Category Archives: Product of the Week

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

Recently I have been seriously considering returning back to University to do an Honours (Masters) or PhD in industrial design. Over the last few years and in conjunction with several books I have written this subject has become highly appealing. I conveyed these thoughts to a few tutors and they connected me with some local talent. Even though Australia hasn’t really exploited the luxury market there are some innovators in this region. For example, Lee Gray established a high-end audio company called Kyron, which he has successfully globalised. When we met recently I told him about a visionary mechanical engineer called Paolo Mastrogiuseppe. This creative powerhouse invents the most extraordinary Espresso machines and is an inspiration to aspiring designers. » 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

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