Khemkakunal is a watch collector from India who takes keen interest in the fine watchmaking world of horology. He gives us great insight to his views on collecting and the significance it has to his life.
– What is your name and/or the alias you would like to go by?
@khemkakunal. I also have another page for travel, whisky, etc. called @kunaltravels.
– What country are you based in?
I am based in India. I have been fortunate to have studied and worked in 4 other countries: Singapore, USA, Canada, and Poland. Living in Singapore vastly added to my horological exposure and knowledge.
– As a collector, what do you like to collect and what started your collection
I grew up in the 80’s in a typical Indian extended-family; where my watch-loving uncle sparked my interest and love for watches. His love for Vacheron Constantin passed on to me. As a child, I was crazy about TAG Heuer. I drove my parents crazy about getting one, and finally got one when I was 10 or 11. I still have it, though it needs major servicing.
Over time my tastes have evolved. Among mainstream brands, I love Vacheron Constantin and A. Lange & Sohne, and was fortunate to add one of each to my collection. While I also love other brands and their watches; as of late I am loving the creativity and uniqueness showcased by select microbrands and several Independents.
– Could you further explain why you collect?
I love mechanical objects. Timepieces are much more than objects of time-telling. Often, they reflect their owners’ personality. Many timepieces are heirlooms and can outlive their owners.
Timepieces are perhaps the only product category that combine micro-engineering, physics, astronomy, calendars, music, art forms, precious metals & stones, social status, and finally – time-telling. Their appeal is irresistible.
– Have you ever considered collecting something else other than what you already collect?
I collect Indian Art. I was exposed to Art since childhood as a result of growing up in Kolkata (Calcutta) – one of the most important centers for Indian Art. My grandfather and (late) mother being collectors obviously helped spark an interest and passion in Art. I learnt from childhood to appreciate Art for what it is, and not necessarily as investments. (This, I apply to watches as well, which explains why my taste and preferences are often odds compared to others!) After I got married in 2014, my wife and I began to collect Contemporary Indian Art. The Art we collect are not necessarily expensive; but showcase incredible art by younger / emerging artists. It feels great to support them.
– As a collector, who would you say inspires you and why?
My taste in watches has evolved over time. I can proudly say I am continuously inspired by the following collectors: @whatmakesmetick, @garyg_1, @hororgasm, @peterdeployant and @indusmegalodon to name a few.
– What’s your opinion on reselling items you have bought for your personal collection?
As of now I have not faced this situation of reselling, considering I do not have a huge collection, so to speak… But who knows? As [hopefully] my collection grows, it may make sense to part with pieces that do not get wrist time. Also, it makes no sense to just hoard, especially if one does not have a ‘special’ or ‘emotional’ attachment to certain pieces.
But I do not believe in purchasing ‘investment pieces’ only to flip later. This goes against what I believe as collector, and only ‘kills’ the hobby, at least for me.
– As a collector, have you inspired or convinced others to also start collecting?
I think I might have to a few. Collectors have asked me for advice and opinions, just as I seek theirs. I enjoy writing about watches from a collector’s perspective. I hope I can inspire others and share by passion by doing so.
– And our final questions will be, will you ever stop collecting?
I hope not. Because ultimately, it is not about the ‘pieces’ one collects, but about the amazing friendships formed as a result of this passion. Attending watch GTG’s and being active on Instagram has opened a whole new world of friendships.