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Generally, the watch industry has massively slowed down over the last few years. When I visited Baselworld in 2015 the consensus at that time was that the Apple Watch and similar devices like Fitbit, Garmin etc. wouldn’t really have an impact. However, it clearly has and there are reports from credible sources that collectors are selling their pride and joy just to stay connected. It seems that to a lot of people counting their steps and monitoring sleep patterns is more important than wearing a beautiful timepiece. Certainly, I am not inclined to move in that direction because I love Swiss mechanical watches. » Read more

A few months ago I spoke in-depth with a journalist called Melanie Abrams about my ‘Independent Watchmakers’ book. She was writing an article for The New York Times and was interested to know what inspired the project. I have always been fascinated by the world of horology and the exceptional craftsmanship involved. Literally in the last decade brands have become more adventurous in their choice of materials and overall designs. A perfect example is Avant-Garde Swiss luxury watchmaker MB & F. » Read more

Approximately two years ago in 2017, I approached a prominent global publisher with a book concept. The overall idea was to shine a light on the many talented craftsmen in the world of independent watchmaking. As well as featuring several well-known companies (Patek Phillppe, Richard Mille, Greubel Forsey, MB & F, De Bethune, Urwerk etc.) I also wanted to highlight small microbrands. In fact, I even got the opportunity to include my own ‘Pure Carbon’ watch which trades, under the label Paolo Mathai Horology. » Read more

A few days ago, I had a very interesting conference call with the two owners of a small UK based micro-watch brand. In essence, the conversation was about pricing in the watch and luxury goods industry. This is because certain customers prefer exclusivity rather than value for money. In many instances, the recommended retail price isn’t necessarily based on labour or material costs. However, there are many small watchmakers that are transparent about costings and strive to deliver quality products at affordable prices. A great example is Swiss-based company Fludo. » Read more

A few years ago in 2015, I visited Singapore mostly for pleasure but also to meet some business contacts. At this period of time, I predominantly focused on horology and this city is crazy about watches. One of the meetings was with Michael Tay who is the Chief executive of luxury retailer group the Hour Glass. Their Malmaison flagship store was located to my hotel on Orchard Road, which is synonymous for its exclusive shops. Even though my time with Michael was limited, he was an absolute gentleman. Unconditionally, he let me try on and test some of the boutiques most expensive watches. Most of these timepieces were from Swiss Haute Horlogerie brands like MB & F, Richard Mille, Vianney Halter and Urwerk. » Read more

A few days ago, I published an article about a micro-watch brand called Riskers. As well as designing beautiful watches they also had a heartwarming back story. Essentially. All of their models were inspired by the bravery of individuals or organisations. Writing the review made me reflect on the hardship and perils of war. To most people (including myself) it is a totally alien concept. However, the owner of Wolf Custom Leather Jonathan George has experienced the horrors first hand. In fact, he’s served in the military for over 20-years, (including two tours in Iraq), which has taken its toll mentally and physically. Rather than let it destroy his spirit he has channelled his energy into creative pursuits. » Read more

A few weeks ago I was recalling memories from my university days in Manchester, England. Back in 1986, the city was a completely different place than it is today. Sure you had a vibrant indie music scene with bands like the Smith’s, New Order, Joy Division, Stones Roses and the Happy Mondays leading the pack. However, there were still many untouched derelict areas with abandoned properties. I vividly remember sketching bomb-damaged buildings as part of course assignments. This illustrated the devastation that two wars had on this Northern region. To think of the hardship soldiers endured brings a shudder down my spine. That is why it was refreshing to read a press release from French brand Riskers that celebrates the achievements of these brave men and many other unsung heroes. » Read more

Since relocating to Australia 7 years ago I have barely travelled overseas. In fact, the trips I have made to Singapore and Switzerland were purely business-related. Certainly, I would love to experience different cultures, cuisines and different landscapes. To a certain extent you can do all this in Australia for a fraction of the cost and without the need for a passport. This is definitely an advantage for me at the moment because I have several pressing work commitments. However, there are places like Hawaii, Japan, China that I would love to visit. Another famous city that has always appealed to me is Cuba’s vibrant capital Havana. As well as having an exciting nightlife they are also the home to cool watch brand Cuervo y Sobrinos. » Read more