Joined December 2019
Joined December 2019
My watch collection
I always wanted a limited edition Doxa (I adore the co-branded dials), but I never had the opportunity to buy one. When this beauty was announced I nearly fell off my chair. It doesn't get much cooler than the Poseidon logo (and it matches my snorkeling gear...). Oh, and I love yellow.
I wasn't really struck by the AVI-8 Spitfire until I got it on my wrist. It has a really cool, multi-leveled dial that performs really well in all light conditions thanks to some generously-applied lume. I wear my (blue-dialed) model on an aftermarket distressed brown leather ZULU (5-ring) and I love it for casual events like a barbeque.
Bell & Ross Guynemer World War I Limited Edition
I just couldn't let this one go. I'd always kind of liked Bell & Ross's square watches but never ever thought I'd get one of the brand's heritage models. The last piece in the UK came up in a Beaverbrooks' sale with 0% finance so I picked it up for about 30% below retail. Given its limitation, it's not too surprising that it's trending around retail on the pre-owned market now.
BOLDR Expedition Eiger
I'd always wanted an all-lume dial but never found one I liked at the right price. The Boldr Expedition Eiger finally got that style onto my wrist and I've been impressed with all but three things. I would change the case back design for something a bit more creative, I would skeletonize the hands (as I don't see the point of "double luming"), and I would definitely advise anyone to put it on a leather or canvas strap. It boosts the class of the thing immeasurably.
Breitling Aerospace Evo Everest Limited Edition
This is probably the watch I would most struggle to say goodbye to. Aside from the fact there are only 25 pieces in the world, I had wanted an Aerospace ever since my friend Arron lent me his for our graduation from the BSOW. I got it for a song under strange circumstances and it is hard to value it now, so I just went with a reasonable pre-loved price for a limited Evo. Amazing watch and I wear it on a rubber NATO from Ace Jewelers in Amsterdam.
Bremont S500 Clearance Diver
I worked for Bremont for a year back in 2015/16, so didn't hang around long enough to get a free watch. Nor could I afford one in those days. As with my Omegas, they joined my collection after I left the companies. I decided to get examples from all the brands I'd worked for and this limited S500 Clearance Diver proved tricky. I eventually found one and pulled the trigger. Like mt Speedy, this one will stay with me always.
Casio Mudmaster GWG-1000-1A3
A brutally uncompromising tool that has enjoyed many days out on my wrist in Snowdonia and the High Atlas mountains of Morocco. Its seen the summits of all the Welsh 3000s, Toubkhal, and countless other peaks around the Peak District. It's ridiculously big but incredibly functional. Although the follow-up is better in many ways, this one has a few things (like better lume and metal strap keepers) that the "update" lacks.
Casio Mudmaster GGB-100-1A3
Cheaper but better than its forerunner in almost every way, the GGB100-1A3 was a no-brainer purchase when it came out, even though it now lives on my brother's wrist (after he lost his essential altimeter while moving house). Say what you like about the aesthetic changes, but the addition of Bluetooth to this model's repertoire was a masterstroke. Because, well, it actually works...
Casio Gorillaz GW-B5600GZ-1ER
As a big fan of the G-Shock Origin Squares, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy the latest Gorillaz limited when it hit the shelves last year. I just jumped on it. It's sold out now but took a bit longer to go than I'd imagined. There are quite a few on the resale market already so I don't imagine it will creep up in value any time soon. At least mine spends most of its life in its box so it'll be box-fresh for a trade if that's ever necessary.
Another nice limited, but this one was picked up in a ridiculous sale on watchshop.co.uk. I think I paid about $80 for it new! It doesn't get a huge amount of wrist time, but I think it is my go-to when it comes to my three G-Shock squares.
I bought this Bluetooth beauty with my Lufthansa air miles from the airline's official shop. I think I had to pay about €5 shipping, which seemed like a bargain. I've barely worn it, but it is an undeniably slick, futuristic option with top functionality that I'm glad to have in my collection. Now if only if I can get my hands on those limited edition Lufthansa Adidas trainers...
