We catch up with Swiss collector Dr Audemars, to share his passion for watch collecting as well as some pointers to help up and coming collectors.
– What is your name and/or the alias you would like to go by?
– What country are you based in?
– As a collector, what do you like to collect and what started your collection?
I collect watches, I always had multiple watches since I was a child and liked to rotate between them depending on the style, those were mostly quartz watches back then, but the aspect of really collecting mechanical watches in the luxury segment started about 6 years ago after being gifted a heirloom piece, a Rolex Submariner.
– Could you further explain why you collect?
I started learning more about mechanical watchmaking and discovered many brands that I didn’t know before. Most people know for example Rolex, Cartier, Breitling but the world of watchmaking is so much more. As I learned about complications and the various forms of finishing on dials/movements/cases, one brand/model immediately fascinated me: The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. For me this is the most beautiful watch ever designed.
The beauty of the craft and work that goes into making a watch is certainly an important part of why I collect. Meeting the artisans/watchmakers in person is an amazing experience to appreciate this art.
Of course the rarity of an object also plays a role but I will always look for a watch that I love and that I really want to have, not just because it’s hard to get or rare. If you don’t love the watch, don’t buy it.
The research is also a fun aspect of collecting, mostly for vintage pieces or special editions, looking for the perfect one is something I enjoy a lot.
And then there is the emotional aspect, a watch is often linked to a special occasion in someone’s life. A few watches in my collection might not be the rarest or most expensive but hold the most emotional value.
– Have you ever considered collecting something else other than what you already collect?
I did, I kind of grew up collecting items. I remember collecting pins as a kid or knives later on. Those are things I collected for a certain period but that didn’t stick to me.
– As a collector, who would you say inspires you and why?
Probably my parents, although not really collectors themselves. They gave me a good vision of the world, my father as an artist and my mother as a business woman. Two professions that are linked to the world of watchmaking in some way.
– What’s your opinion on reselling items you have bought for your personal collection?
At the moment I have never sold a piece from my collection. Although if I don’t wear a watch for a long time and would find that it has no place in my collection anymore I would consider it. I can also understand that in certain cases you want to make a profit out of some pieces in your collection but I’m not someone who will try to buy a desired watch to flip it for profit. It’s unfortunate that so many collectors might not be able to get a certain piece because of the large amounts of people on waiting lists just looking to make a profit.
It’s a trend that evolved over the last 2-3 years, that makes the secondary market go crazy on some pieces. We’ll have to see if this lasts or not.
– As a collector, have you inspired or convinced others to also start collecting?
I think I’ve helped some friends discover some lesser known brands (like Roger Dubuis for example) and I also try to share my passion for watchmaking with people I meet. It doesn’t really matter what your budget is, there are interesting watches in every price category and that is something that is often forgotten.
– And our final questions will be, will you ever stop collecting?
Probably not, it’s a little disease that we collectors have that once we acquire a new piece, we will always start thinking about which one to research next…