Doctor, Watch Collector
Nicolas, 37 years old, is a doctor and lives in Paris.
His passion for watches began when, for his 30th birthday, he was offered his first “real” watch: a Portuguese IWC 5001. Since that day, he began to have an interest in the world of watches, and particularly in vintage OMEGA models, with the Speedmaster and the Seamaster 300 as favorite references. Its watch collection consists mainly of OMEGA, ROLEX, ZENITH and LONGINES timepieces.
His other interests are photography, travel, cinema, art, cooking and … wine!
1. Do you remember your first watch?
My first watch was a nice SWATCH model that I received as a gift from my grandfather when I was 10 years old. It was a “diving watch”, with a unidirectional rotating bezel and an announced resistance of 200 meters which, at the time, had impressed me!
2. The 3 most iconic watch models?
Not so easy to make a choice among many horological icons… In my opinion, the 3 most emblematic watches are the ROLEX Daytona and Submariner and of course the OMEGA Speedmaster.
3. A noteworthy anecdote with one of your watches?
I imagine that all collectors have regrets about some missing pieces in their collection, and I am surely no exception to this rule… I also have several anecdotes about opportunities to buy rare models that I missed a few years ago and that I still regret today… But I think that it is better to talk about beautiful pieces that I could acquire and that’s why I prefer to tell the anecdote of a watch that I own rather than that of another that I missed.
In 2014, I spotted a Speedmaster ST 105.012-66 CB that was auctioned on eBay. I contacted the seller to ask him if he could accept a “buy-it-now” deal. He announced a price of 5400 USD and told me he wanted a bank transfer. The watch was in Brazil, I did not know the seller and I remember having hesitated a little before sending the transfer, not without some anxiety … A few days after, I recontacted the seller to make sure he had received the funds, but no response from him. I wrote to him several times during the following days, had no answer and started to think that I was too naive and that I would never see my money back. But finally, a week later, I receive the notice from the postman that a package arrived. And to my surprise this package contained my Speedmaster 105.012-66 CB in an extraordinary state of conservation. I had news of the seller a few days later telling me that he was traveling and that he could not answer before … This Speedmaster is still the nicest ST 105.012 I have.
4. Are you more modern or vintage?
I am especially attracted by the world of vintage, indeed what fascinates me in old watches is their capacity to age in a totally different way and to acquire their singularity. I like the way the watches change in a unique way over the decades: the evolution of the color of the dial, the indexes or even the bezel … that’s precisely what gives all its character to the watch. One can thus own several copies of the same reference while having the impression to have completely different watches. For example, see how a tropical dial can completely change the look and feel of a watch.
As for modern watches, I am attracted by brands like PATEK PHILIPPE, F.P. JOURNE or LANGE & SOHNE. I hope to take the step towards Haute Horlogerie one day.
5. I love Speedmasters because …
I love the OMEGA Speedmaster first for its aesthetics. I love the balance and purity of its forms, and I believe that its proportions are perfect. Its timeless design has allowed it to go through all these years without ever becoming obsolete. And of course the historical aspect of this watch made it a legend.
I remember the first time I went and try watches in a vintage shop, I was really fascinated when I put a Speedmaster on my wrist for the first time. It was obvious to me that the Speedmaster would represent the most important part of my collection.
6. Your favorite Speedmaster?
Depending on the day, it can go from a CK 2998-1 to an Apollo-Soyuz 1976.
7. A single personal item you would take with you for a long stay on the Moon?
8. You just won the lottery. Do you first buy a sports car or call a financial advisor?
I think I would buy a car first and then, maybe, I would call a financial advisor. If I win at the Euro Million it would surely be a Shelby Cobra (or a Shelby Daytona) and if it’s a smaller jackpot then I would have a 911 turbo.
9. Where would you spend the next 24 hours if you had a teleporter?
I wish I could return back to 1957 and purchase a few batches of brand new full set Speedmaster 2915-1.
10. How many times a day do you watch … your watch?
I watch my watches quite often, but not so much to read the time as to contemplate and admire them (like all collectors I imagine).
11. The last watch you bought?
A Speedmaster ST 105.012-65 with a beautiful tropical dial.
12. What’s on your wrist today?
An OMEGA Seamaster 300 reference ST 165.024.