Category Archives: Horology

One of the hardest aspects of being a watch writer is finding a sufficient amount of material to write about. It is true that there are many attractive timepieces available on the market but many are derivative of other brands. When I originally established Total Watch Reviews I wanted to show consumers that strong design is available at all price points. Ultimately this is why my hours of research has led me to feature many independent watchmakers. Due to the fact they don’t have the enormous marketing resources like Swatch, Richemont and LVMH they have to think outside the box (creatively speaking). » Read more

Recently my fifth book entitled ‘Independent Watchmakers’ was published by ACC Art Books. They did an absolutely fantastic job and even helped organised an article (to publicise this book) in the New York Times. The journalist who interviewed me (Melanie Abrams) is a seasoned professional. Therefore, all her questions were meticulous in detail and she wanted me to explain the reason for my selections. Ultimately, I chose timepieces that displayed originality and exceptional design merit. However, it is fair to say that many of these amazing watches are beyond most people’s budgets. » Read more

A great marketing campaign is integral to the success of any brand. To a certain extent, the cost of production and materials is irrelevant as long as the story is good. When I visited Baselworld a few years ago so many Public Relation managers were telling me what to write. Ironically these executives have subsequently moved from company to company in a musical chair like scenario. In fact, many of these people no longer work in the watch industry at all.

Luxury brands obviously wanted to be portrayed in a particular manner because perception is everything. Sure, I understand the importance of selling a dream and convincing clients that they can’t live without your products. However, I feed off original design, innovation and original thinking. That is why I am always excited to see what delights watch brands have created for ‘Only Watch’. This year celebrates the 8th edition of the biennial charity, which raises money for research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In total (in the previous 7 editions) 40 million Swiss Francs has been raised with 99% of the proceed donated to this noble cause.

It goes without saying that all the of the brands participating in this charitable event should be applauded for their generosity. Every timepiece donated is exquisite in its own unique way. Taste is subjective and every writer will have his or her favourites. Here are ten of my personal highlights, which I feel display an enormous amount of design merit. » Read more

Over the last few years, I have been privileged to fulfil many of my ambitions. These include writing several books about subjects I’m passionate about and designing numerous mechanical watches. However, even though freelance work is highly rewarding it can also be very precarious. Certainly with rising bills, everyday expenses this life doesn’t suit everyone needs. Ultimately, that is why I love writing about independent watchmakers who make huge sacrifices to realise their dreams. A great example can be found in Vincent Plomb who owns micro brand Vicenterra. » Read more

Generally, I am a cup half full type of guy and consider myself to be very privileged. About a decade ago I visited Australia for the first time to spend some quality time with my girlfriend (now wife) who was working there. As her contract had ended we had three blissful weeks together including a beautiful vacation to Queensland. One of the main attractions we enjoyed was the phenomenal Great Barrier Reef, which is the world’s largest coral reef system (comprising 2,900 individual reefs). For divers, this is the ultimate ‘bucket list’ experience and therefore demands an extra special timepiece. Here are four of the most extreme deep sea divers, watches on the market. » Read more

For people that don’t wear timepiece, it is pretty hard to conceive that collectors will pay millions for rare models. Most people I meet these days own an Apple watch because of its functionality. Even Australia’s former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull can be seen (at many public events) wearing this device. However, in the world of celebrity mechanical watches still, seem relevant because brands will pay huge amounts to secure sponsorship deals. One of the most successful partnerships to date is Richard Mille’s collaboration with tennis legend Rafael Nadal. Recently the ‘King of Clay’ secured his 12th French Open title, whilst sporting his RM 27-03. » Read more

About a month ago a great friend recommended that I watch a TV programme called Billions. The show is about a tenacious district attorney (Chuck Rhoades) trying to bring a billionaire hedge fund manager (Robert “Bobby” Axelrod) to justice. With several clever plot twists, there have been 4 series so far (48 episodes) and the 5th one in production. Even though some of the storylines are a bit far fetched and farcical at times, it is totally addictive. Just looking at Axelrod’s extravagant lifestyle (where literally everything is attainable) is captivating. Certainly, this purveyor of good taste would be interested in these 3 extraordinary watches. » Read more

Back in April 2019, I was very privileged to be interviewed by the New York Times. They were interested in writing an in-depth editorial about my recently published ‘Independent Watchmakers’ book. In particular, the journalist (Melanie Abrams) wanted to know why I embarked on the project initially. The feature (published May 17th 2019) entitled ‘Highlighting Watchmakers People Had Never Heard of’ is very catchy but doesn’t tell the full story. Sure there are many micro brands including my own horology design platform (Paolo Mathai Horology) that have previously had very little press coverage. However, also under this category are labels like Patek Philippe, Richard Mille and many other brilliant ateliers. » Read more