Clément, 29 years old soon, is a collector of design and vintage watches since more than ten years. He decided to make it his job three years ago after his law studies by creating his company EPOQ STORE specialized in finding vintage and rare objects.
He works for vintage dealers like JOSEPH BONNIE with who he has a partnership, travelling to find the best pieces and loving to share with experienced dealers.
His favorite quotation : «Take your pleasure seriously», Charles Eames.
1. Do you remember your first watch?
The first watch I really wished was a CASIO LCD DIGITAL with blue light that I spotted when I was a kid during a trip in Spain with my family. My father had promised me that if I was wise during this stay, he will offer it to me. He stuck to its promise and bought it to me at the end of the trip.
My first Swiss watch was a TAG Monaco CW2113 Steve Mc Queen Edition. I had spotted a watch on a French forum (FAM) : a HEUER Monaco 1133B. At that time, prices were not what they are today. I dreamed about a watch for my 18 years, and I had express this to my father. The D day, he offered me the TAG. No way for him to buy me a second-hand watch… When I see 1133B prices today you could imagine that I have some regrets. I don’t actually, because I have a particular affection for this real first watch.
My first vintage watch was an OMEGA Bumper with red second hand which belonged to my grandfather. It is the beginning of everything. That is why I started to be interested in vintage watches, especially in OMEGA for which I have a particular affection.
2. The 3 most iconic watch models?
Vintage HEUER Carrera / Vintage OMEGA Speedmaster / Vintage OMEGA Seamaster.
I have another passion: vintage design. Particularly the work of Charles Eames. He is a pioneer in industrial design furniture. Jack Heuer was passionate about design and architecture. I read on a specialized website that as a student, he broke its money box to acquire a Lounge Chair. I am convinced that the work of Charles Eames inspired Jack Heuer for the design of its Carrera. But no proof!
In the same way, I think that there is a parallel in the way to collect Charles Eames’s works and OMEGA watches, particularly Speedmasters. Everything has an importance: years of production, manufacturers, special productions, condition, or patina. I think that creating an « EAMES ONLY » book should be a good idea by the way… 😉
3. A noteworthy anecdote with one of your watches?
During a trip in South America, I was informed about a vintage Speedmaster. I met the person in charge to sell it. I bought the watch. It was a very nice ST 105.003-65 with its 7912/6 bracelet. The seller told me that the watch was «all original from first owner». I didn’t know if it was the truth or not but I bought the watch at a fair price. At the end of the deal he gave me a box. I was not sure that it was the original one, but it was given with the watch. When I arrived at my hotel, I discovered that there were documents in the box! Same serial number, same reference, sold by a retailer (still existing today) in 1966 in South America.
Back to France, I ordered an extract of archives: the watch had been sold in Germany. That was not coherent with the original papers… I will never know the truth… Real papers or not? Real «all original first owner watch» or not?
I am convinced that it is very difficult to affirm that a watch is «all original». It could be more appropriate to speak about coherence and not originality.
4. Are you more modern or vintage?
Definitely vintage. I am a promoter of the WABI SABI Japanese philosophy. I like the tricks of time that make something unique.
5. I love Speedmasters because …
They are an incredible collection theme. Each reference has its singularity. Similarly, within the same reference, one can find specificities related to production or patina.
6. Your favorite Speedmaster?
I was a «straight lugs» aficionado and my favorite reference has been the ST 105.003 Ed White for a long time. But I just bought a ST 105.012-66 CB, and I have to admit that I am a big fan of the «Twisted Flat Lugs».
7. A single personal item you would take with you for a long stay on the Moon?
I have read this incredible question every week since the creation of the 12 QUESTIONS ONLY interviews, always asking to myself what I would answer. Let me think till the end of this interview…
8. You just won the lottery. Do you first buy a sports car or call a financial advisor?
I don’t have my driving license so a call to a financial advisor could be the right solution.
9. Where would you spend the next 24 hours if you had a teleporter?
Munich, May 26th 1993 – Olympic Stadium. The Olympique de Marseille won the Champion’s League against the Milan AC.
10. How many times a day do you watch … your watch?
How many times an hour you should say … Too many times.
11. The last watch you bought?
A 100% coherent and unpolished ST 105.012-66 CB.
12. What’s on your wrist today?
That crazy ST 105.012-66 CB.
* Back to Question 7:
A Lounge Chair from Charles Eames, 1956, Herman Miller edition, Black Leather, Rio Rosewood. To rest and contemplate the earth comfortably.