Category Archives: Product of the Week

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

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

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

What I have noticed about living in Australia is that people are fanatical about their coffee. In Adelaide, where I reside there is a boutique café called ‘A Mothers Milk’ that serve single origin coffee from around the world. On one occasion I even got to try a very special brew from Tasmania. As well as a broad variety of independent eateries there are many exclusive retailers selling bespoke machines. Therefore, customers can enjoy this wonderful beverage in the comfort of their own homes. » 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

Over the last few years, I have built up a diverse collection of leather jackets. Many are from iconic designers like Giorgio Armani, Dolce Gabbana, Martin Margiela, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent etc. Generally, I am not motivated by labels per-se and am inspired by innovative design. The garments I have procured are very rare in terms of colours, styles and patterns. Essentially this inspired me to create my own brand called ‘Morley Rose’. My concept was to create stylish Italian Nappa blazers with industrial photographic textures (concrete, marble, galvanised steel, glass) for pocket trims and lapels. I achieved this with the generous assistance of veteran Melbourne based craftsman John Presser and Pan Yiannakou who created a patented digital print technology. » Read more