The WatchTime family continues to grow: We are very happy to announce that, after Sabine Zwettler and Martin Green, LA-based Bilal Khan has also decided to join our team of editors. And what better way to introduce him to our audience, than to ask him a couple of questions about the things that make him tick, both editorially and horologically?
“If my stories can entertain and educate, I’ll consider that a resounding success.”
What made you pursue a career in the watch industry?
Being in watch media certainly wasn’t a deliberately charted course for me, that’s for sure. What began as an obsessive hobby became a job in 2015 and I’ve got to give a shout out to Ariel Adams of aBlogtoWatch for that first break. Fast forward seven years and I’ve gone places, seen things, and met people that I couldn’t have imagined. It’s a lot of hard work and not without challenges but there’s nothing like it.
What was your first real watch?
My first “real” watch was an Omega Speedmaster Day-Date Ref. 3523.80.00 with a pretty beautiful blue dial. I remember these went for about a thousand dollars back in the day but, like everything else, have gone up in value though not prohibitively so. It’s funny how our tastes develop; I don’t think a chronograph with month, day, and date complications would be my first pick these days. Still, I doubt I’ll ever get rid of it for sentimentality reasons alone.
What was your last purchase, and what are you currently wearing?
Though technically my second or third most recent purchase, it has to be the Chopard L.U.C 1860. It took me months to hunt down an original 16/1860/1 with papers but that moment of satisfaction is what the hobby is all about, isn’t it? For those of you who may not know, the 1860 was the very first watch produced by Chopard’s L.U.C manufacture back in 1996 under the leadership of Mr. Scheufele. A solid gold guilloché dial done by Metalem and a Geneva-seal micro-rotor movement designed with none other than Michel Parmigiani himself, it’s the kind of no-expense spared watchmaking we sadly don’t see enough of anymore.
Currently I’m wearing my H. Moser & Cie Endeavour with Blue Lagoon dial. Yes, I’m kind of a Moser fanboy but this watch just speaks to me. The total obscurity of the unbranded ‘Concept’ dial, the quirky scalloped case, that movement finishing…this watch was designed for offbeat collectors like myself.
What type of story attracts you most?
That’s an interesting question. I’ve always leaned towards product-oriented stories but the reality of watch media these days is that between all the blogs, magazines, and social media, there is a glut of high quality content about new watches. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be looking at and writing about new product, just not all the time. I’ve also noticed the recent popularity of stories that are more casual and have a hyper-personalized tone that reads more like a journal entry than traditional watch writing. I love that the space has grown and allows room for new collectors to feel welcome and unintimidated, which was sadly not always the case.
Personally? I want to write stories that broaden the horizons of both new and experienced watch enthusiasts — even if just by a little bit. Some ideas I’m developing involve telling the story of how influential one particular year was while another examines how a region’s culture can impact the collecting habits and tastes of its denizens. If my stories can entertain and educate, I’ll consider that a resounding success.
You can follow Bilal obviously here, but also on his personal Instagram account.