Category Archives: Horology

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 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

When I initially meet people they are fascinated if not a bit bewildered to discover my profession. There are not too many authors/designers residing in South Australia. Essentially, freelance work can be very solitary and income is precarious at best. However, It is a massive privilege to be able to follow your passion and get the opportunity to create cool things. Even though my support network isn’t particularly local (with a couple of exceptions) I have developed business with some talented (likeminded) artisan. A great example is Milan based designer Rafael Simoes Miranda who is the owner/founder of micro-watch brand DWISS. » Read more

I have always been a huge film fanatic and even wrote my dissertation on Cary Grant. One of my secret indulgences is spending an idle afternoon watching James Bond films and particularly the early ones featuring Sean Connery. Even though my personal favourite is Dr No a lot of people prefer 007’s (third instalment) Goldfinger. Certainly, no one can forget the scene where Jill Masterson (played by British actress Shirley Eaton) was covered completely in gold paint. This is one of the most beautiful deaths in cinematic history.

Another reason I love the Bond franchise is that it introduced me to the iconic Submariner (Ref 6538). Even though 007 favoured the classic steel model, I am surprised he didn’t sport a gold version for Goldfinger. Certainly, Rolex makes some exquisite models crafted from this luxurious material so he would have been spoilt for choice. They even manufacture a special patented 18-karat gold variety containing alloy in their own foundry. Essentially, this is why consumers covet the brand’s precious metal watches so much. Here are three fine examples that perfectly illustrate this point. » Read more