The F-91W is a classic. My very first watch was an F-94W when I was 11. Almost a quarter of a century later, its close relatives still feature in my collection. I wear this one when I'm running and Kayaking (or sub it out for a fancier diver for the latter activity). A cheapo Casio is a must for everyone serious about timekeeping or for kids just getting into the hobby. Hard to find a better thing to spend 35 bucks on, to be honest...
This is a really unusual Casio that hasn't become a classic for probably good reasons. It's a bit of a weedy, non-committal version of the full-blooded F-91W. It's softer lines, and feminine colorway aren't bad, exactly, but I struggle to find occasions to wear it. I still like seeing it in the collection, however, as I really like the design when it's off the wrist.
Cornavin Vintage Gold Plated Watch
These Cornivin watches from the 1960s are true classics in my opinion. And they can be had for really no money at all. The key is condition. Most of them are in a real state. Mine is pretty decent but the hands look like they've been lost in a House of Mirrors and the dial hasn't avoided a nasty gouge around the 8 o'clock marker from the tweezers of some over-eager tinkerer. Still, a great dress watch for under 200 bucks easily.
This one comes from an interesting (and rapidly improving) microbrand from Italy. The Averau is the brand's first effort and it has a few promising touches about it including a nicely decorated seconds hand and a sharply-machined (and easy-to-use) crown, which I really appreciate. I am currently wearing the blue-sunray-dialed version on a ZuluAlpha strap from Liverpool.
Gorilla RS Fastback White
I was obsessed with this watch when I first saw it. I think it came out at a time I was really digging "new" case materials and creative design. I bought one during a Black Friday sale, after months of vacillation. I love the strap, enjoyed the animated dial, but found myself really disappointed with the execution of the interlocking case components. It is certainly something different, but it doesn't get much wrist time at all, because I can't get over its flaws.
This was probably the first "nice" watch I bought. I got it with the silver dial for myself and the black dial for my brother when I was working at the Swatch Group shop on Market St. in Manchester. Back then, every Christmas, there was a 70%-off sale for models not selling so well for SGUK. The Ardmore retailed for £250 in those days so I got them for £75 each. We wore them every day for years and I still have mine on a green Omega alligator strap and my bro wears his on a bracelet.
Hamilton MTA Transport
This is probably the weirdest watch in my collection. I've had it for about 10 years and I still don't know where it came from or whether it is entirely legit. I bought it off eBay for about £25 when I studying at the British School of Watchmaking. It was supposedly awarded to a "safe driver" working for the MTA (Metropolitan Transport Authority in NYC). That makes it the coolest thing I own, but the lack of provenance or proof burns me. If you know anything about it, get in touch.
The Würzburg is a Swiss-movement-powered Flieger with a Type B dial design from German brand Laco. As with all of Laco's watches, it's very well made. This one is mostly defined by its sub-seconds dial at 6 o'clock. It breaks up the display and makes the watch wear a bit smaller, which is welcome as its 42.5mm case wears massively due to its thin bezel and slim, manually-would movement.
Laco Squad Amazonas
This one really surprised me. It has THE BEST bezel I've ever used. And that includes everything I've handled. Everything. The bezel machining is so good that there is not only is there NO backlash in the clicks, but the tension literally pulls the bezel into perfect alignment. Of course, it all comes down to the positioning of the insert but the way the thing is made is second to none. Quality alone sees this thing get a lot more wrist time than I anticipated. I wear it on a Yellow Dog strap.
This is probably my favorite watch. I took a punt on this brand when it launched on Kickstarter. It wasn't cheap for a KS project but I was a bit bewitched by the design and how it fused a lot of elements I enjoyed in other designs so harmoniously. It has never disappointed me on the wrist and I am ecstatic to have ordered the new bracelet (due to deliver Oct 2020), which I believe will give it a really strong Nautilus vibe that I can't wait to see in the metal.
