Category Archives: Horology

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

As I have grown older my perspective on life has dramatically changed. The things I once held as important have less significance these days. Essentially (in my view) there are only two precious commodities, which are health and time. Paul Allen once said, “Our net worth is ultimately defined not by dollars but rather by how well we serve others.” Certainly, this incredibly successful businessman (co-founder of Microsoft) practised what he preached and donated vast amounts of money to laudable causes. On a smaller scale, ‘Only Watch’ has encouraged the world’s finest watchmakers to create unique 1/1 pieces for charity. As always the event (which is dedicated to research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy) attracted the Crème de la Crème of the industry including Konstantin Chaykin’s ‘Joker Selfie’ and sensational collaboration between De Bethune and Urwerk. » Read more

At the moment it is the school holidays so I have been able to share many precious moments with my 10-year old son. He is exceptionally energetic and absolutely loves the outdoor lifestyle. Therefore, we have spent many hours doing the beach and lake walks, which has been blissful. As well as world-class coastal resorts, South Australia has some beautiful nature hikes. One of the most popular is the steep trail from Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit. This has been a great source of inspiration for many local artists and designers. When I speak with brands around the world many are also influenced by forms found in nature. A great example is a Norwegian company Von Doren owned by the enigmatic Øyvind VonDoren Asbjørnsen. » Read more

A few months ago my ‘Independent Watchmakers’ book was reviewed in The New York Times. It was a huge honour to be included in this prestigious magazine and the journalist Melanie Abrams wrote a beautiful article. Before this, she interviewed (via Skype) for nearly two hours. As a devout professional she wanted to know every intricacy about the book and my reasons for writing it. I explained that I had created several bespoke timepieces and wanted to shine a light on these talented artisans. One of my personal favourite’s is Konstantin Chaykin and that’s why his amazing Lunokhod Prime was a natural selection for the front cover. » Read more