We happy to share our second watch interview of 2020 with our friend @Blckcb . He is a watch collector from Switzerland with timepieces from big brands like Rolex but also from smaller manufactories like H.Moser & Cie. We hope you enjoy his insights about the world of Haute Horlogerie.
TCC: When did you start your watch collection?
Blckcb: I started to collect watches in 2015 at the age of 21, so I’ve been collecting for around four years. My collection has grown slowly and now I have quite a nice collection.
TCC: What was your first watch that you purchased?
Blckcb: That's a good question. Well, one of my first watches was a G-Shock. It might not be a watch that every collector would mention but it all started with this piece which is why it will be always a special watch to me.
Over the course of time, I started becoming more and more interested in watches and I was dreaming of a Rolex Submariner. That’s why I contacted a watchmaker, who actually lives in the same village as me, and I asked him for his opinion about the Rolex 116610LN. This was the beginning of a very strong friendship and also the beginning of my passion for watches. My friend, the watchmaker, is called Olivier. I think some of you might know him as @0liiviier on IG. Back then, he was working for H. Moser & Cie. and he started introducing me to watches and especially into H. Moser & Cie. So instead of buying a Rolex Submariner, he convinced me to go with the Endeavour Small Seconds. This is why the Endeavour Small Seconds was my first serious timepiece instead of the Rolex Submariner. And this is where it all started, back in December 2015.
After this watch, I got my 116610LN and then a Perpetual Calendar from H.Moser & Cie. and a lot more…
TCC: And what was your last one?
Blckcb: My latest addition was the Rolex Submariner 116610LV (a.k.a. Hulk). I’m totally in love with the green dial.
TCC: Some collect cars or art. You are collecting luxury watches. Why did you choose watches?
Blckcb: I don't know. I would also collect cars if I had enough money (laughing). No just kidding. I like to collect watches as you don't need a big garage and they bring me a lot of joy. But beside watches, I also collect guns. And I think they have both something in common. As well as watches, guns are mechanical pieces of art. They have so many small parts, screws, etc. that need to function perfectly together to have a high-quality product.
TCC: Why did you start collecting? What pulled the trigger?
Blckcb: I don't know. I think it just happens. There was no specific point for me in starting a watch collection. At some point you just realize “Oh Lord, I am a watch collector”.
TCC: How big is your watch collection?
Blckcb: If someone asked me in the past, I didn’t give them an answer because I didn’t know and I didn’t care. I think when you don't know how many watches you own then it’s enough, right? However, I ended up counting them for you and I have 18 pieces in my collection. There are for sure people with bigger collections but for me it’s all about passion and not about show off.
TCC: What’s your favorite brand and why?
Blckcb: My favorite watch brand is H.Moser & Cie., there is no doubt. Why? Because it is not just buying a watch. It’s the whole experience…you enter the Moser watch family. I mean last time I did a factory visit, I ended up going spontaneously eating pizza with the CEO. Where else does this happen? Awesome, right?
Also, there are a lot of very nice and cool guys that I know who work for the brand. And, obviously, many great collectors around the world support and appreciate the watch manufactory which is an affirmation of their great work.
TCC: What’s your favorite piece in your collection and why?
Blckcb: My fav piece in my collection is definitely the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar by H.Moser & Cie. This was my grail watch for years but I never thought that I would spend that much money on a watch.
However, while I was at a manufactory visit for picking up my Endeavour Small Seconds from a repair, a watchmaker showed me the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar HMC. And ever since, this master piece couldn’t get out of my head but, like I said before, I couldn't imagine spending that much on a watch.
Well, things changed half a year later and I added the watch to my collection.
TCC: What are you looking to add to your collection?
Blckcb: I would love to have a complicated Patek Philippe like the Perpetual Chronograph ref. 5970 or a 5726. It’s not in my collection yet, but who knows…maybe soon.
TCC: Imagine you can keep only two watches of your collection, one for the daily use and one for special occasions (e.g. weddings). Which two would you pick?
Blckcb: I would pick for the special ones my H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar and for the daily use my Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO, also known as the GMT Pepsi.
The Endeavour Perpetual Calendar is a grail watch. Super beautiful, super special and not everyone has it. The Rolex GMT Pepsi on the other hand is a nice and comfortable watch. Easy to combine and obviously great looking.
TCC: What’s your favorite complication?
Blckcb: As you can guess, I love Perpetual Calendars and all the complicated watches in general. The higher the complexity of a watch, the more interesting it is for a collector. And this is why on the long-term I will concentrate more into complicated watches. Quality over quantity.
TCC: What’s coming next to your collection? Any pieces in mind?
Blckcb: The next piece will be a unique piece from Lehmann Schramberg, an independent watch brand from Germany. Stay tuned on my Instagram. You will love the piece.
TCC: As we can see on your IG, you love independent watch brands. Is there any specific reason?
Blckcb: I like understatement and I love watches that not everyone else has. Of course, I like also Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe watches, etc. but my heart belongs more to smaller brands like H.Moser & Cie., Sarpaneva, Urwerk, Oscillon, Akrivia, Greubel... and this is what I will focus more in the future. I want to go in this direction.
TCC: Do you see watches as an investment or as a hobby?
Blckcb: I don't sell my watches so I see them as a hobby. But for sure, it is an easier decision to buy a Rolex or Patek Philippe etc. than a H.Moser in the same price range. The idea of “I can sell it every day for more or less the same money or even higher” makes it much easier to buy a timepiece of one of the big names.
TCC: Where do you see the future of the watch industry from your perspective as collector? Rising prices or watch bubble?
Blckcb: I think the whole hype will not continue. It will normalize and people will not spend over 100% more than retail.
TCC: What do you mean with normalize?
Blckcb: What I mean is that during 2019, even the standard Rolex models like the Datejust have been totally overpriced. You entered a Rolex store or any Rolex AD and all models were gone. It was like entering a store that is about to close and sells all his stock. And because of the high demand, almost every steel model has been overpriced in the grey market, especially the GMT models Pepsi and Batman.
Now, at Q1 of 2020 I can see a slightly decrease of the prices in the grey market. Batman and Pepsi watches are still overpriced but not as much as in the beginning and in the long-term I don’t think you will pay any premium on Datejust models etc.
TCC: If you wouldn’t collect watches, what would you collect?
Blckcb: I would probably have an expensive sports car like the 918 Spyder. It would be a great fit to my watches. I also like speeding boats with multiple engines… I don't know exactly but of course something with a lot horsepower.
© Photography by Giacomo Travaglione for The Collectors Circle @gtphoto.ch