Fabrice Guéroux is a specialist in high-watches/jewelry and more specifically a counsel/expert in fake watches business. He is the author of the Swiss watches best-seller “Real and Fake Watches”. Since 2004, he is devoted to keeping finewatches patrimony safe. He is involved in many investigations, conferences and workshops (customs services, Police services and school masterclasses, to name a few). He is the President of the Association Truetime, founded in 2006 with the purpose of fighting against counterfeiting and criminal organizations.
He is a vintage watches enthusiast and as far as OMEGA is concerned, he is the happy owner of one Speedmaster 105.012-65 and two 145.012-67.
1. Do you remember your first watch?
Yes, that was a digital CASIO watch with a chronograph and… light! I got that one for my Solemn Communion. The funny part of this experience is as far as I remember, I was as enthusiastic as when I got my first ROLEX Submariner 15 years later…
2. The 3 most iconic watch models?
ROLEX Daytona, OMEGA Speedmaster, 70’s civil AURICOSTE type 20, and ROLEX Submariner. Sorry, it makes four… A little bit “stereotype” but these are watches which, for me, will always remain in the collectors’ Pantheon.
3. A noteworthy anecdote with one of your watches?
My first Submariner 5513. Didn’t know anything at that time about diving ROLEX watches, but I just wanted a diving ROLEX. I put an ad in a journal in Britany (looking for…) and an old man calls me on my Nokia. He was selling his old 5513 bought when he left the army in 1960. He was looking for something equal to a nowadays 600 euros and wanted to get a contemporary watch easy to read, with a Chronograph function, namely a FESTINA if my souvenirs are correct. I broke my piggybank and paid for the watch.
At that time, from a rooky perspective, and compared to the new ROLEX models, the watch was as follow: scratched plexi with ugly domed shape, horrible thin riveted bracelet, glossy dial with gold markings, it looked small, it was everything but a sexy contemporary watch as those I could see on the wrist of the golden boys at that time… I went to ROLEX to get the plexi changed and have a little polish. Two weeks later the watch was on my wrist, brand new, for few French francs at that time. Well I must say that the effect created was awesome, I spent two weeks looking at it and never knew what time it was… Then I started my study of vintage ROLEX watches in a James Dowling’s book and just noticed that it was one of the first 5513 produced, serial under 1 million, guilt dial, meter first etc. That watch was worth quite an important amount of money and enabled me to start my collection.
That was, at that time, the magic of “no Internet yet” mixed up with the “newbie lucky strike”.
4. Are you more modern or vintage?
Definitely vintage. I think this is just a state of mind. I had a lot of watches on the wrist, modern and vintage. Well, I could resume the difference that way: when I look at the modern one, I see what time it is… When I look at the vintage, I see a story, I look at the details, I appreciate it, I notice a new color on the dial due to a different reflection of the light… then I look at my iPhone to check what time it is for I am unable to look at the vintage piece just as a watch.
5. I love Speedmasters because …
Iconic. I mean when a watch keeps on fulfilling its duties 50 years after its production and, above all, keeps on being a must-have piece, you cannot ignore it.
6. Your favorite Speedmaster?
What a difficult question! My last 105.012-65. In fact, my favourite watch is always my last one. I am a faithful husband, but that’s entirely another thing with watches.
7. A single personal item you would take with you for a long stay on the Moon?
If they have 4G on the moon, my iPhone. If not, my Speedmaster. Imagine this cold planet is not inhabited and people recognize me as a friend just because I have the same watch as a “former friend of them”… I would be safe then.
8. You just won the lottery. Do you first buy a sports car or call a financial advisor?
I build a School for disadvantaged children, definitely.
9. Where would you spend the next 24 hours if you had a teleporter?
In bed… 24/7 is my daily schedule and I am still on my computer answering your questions…
10. How many times a day do you watch … your watch?
You mean how many times a day I look at something else? I will count tomorrow and text you the result.
11. The last watch you bought?
Speedmaster 105.012-65 and 145.012-67.
12. What’s on your wrist today?
OMEGA Speedmaster 145.012-67 on the right wrist and on the other one an AURICOSTE Type 20 guilt dial from 1970, definitely the most beautiful type 20 ever produced. One of my biggest regret in life is being born with only two arms.