About 25 years ago, I joined my mother in visiting a Christmas fair in Cologne, Germany. It was a dreadful day weather wise, with overcast, cold winds, and a nasty drizzle instead of more winter-appropriate snow. This weather soon persuaded us to go inside a large bookstore. Not a place I would usually venture into when in Germany, as my knowledge of the German language was basic back then. Walking around, I came across a big pile of books that read ‘Armbanduhren Katalog 1997.’ On the cover was a close-up of the Audemars Piguet Edward Piguet Perpetual Calendar, (I highly recommend you search online for this model, as it is a highlight from Audemars Piguet’s neo-vintage history) so I would learn later because that book came home with me.
What I didn’t know back then was that visiting that bookstore in Cologne would have a profound impact on my life. The book lists the majority of Swiss brands in alphabetical order, highlighting part of their collection along with their specs. I start going through that book the moment we set down on the train on our way back home, and quite frankly, I haven’t stopped since. This book planted a seed that not only sparked a career but which also greatly influenced my watch collection.
It happens subconsciously, but when I look at my current collection, a lot of the timepieces are pictured in this book. I even have a new addition incoming, and you guessed it. I hear similar stories when I talk with other collectors, although in a different format. With some, a seed was planted because, as a child, they looked through the window of a jewelry store, and the watch they saw never left their memory. I also met a man who read an article about a man losing his Rolex on his boat, only to find it a decade later in the keel (don’t ask me how it got there), and after winding, it still ran. This story never left him, and when he got an inheritance, he bought himself a Rolex. How seeds are planted is often unique, but it is also something that we can do on purpose, as collectors, to inspire a new generation of watch enthusiasts. Share your knowledge and passion while wearing some of the cool and exciting watches you picked up over the years. Who knows, those actions might eventually even result in somebody joining our team at WatchTime-that’s what happened to me after all.