Watch Hound is a Canadian collector of luxury watches. We caught up with him whilst on a business trip in Tokyo to get a bit more insight to his world and his thoughts on collecting.
– 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 have loved wrist watches since I can remember.
As early as the fourth grade, I can still remember the Mickey Mouse watch with the red band and the bubble crystal (it may have been bubble plastic).
I transitioned soon after to quartz Seiko watches with alarms. I was totally keen on those Seiko watches with multiple alarms. I pick back up in College when a good buddy’s mom worked for Tag Heuer. He got me a great deal on a Tag, that I still have today. I wore that watch until I got my first promotion, when I then purchased my first Rolex Submariner.
When I was in college I sat across the table from a client that was wearing an Omega Speedmaster moonwatch. I apologised that I was not listening to what the customer was saying as I was totally transfixed by what he was wearing on is wrist. I asked if it was ok if he allowed me to put it on. He told me the history of the watch and from that point I was hooked. I got the Rolex Submariner first.
An advertising rep came to call on me and he commented on my Submariner. I told him I loved the Sub but I was hooked on the Speedmaster. He told me he had a buddy that was selling his. I bought the ‘Speedy’ for $800. It took me fifteen years to realise it was a pre moon Speedmaster. Yes…. That Speedmaster. 3-2-1 Blast off Speedmaster. That started the official collection.
For the most part I have collected steel tool watches. I particularly like Chronos (chronographs)….. But my collection has shifted and I am transitioning to a wider range of pieces.
– Could you further explain why you collect?
Why I collect?… I collect because I have been a massive lover of design. I appreciate beautiful design. I collect watches because my grandfather had a Quartz time-only Seiko that he treated like a Patek. He wore that watch always. I played cards with him often when I was a kid and I can still remember that watch on his wrist.
I started collecting for milestones. I have some pieces that commemorate significant achievements. Although, milestones are not the only time I add to the collection.
I collect because I don’t have to paint the hull of a boat or mow the lawn at a cottage and enjoy what’s on my wrist just as much as spending money and time at a cottage or a boat. (Although the sailboat is a very close passion that I would get back into if time allowed). I love watches because of the community that communicates and meets from all over the world to unite and help one another.
I love collecting watches because It instantly connects strangers with what you covet on your wrist. I can remember one of my sales staff was having a terrible time with a customer. He asked if I could intervene with this “A- Hole”. I approached the “out of control” customer and I asked him if he was fast or slow. The customer looked puzzled and I pointed at my wrist and asked him if his Sub was fast or slow. The customer laughed and we were instantly at ease with one another. I picked my salesman’s jaw off the floor as he just witnessed the fastest taming of an out of control situation.
He recounted the story to the rest of the team like I shot the lion with a tranquilizer gun.
– Have you ever considered collecting something else other than what you already collect?
I have considered collecting pens and cars. I recently purchased a lovely Mont Blanc James Dean pen. I considered buying a second pen but decided to save for another watch. I have a Porsche 911 Targa. I bought that car when they brought back the iconic roll bar. I love the aesthetic and the modern interpretation of such a legendary design. I considered adding another car but ended up buying my grail piece instead. I guess the theme is I have considered collecting other things but there are too many watches that appeal to me still left to collect.
– As a collector, who would you say inspires you and why?
I am inspired by other collectors. Instagram has really connected me to some amazing people from all over the world.
I attended a birthday party of a friend and collector in Niagara. I met his friend and fellow watch collector. They both met in a watch forum and have been friends for a decade. The friend and collector have flown in from Belgium to attend the birthday. I was inspired by the friendship that resulted from their mutual love of watches.
Some time went by and I ordered some new straps from a gentleman with a company in Belgium. During the communication with the owner of the company he tells me he has a close friend that has the same Reverso as I do and they were to meet that same night. He suggested he double check to make sure the fit is perfect. To our mutual surprise the friend with the Reverso in Belgium was the same friend I spent time with at the birthday party in Canada.
We couldn’t believe that the connections were made across continents.
A few years later that same watch strap owner reached out to me to tell me another one of his close friends and watch collectors; had been head hunted to a firm in Toronto and he was moving his entire family to Toronto. He asked if I would reach out and make him feel welcome. I met that Belgium watch collector and we have become great friends. We just spent his family’s first Thanksgiving ever at our home.
Those story’s and connections inspire me.
I recently had a chance to pick up a grail piece. I reached out to complete strangers to seek advise on the piece I was considering. I was deciding between two pieces and really wanted to get advice from more seasoned collectors. The community did not let me down. People went out of their way to help and I got my grail piece thanks to some great advice from the Instagram community.
– What’s your opinion on reselling items you have bought for your personal collection?
I have been a ‘buy-and-hold’ guy of my watch collection. Rolex Daytona’s and Pepsi’s have stayed in my collection and I haven’t ‘flipped’ any for profit. That being said, I find my taste has changed and I am coveting different pieces. I have taken an honest look at my collection and I have decided to move four or five pieces that are simply not getting any wrist time. I will replace those pieces with a different variety of watches. For sale: Panerai Pam 127, Panerai Pam 720, Omega CK2998 Blue, Omega Grey Side of the Moon and the Tag Heuer Bund.
– As a collector, have you inspired or convinced others to also start collecting?
I have spawned the watch bug with a few people for sure, some being team members at my business. I got my son an SRP 777 Seiko for high school graduation. I will likely get him an Omega Speedmaster upon University Graduation. From there he is on his own to earn the rest!
– And our final questions will be, will you ever stop collecting?
I will be collecting watches for a very long long time.