Q&A With Watch Collectors – A New Series for WatchPaper

Glen's Hamilton Pan Europ has a modified Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement with an impressive 60 h power reserve.

Glen’s Hamilton Pan Europ, powered by the H31 automatic chronograph movement (a modified Valjoux 7750), with an impressive 60 h power reserve.

I am pleased to present the first of a new series for WatchPaper — Q&A With Watch Collectors. I will be interviewing serious watch collectors and sharing their insights and opinions. This week, we’ll talk to my buddy, Glen. He is new to the watch scene. Glen began collecting vintage timepieces last year and gradually moved himself up into more and more serious pieces. Glen loves this stuff and here is our interview:

Are you enjoying the current “boom” in watchmaking and the recent surge in popularity of mechanical timepieces? Or would you prefer that watch collecting was still the realm of a small number of fanatic connoisseurs?

 Well, I’m part of the wave of new people becoming interested in mechanical watches! The older fans might be upset that their exclusive club has been invaded, but in reality everyone wins. Watch companies were really struggling to stay afloat in the 80’s & 90’s. With all the new demand, watch companies can grow, invest in R&D and come out with great new watches.

What was the last timepiece you acquired and what is the next timepiece on your radar?

My latest acquisition is the Hamilton Pan-Europ. It’s a 1970’s retro inspired racing chronograph. I think it’s beautiful. Eta H31 automatic movement. The 60 hour power reserve is incredible. I love it. I’m trying not focus too hard on a new timepiece for the moment. Although I do find myself gazing at the Seiko Alpinist

Which “up-and-coming” brands are you following?

One company I find interesting is Shinola. They’re based out of Detroit and are coming up with some interesting designs. It would be cool to see a U.S company get back in the watch game. At the moment they only offer quartz movements but if they’d offer a mechanical piece I’d be interested.

Which brand have you never owned, but would like to own?

Easy. Omega. I’ve been lusting over the Speedmaster Professional moon watch. It’s a true classic.

Which aspect of a mechanical timepiece do you enjoy the most?

I love the fact that I can strap a miniature engine to my wrist that’s powered by a spring. How cool is that? Looking through the case back to see all the gears, wheels & pins working away is amazing. Even my non-watch wearing friends are impressed. I also love choosing my watch each morning. It’s a moment of Zen winding and setting the time before heading off to work.

Was there ever one defining moment that got you “hooked” on watches?

Having a friend (TimeCatain??) open his watch box and show me his collection : Bell & Ross, Longines, TAG Heuer, Panerai, Mont Blanc & Hamilton. Who could resist that??

How would you describe your taste as a collector?

I’m definitely attracted to tool watches. I love the look of old WWII pilot watches. I’d love to get a Flieger one day.

If you were going to design your very own fantasy timepiece, which features and functions would it have?

It would definitely be retro inspired. Military themed. Maybe a Chrono pilot watch with an Automatic 60 hour power reserve. IWC if you’re listening, you can use my idea if you send me one.

How many hours per week do you spend reading about watches or viewing watch-related websites?

I love watch related blogs! I probably spend a good hour a day

Would you ever wear a smartwatch?

I don’t get all the hate for smart watches from the mechanical watch community. It’s just a different tool. Don’t’ buy it if you don’t like it.

I’d wear one if I needed the GPS to track my location while hiking or pace in a marathon.

TimeCaptain is a self-confessed timepiece junkie.  He spends nearly all of his spare time buying,  selling,  trading,  researching, admiring and trying different timepieces. He's also a fanatic Formula 1 fan, having followed every single Grand Prix since 1991.  He switches to NFL football in the fall and roots for the Green Bay Packers. A child of the 1980's, TimeCaptain is mad about 80's music,  TV, cinema and pop culture.  Another interest of TimeCaptain is space exploration and the study of distant planets and galaxies. When asked about his favorite watch,  TimeCaptain remembers Enzo Ferrari's answer as to his favorite car- "the one I haven't built yet."