Given how impressed I was with the first release from Laventure, it is perhaps unsurprising that I bought the follow-up too. This watch is my only bronze piece and kickstarted my obsession with black dials. Prior to this purchase, I'd always gravitated to white dials. Since then, I'm not sure I've bought a single white-dialed watch. So this sous-marine has a lot to answer for. I wish, wish, wish I'd bought the blue dial in steel also — one of my biggest regrets in watch collecting.
Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy
This one was a gift back in my aBlogtoWatch days. It's a really interesting design with a surprisingly high level of execution and wearability (the lugless case is comfortable on the wrist). The silicone strap is also weirdly nice, but I never choose to wear this one myself. I've taken it to quite a few RedBar meetings as an example of experimental design and it has found some favor there. It's a bit too out there for my tastes, but I am glad to have it as a reference point in my collection.
My obsession with Stockholm-based Nezumi Design Studios started years ago with the launch of its Voiture model on Kickstarter. The Corbeau came much later (in fact I didn't add it to my collection until 2020). I really stand by this brand's styling and every word of praise I've dished out towards it in my several reviews on the subject. For under 500 bucks, I really don't think there's much better out there. And I've bought five of them so you know I really mean that...
I'm not entirely sure if this is the right reference for the model I have in my collection, but it is the reference of the modern version of the very first one I backed years ago on Kickstarter. The model I have is still my favorite from Nezumi. I wear it on a Forstner JB Comfit band and it looks amazing. The best thing? Nezumi changed dial suppliers at the 11th hour and the new guys made a mistake, misspelling "quartz" as "quarts" on the dial. I love how this misprint makes it even rarer.
This is my most recent Voiture. It differs from the other two in my collection as it has the chamfered sapphire profile (the other two are flush). I think I prefer the flush design but this one has a really vintage vibe as a result. It looks awesome on a cognac strap or a JB. I wear this one on my bike when I'm trying to look like Eddy Mercx. If Eddy Mercx gave a shit about watches...
Steel and gold
This model is currently unavailable, but I hope it makes a return. The "JPS" colorway was a treat. This one looks particularly sharp on Nezumi's own Jubilee although I haven't yet picked one up (don't ask me why). Right now, I'm wearing it on a conker-brown shell cordovan strap from NOMOS and it looks the business. Sometimes I wish I had more wrists...
This is a seriously bright watch. My girlfriend pushed me to go for this one and she has now stolen it. I should have known. The polished case is connected to the dial by some smartly polished hands. The blue is divisive but it is certainly fun. I wear this on a black strap but I think it would sing on a tan Zulu, which I might pick-up for it in the future. If I can ever get it back off my girlfriend...
My first all-gold (DLC) Nezumi, the automatic Baleine. This one gets the least wrist time out of all my Nezumis simply because I don't often wear gold. It is an interesting outlier in the collection but one I am glad to have when I'm in the mood.
Nomos Orion De Stijl
I love this watch. This was the first NOMOS I was involved in bringing to market. I didn't design the dial but am glad that thanks to the combined efforts of NOMOS and Ace Jewelers in Amsterdam, we were able to reveal it to the world. It paved the way for the successful Amsterdam series of limited that Ace still produces today.
Nomos Club 38 Amsterdam
This one I did design. With the help of Dale Vito Boom, we brought this concept to life. The original draft had a flat black dial instead of ruthenium, which Dale, Alon, and Tamarah brought back for the NOMIESFORLIFE limited edition Club (a great choice). This one has remained a very popular model, having quickly sold out all 75 pieces upon release.
Nomos Club Campus 36
I had my Club Campus 36 case back engraved with the Wallace Allan (of Ayr) logo, making it a sweet 1/1 "limited". This watch gets a lot of wrist time and is my second most worn NOMOS behind the Orion.
Nomos Tangente 35
This one was a loyal-service gift from NOMOS (very much appreciated). Everyone in the company that had worked there for a set amount of time received one. I lent it to my colleague in NYC before she had her own NOMOS to wear to meetings. She put a lovely scratch in the bezel, which I treasure (that actually isn't as sarcastic as it sounds). I gave this one to my mum to wear instead of her Swatches whenever she goes somewhere fancy (like Waitrose).