This article was first published in spring of 2022.
Every now and then, I get an email from somebody saying; I want to do what you do, how do I do that? I always respond to these emails and messages, and my first question is often: what do you think it is that I do? The reply usually talks about wearing cool watches, driving equally cool cars, traveling the world to see new releases and manufacturers. In a touch of irony, this is not what I do, this is the result of what I do. I write mainly about watches and occasionally about cars. But a lot had happened before I saw how a Grand Seiko is made in Japan, went through the company ledgers with Emmanuel Breguet in Paris, or discovered the new Bulgari models in Dubai.
I guess we got social media, including my own, to blame for this seemingly glamorous life that doesn’t tell the whole story. A lot has to happen before brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe invite you to their stands to see the latest models or Rolls-Royce or McLaren to give you the keys to one of their cars. For me, it is the result of living and breathing watches and cars for over a quarter of a century. My first visits to Baselworld weren’t that luxurious at all, staying in an inexpensive motel over the border in France, with no appointments with any of the big brands, but an enormous drive to make this industry my own and my home. You have to sow before you can reap, which includes traveling on your own dime while writing many articles you don’t get paid for, which you have to write in the middle of the night after being 12 hours on your feet on a watch fair. This is often the point where most of the people that contacted me start saying that line from Meat Loaf’s “I’d Do Anything For Love,” as they often respond with; But I won’t do that.
I can understand that because the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t change completely when you have established yourself in the industry. Getting a schedule together for Watches & Wonders, ensuring that we don’t miss a thing, often means burning some midnight oil. After a long day at the fair, we do enjoy the luxury of having a hotel room in the city center of Geneva, even with a small desk that we appreciate almost as much as our bed, because that is where we sit down and write our stories, because that is what it is all about.