In the new series, My Favorite Watch, WatchTime speaks to interesting personalities in the watch industry. The interviews revolve around the subject’s favorite watch model, their experience in the industry, and other topics. This week, we talk to Portuguese watch journalist Carlos Torres, a member of the international Watchstars Awards jury.
What is your favorite watch?
Tough question, and hard to answer because the watchmaking universe is so diverse, and so rich in history and creativity, that it’s difficult to focus exclusively on one watch. Nevertheless, I will take up the challenge. The thing that touches me the most, actually, is the man behind the machine, the watchmaker behind the watch. It is his personality, his art, and his relationship to his work, that really matters in the end. The watch will naturally be a consequence of all of this. And if everything is right, it has no other chance than to be utterly beautiful and fascinating, both aesthetically and technically. The best example of a watch that I have loved since it was first presented is the Vingt-8 by master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen.
Why this one?
This watch is by no means the greatest achievement in Voutilainens career, but it perfectly reflects its maker’s lifelong passion for watchmaking. Be it the guilloché dial, the perfection of the hands, the organic case design with its beautiful lugs, or the magnificence of its mechanical movement with its double wheel Voutilainen escapement — this watch has it all and is even still affordable for someone who takes the time to organize his finances in order to buy something really special that will last for generations.
What are you looking for in watches?
For me, and in the end, the real value of this watch lies in its maker. Kari Voutilainen is one of the watchmakers I respect the most both as a person and as an artist. The watch reflects this in every way.
You are part of the Watchstars jury. What is important to you when nominating or voting for a watch?
The most important criteria for me when nominating a watch is unquestionably the overall quality of the watch, but I have to confess that I cannot resist the appeal of a good mechanical mechanism. That was the case with the remarkable Vacheron Constantin Harmony Ultra-thin Grande Complication Chronograph and the Ref. 5370 by Patek Philippe, a split-seconds or rattrapante chronograph with an enamel dial, whose historical DNA goes as far back as 1923.
Which watches have you voted for in the past? Do you remember a particular one?
One watch I remember voting for, and that ended up winning the Classic Stars category in 2015, was the Lange 1 by A. Lange & Söhne. It is not usual to see a watch that, 20 years since it was created, still holds its ground as a serious choice for any watch lover. The Lange 1 feels as new today as it did two decades ago. The Ressence Type 3 was another watch I voted for, and I think the reasons are in that case are self-explanatory. To me, the Design award could not have gone to any other watch.
How did your passion for watches start?
I belong to a family with a strong tradition in watch retail and distribution in Portugal since the beginning of the 20th century. My fascination with mechanical timepieces in general must have its origins in the visits I frequently made to my grandfather’s watch and jewelry shop, where the walls and windows where filled with dozens of watches and clocks rhythmically ticking away. It was a place where the passing of time had a very palpable meaning. The experience of listening to all the wall clocks and grandfather clocks chiming the hour simultaneously certainly made an impression on me, starting a lifelong passion that lasts to this day.
How did you get into writing about watches? For what publications are you writing?
Writing about watches and their makers was something that came naturally when I was first invited by a friend and owner of an editorial group. It’s something I do with great pleasure and that allows me to dive deeply into the secrets of haute horlogerie. Fortunately, and after many years doing it, it remains a pleasure and only occasionally does it feel like work.
Acting as a freelance writer through my company, Intangible Asset Media, I mainly produce dedicated content for print media both in Portugal and abroad. Doze, Espiral do Tempo, Diamond, Essential Macau, Essential London, Essential Kuala Lumpur, Anselmo 1910, and several others magazines fill up my portfolio.
Did you ever think about starting your own blog?
Although I owned a dedicated website in the past (from 2007 until 2013), I feel like I should have started something new by now. But the present quality of several existing watch websites have been putting this project on hold, because I feel that I would have to bring in something new and relevant or it doesn’t make sense. I am quietly waiting for a “eureka” moment.
A day without a watch – is that possible?
One day without a watch on my wrist? Yes I can bear it, and I even think it is necessary to clean up your senses. But I wouldn’t go without one too long, because the lures of a good watch on the wrist will sooner or later become irresistible.