How long have you been collecting watches?
For over 20 years now.
How old were you when you bought your first watch and what was it?
I was always given watches as gifts by my parents at a young age because that’s what they knew I liked and what I would ask for for presents. But when I was 14 years old, I saved up all my pocket, birthday, gift money from the major holidays to go to a watch shop to buy a Seiko Divemaster.
When did you start collecting black watches?
About 10 years ago.
Initially, I found the aesthetics interesting and tried to learn about what the brands were experimenting in regards to new coating technology as well as never before used/non-traditional materials for watch cases.
How many of them have you got at this stage ?
I still have a couple of watches in stainless steel and titanium, but 99% of my watches are dark colored cases and have black dials.
What is your favourite black watch and what makes it so special?
Coincidentally, I was wearing a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chrono in black ceramic when both of my children were born, so it holds a very special place in my heart.
From which brand(s) do you have the most watches?
Panerai, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, IWC Schaffhausen and Blancpain.
Winston Koo’s collection © Winston Koo
What is the last watch you bought?
An Omega Speedmaster made for the Porsche Club of America (PCA) Grey Side of the Moon, limited series of 99 pieces.
What will be the next one?
I am very much looking forward to what my favorite brands have in store for SIHH and Basel 2018.
Do you order custom-made pieces?
I believe brands are usually very strict and reluctant to make custom or bespoke pieces. I’ve had the great honor and good luck to have a couple of brands accomodate my special requests in the past.
What influences your decisions to buy a watch (media, other collectors, sales people and so on)?
I think at this stage in life and having been a fan of watches for well over 2 decades, certain tastes and preferences are set. I find my influences from doing research online and paying attention to what the brands are doing in regards to pushing the envelope or innovating. In particular the melding of technology and craftmanship in case materials, reinterpreting tried and true classic designs, as well as new and interesting ways of telling time always are points that pique my interest.
Do you think there are fewer people interested in high-end watches, or more, compared with five years ago?
Actually, I think there are more people interested in high end watches. The explosion of social media which allows people to share images and information on vintage watches and new releases has been a great vehicle for the watch industry. As well as the importance of smart watches becoming a part of our lives. The smart watch can and may lead a wearer to think of embracing the thought of owning a traditional analogue watch for aesthetic or nostalgic reasons, or simply owning something handmade and not mass produced by machines.
If you could influence one brand to launch/amend a specific model in a collection, what would it be and how?
Wow, this is such a brave question and I will do my best to answer it. I would maybe humbly ask Jaeger-LeCoultre to revisit their iconic Reverso collection and see if there are any new and interesting materials beyond the traditional metals (stainless steel, titanium, gold, platinum, etc.) and reinvigorate that truly beautiful classic collection for the modern times.
The same rings true for Breguet and their Marine and TypeXX collections.
But before we speak more about the newest dial alternatives let us see the Jaeger-lecoultre Leather Watch Straps Replica Reverso Classic Big Duo Small Second watch. It comes in a stainless steel case and steps 47mm by 28.3mm and is 10.3mm thick, which means it is very modestly sized. It has two faces – therefore the Duo name – driven with one motion, letting it show time in two time zones. Water-resistance is 30 meters.The movement inside is the hand-wound JLC Calibre 854A/2, which is a fairly simple motion that defeats in 3Hz and is produced from 160 components with 19 jewels. Power reserve is a standard-range 40 hours.The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Large Duo Little Second watch includes two dials that the wearer can flip between together with all the eye still on the wrist (in the event you’re unfamiliar with all the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso concept). The main witness dial is in silver and includes a vertical brushed finish and a hand guilloche centre with a tiny seconds indicator at 6 o’clock. The hands are blued for an added bit of elegance. All in all, like many other Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watches, the primary dial of this Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Big Duo Little Second oozes lots of Art Deco cool and elegance.If you flip the case around, you will be greeted by the next Traveling Time dial. On the standard Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Large Duo Small Second watch, this dial includes Clous de Paris engraving plus a useful day/night indicator. But now, there are 3 new dial options comprising exotic stones. Let us get into these 3 new dial options at the moment.
© Winston Koo
What is your favourite ladies’ watch?
Any watch my wife is willing to wear. (She’s not into watches and I often times asked her to wear some of my watches). That being said, there’s something about a lady who can effortlessly carry off wearing a man’s watch. Be it a classic Patek, a Rolex sports model, an IWC Big Pilot, an Omega Speedmaster, Panerais 44mm and up, Jaeger-LeCoultre Matercompressor, etc. The nuance is that it’s because she knows what she’s wearing and not because of the brand or the value of the watch or that it coordinates with her outfit.