So you had this engineering background from your studies, yet you say it was the design of the Panerai that first drew you in. Would you describe yourself at the time as being a movement guy or a dial guy, and do you think that has changed over time?
You know, that’s a very fundamental question that tugs at the core of this hobby for me. Continually, I have to grasp why I am doing this. And I feel like I’ve been pulled both ways; there was a period where I cared about nothing but the movement, so I became a movement snob, in other words. Not that these watches were not beautiful watches, but there was a period where I was very much a snob about finishing, mechanics, and chronometry. For a large part of it, I brushed aside the aesthetics of a watch for the mechanical aspects. I went through that phase for a few years, and then I swung back to focusing on design, and looking at watches as a sculptural element, focusing on it as art on the wrist.
I think I’m at a point now where, having been a geek on both sides, I have come to realise that this life is not so one dimensional after all. My quest now is to understand what makes a watch truly desirable. A watch can have many desirable aspects to it: the movement, an amazing dial, a finely crafted case, high complications – it could be many different things. But there are so many watches out there that do nine out of 10 things correctly, but somehow fail to be a desirable watch. What it means to be desirable to the market – to the world – and what it means to be desirable to me are very different things, too.