A Man and His Watch (Iconic Watches & Stories From the Men Who Wore Them) by Matt Hranek (Part 3)

From the Hermes Archives. The archives are in Paris. They manufacture straps for others too. They look at watches through a celebration of leathercraft, style, fashion etc. Some of their ostrich straps are really lovely. There were even belt watches in the 1930s.

Bradley Price. He is the founder and product designer at Autodromo. His watch is the Autodromo Monoposto. I was a product designer. I was obsessed with vintage cars since young. A watch could then be inspired by gauges in a car. I started off with the Ronda quartz movements in my watches as they were cheaper. Just like the old cars, my watches had a red line painted on the glass. It was truly inspiring. Eventually, I ventured into automatic movements. The brand has a cult following, with I am very proud of. When you are a small company, it is possible to relate to your customers better. I want to create something that’s interesting and exciting. As a small outfit, we can always try new things.

I think Autodromo resonates with people because we’re still a tiny company; basically, one guy designing stuff. – Bradley Price

I don’t care about trying to create something that lasts for the ages; I’m trying to create something that excites people now, something that they want to buy and own. – Bradley Price

Adam Craniotes. He is the writer and cofounder of Redbar Group. His watch is the 1980 Casio F-7 and the 2012 IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Ref 5029. My grandpa supported my passion for watches. He bought the Casio F-7 when I was young. I was the moderator for the IWC form on Timezone. I wanted a pilot’s watch all along. The one which I bought was made completely of black ceramic. However, the price was prohibitive. I sold a few watches and my mum chipped in as well. My mum recognized my passions and supported me.

Both of these watches always put a smile on my face when I wear them. And as with any hobby, if you can’t have that moment, you need to pick another hobby. – Adam Craniotes

Grahame Fowler. He is the founder of Grahame Fowler original. His watch is the Rolex Submariner 5513, Rolex Mil Sub 5517, Omega Seamaster 300. Watches just came naturally to me when I was young. My 5513 was found on a beach in Dorset between 1972 and 1978.

A lot of people say my Rolex is wrecked. Actually, it’s destroyed, but for me it’s a work of art. It’s like a piece of sculpture. The dial’s been corroded and faded from years of being washed about and water getting in and degrading it. – Grahame Fowler

I became interested in military watches as a child. My dad was in the English Royal Corps of Signals, and all the men had military watches and guns. – Grahame Fowler

Henry Leutwyler. He is a photographer. His watch is the Rolex Cosmograph Ref 6241 and the Rolex Oyster Bubbleback. After my dad passed away, mum and I moved to another place for superstitious reasons. I bought a Rolex Cosmograph secondhand to commemorate the time when I was a kid. It wasn’t because of monetary value, it was because I loved it. I inherited a Rolex bubble-back when my uncle died. Don’t get attached to money.

Even if I were to lose all my money again, I would never sell these watches, whether they’re worth a dollar or a million dollars. I will eat less, get thin, work hard and start over. – Henry Leutwyler

Sylvester Stallone. He is an actor, director and screenwriter. His watch is the Tiffany & Co. Gold Rolex Submariner Reference 1680/8. This is the watch I was most connected to. I first saw it on Gregg Allman, lead singer of the Allman Brothers band. I love the strength and simplicity of the watch.

From the Zenith Archives. Mechanical movements weren’t sexy or modern in the 1970s. Quartz movement hasn’t killed the fascination with craftsmanship and mechanical things. Zenith was able to return to produce mechanical movements due to Charly Vermot. This resurrected the brand. The El Primero was a high-beat chrono movement that was really outstanding and even found its way into early Rolex daytonas.

Ralph Lauren. He is the Chairman and CCO of Ralph Lauren Corporation. His watch is the Cartier Tank Cintree. It has a unique combination. Watches were an important part of a man’s look. To me, watches have emotional value. Creating a watch collection is about building something emotional. I like things built with a purpose. Watches are like moving art.

I think a man and his watch have a special bond. It’s probably his most signature personal piece – something he puts on every day. It’s functional jewelry. – Ralph Lauren

I believe in wearing different watches to match the mood of what you’re wearing, where you’re going. I see watches as I see clothes: part of a world we live in that changes from day to day. – – Ralph Lauren

I’ve always thought of my cars as moving art. I feel the same way about watches. It’s moving art, worn on your wrist. I don’t think there is anything like it in the world. – Ralph Lauren

John Criscitiello. He is a watch dealer. His favorite watch is the Breitling Chronomat. I have been trading watches since 1983. I saw the Breitling in the late 30s and 40s. The case is very rare. It was left behind by a GI in June 1941. I was happy to be a care-taker of it. I have been keeping this watch for nearly 20 years already.

Nate Berkus. He is an interior designer and author. His favorite watch is the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref 3800/A. I liked things of quality since young. My parents wore good watches too. My mum bought a steel Air King when I was 12. My dad used to own the PP, but he lost it before passing away. I knew after he passed on, I wanted to buy it again and eventually did. My partner didn’t make it in the tsunami in Cambodia in 2004. That day, I lost my PP. I knew after that, I wanted to get it back.



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