Category Archives: Horology

Generally, I am not a huge fan of rugby per-se even though many of my Yorkshire born relatives are fanatics. However, after England triumphed over the ‘All Blacks’ (New Zealand) in the world cup semi-finals, I felt they had a good shot at the title. As it transpired they were thrashed by a dominant South African team 32-12. I am sure this victory would have delighted Wayne McCay who grew up in Durban and now resides in Perth, Western Australia. Recently, Wayne contacted me to inform me of his new micro brand called Duzu and the launch of their distinctive F-35 watch. » Read more

In March 2015 I attended Baselword and I had the opportunity to speak with many of my watchmaking heroes. Many were using different carbon composites and achieving some very positive results. This material was becoming increasingly popular because of its texture and lightweight qualities. After the show had ended I visited a manufacturing company in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland to discuss a unique project. I had just created my own bespoke timepiece and had aspirations to develop a second. This company specialises in carbon watches and were experimenting with luminous technology. However, to produce a prototype was going they quoted around $15,000, which simply wasn’t viable. Fast forward a few years and I finally achieved my goal of creating the ‘Pure Carbon’. » Read more

They always say that “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” or at least Carol Channing did in the 1949 Broadway musical production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. To a certain extent, this is true and especially in the world of horology. However, as well as preferring blondes, gentlemen are also gravitating towards fine timepieces that are garnished with diamonds. Definitely Rolex produce some wonderful watches that are designed for connoisseurs and ‘Bob’s watches offer a fantastic selection.

A lot of people probably ask the question “Why Do Diamond Rolex Watches Cost So Much”? The simple answer is that Rolex is totally uncompromising in their production standards. Therefore, they employ the finest in-house gemmologists and gem-setters to ensure is perfectly finished. Each stone is meticulously inspected by these expert craftsmen to ensure the customer is exceptionally happy with the finished result. Here are some fine examples to illustrate this point. » Read more

Girard Perregaux is a high-end Swiss watchmaker that has an illustrious history dating back to 1791. Since 2011 the brand has been owned by Sowind, which itself is a subsidiary of Kering S.A. This international luxury group has an impressive portfolio of brands including like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent to name just a few. Interesting GP’s headquarters and Museum are situated in a famous watchmaking location called La Chaux-de-Fonds. I actually visited this city a few years ago and it was like a picture postcard because there was still snow on the mountains. » Read more

Recently I have been working on a couple of exciting personal watch projects that on the surface seemed pretty straightforward. However, once the all the components were individually laid out on my watchmaker’s Ben Birkett’s bench (for assembly) it became apparent that serious adjustments were required. Fortunately, Ben has an engineering background and so he overcame these challenges fairly easily. Both timepieces were manufactured from technically drawings so the tolerances should have been minimal. For me, this illustrated how tough it is for brands to deliver a unique product to market. » Read more

As a child growing up in the United Kingdom I always fantasised about visiting far-flung destinations. At that stage of my life travelling to New Zealand seemed absolutely improbable. However, a few years we saved up and went on a cruise to visit both the North (Te Ika-a-Māui) and South Islands (Te Waipounamu). Certainly, this sovereign island country is very diverse and has many very interesting place including to visit including Auckland. This major city comprises two harbours and has a very cosmopolitan vibe about it. It also is the home of brothers Amin and Amyn Tharini who own Bern Watch Co. » Read more

Becoming a father at the ripe old age of 42 totally transformed my life. The bond I have with my (now 10-year old) son is absolutely priceless. Genuinely, he has been the catalyst for all my editorial and creative accomplishments. That is why I named my horological design website (Paolo Mathai Horology) after him. On the back of some of my timepieces, I have an inscription in Malayalam (the dialect of Kerala, which is his mother tongue) of his initials. That is why it always resonates with me when a watchmaker pays tribute to a family member. A great case I point is Roland Stamfli who named his brands in honour of his father Arthur. » Read more

A few years ago I had a very interesting meeting with a commodities broker, who also had a penchant for exquisite timepieces. Even though this discerning gentleman kept me waiting in a hotel lobby for over an hour the meeting was definitely worthwhile. During our limited time together he showed me 25 of his favourite watches from a prized collection of 250. Some of the models he possessed were very rare and exceedingly expensive. I vividly remember admiring pieces from De Bethune, MB & F, Urwerk and Vianney Halter to name just a few. As I was leaving a young lady approached the table (bypassing the presentation box of valuable watches) and commented on the model I was wearing. On that particular occasion, I was sporting an SP-1 Landship by Azimuth and she said it was the most interesting watch she had ever seen. » Read more