank’s Monochrome Watches website here.

The Watch Editor’s Pick   Frank Geelen
The Watch Editor’s Pick   Frank Geelen
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Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
The Watch Editor’s Pick   Frank Geelen
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