在鐘錶藏家裡，有一派是著重於穿著搭配的品味人士，還有一派則是Hardcore的硬核玩家，而HOROGUIDES這次邀請到的鐘錶達人@horomariobro，就是屬於後者。在他的IG照片裡，手錶的上手穿搭照屬於少數，反而是有佔比不少的腕錶微距細節，機芯夾板的交會縫隙、指針與盤面極為貼近的距離、印刷Logo在面盤上呈現的厚度，甚至還有錶殼亮面反射出的倒影！也因此他鍾愛的品牌，例如A. Lange & Söhne、Vianney Halter、F.P. Journe等，都是以細膩工藝聞名。
What message would you want to convey through your post?
All watches in my posts are in my collection so they convey the types and styles of watches that I like. However, that’s more of a byproduct of my intention. The main message I am trying to convey thru my posts is my appreciation and amazement of how assembling various individual mechanical components can realize an abstract concept of “time” thru micro mechanical engineering innovation and artisanal craftsmanship.
Take the lever escapement as an example, it’s been around for 250+ years and it’s still the most prevalent escapement system used in watches today. The idea is simple, yet profound. It continues to amaze me until today and serves as a constant reminder for me to apply at work that elegant solutions often times are simple in form.
F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu的機芯。
ZENITH El Primero機芯。
Would you please share your first watch? Do you still have it?
我的第一只手錶，是ZENITH El Primero計時碼錶；是家人送我、讓我自己選的禮物。我被每小時36,000轉的震頻深深吸引，面盤上的鏤空部分也能讓我隨時欣賞擒縱系統的超高速動作。我也訝異於一只機械錶能夠測量至十分之一秒；以前我以為只有電子碼錶才做得到。
My first mechanical watch is a Zenith El Primero Chronograph. It was given to me by my family based on my choice. I was fascinated by the high beat of 36000 vph with the openwork on the dial where I could see the incredible fast escapement actions on demand. I was also very impressed by the fact that a mechanical watch can measure down to 1/10th of a second, which I thought was only possible in a digital stopwatch.
I still have the watch and it will always be in my collection because it has a lot of sentimental value to me being a family gift and my very first mechanical watch. It brings me good memories whenever I see the watch even though I don’t wear it often anymore.
What does watches mean to your work or life?
Watches are very important to me in my life. I don’t remember a day when I don’t have a watch on my wrist except for the times that I intentionally do not wear a watch just to pick up a new watch. Otherwise, I’d feel “naked” without a watch even when I am working from home everyday now due to COVID-19. I also read online watch articles and chat about watches with watch buddies on a daily basis. So watches are very inseparable in my daily life.
For me, it used to be a pretty lonely journey for watch collecting before social platform was available. With the advent of social platform like IG, Facebook, online chats, it has brought the watch community much closer with information being shared real time. In fact, this journey of mine has changed from a lonely one to a dangerous one, that is dangerous to my wallet.
My work is quite stressful like everyone else’s. So I often take solace with my watches when I feel stressed out at work. I’d take a short break, and look at my watch and sometimes loupe the movement as I always have a loupe in my computer bag. It really helps clear my mind.
Basically, I can’t imagine a day without watches because it’s as essential as water and air to me.
What are your principles in collecting watches? What makes “a nice watch” for you?
My principles in watch collecting have two parts, tangibility and emotions.
The tangible part are the design of the dial needs to be simple and not overly extravagant, yet the complication of the watch can be complicated. Also, I prefer no date on the dial as I feel most dial designs with a date are more of an afterthought. One exception for me is A. Lange & Söhne where I feel the date is well designed onto the dial from the start and it’s a must-have iconic design. I also prefer manual wind over automatic movement as I can wind my watches on a daily basis to have more bonding experiences with them. Each watch also gives different winding feel and sound. It also allows me to enjoy the unobstructed view of the movement. Last but not the least, hand finishing of a watch is very important to me. Even though hand finishing does not technically contribute to the accuracy or stability of a watch, it does express the level of artisanal craftsmanship and the passion put in by a watchmaker. To me, it’s one of the big factors that gives a soul to a watch.
The emotional part are the “wow” and “happiness” factors when I see the watch for the first time and if I will still feel the same “wow” and “happiness” factor after I own it for quite some time.
At end of the day, I enjoy the watches I collect because they make me appreciate, put a big smile on my face whenever I put them on my wrist and also bring me memories of certain milestones in my life.
（由左至右）Vianney Halter Classic、Credor Eichi II與F.P. Journe Chronometre Bleu。
Which watch brand is your favorite?
This is a difficult question as there are many brands that I love. If someone puts a gun to my head and forces me to pick one, I’d say A. Lange & Söhne.
I pick ALS because I like how it combines modern design, traditional watchmaking and technical execution altogether. ALS’ attention to detail in their work is also topnotch including the practice of double assembly for all their watches.
One such good example would be Zeitwerk where it has the modern design of a digital watch dial layout, the traditional watchmaking in using Glahutte ribbing on the plates, screws over chatons, engraved balance cock..etc, and the technical execution of instantaneous jumping hour and minute discs with creative application of remontoire and air-brake system.
I also like how ALS designs movements specific to the complications of their watches and not try take the shortcut of stacking on the complication modules on top of each other. So most of ALS movements would fit their cases well and not result in being too small for the cases requiring space fillers. A big plus is that many of their movements are still manual wind!!!
Do you have a dream watch?
如果我要縮小範圍的話，最多只能縮到兩只錶：Philippe Dufour 的 Simplicity 和 Vianney Halter 的 Antiqua。這兩只錶都是我收錶原則的典型體現，且都有製錶上的重大歷史意義。
Yes, I do and have many. LOL.
If I need to narrow down, I can only narrow down to two. They are Philippe Dufour’s Simplicity and Vianney Halter’s Antiqua. Both of them are the epitome of my watch collecting principles that I answered earlier. Both also have great historical significance in horology in their own right.
I also narrow down to these two because I don’t see myself being able to acquire them in my lifetime therefore, they will remain as true “dream watch”.
Philippe Dufour Simplicity 。（Photo Credit: @A collected man）
Vianney Halter Antiqua。（Photo Credit: @A collected man）
Do you have other hobby than watches?
Outside of enjoying watches as a hobby, I also enjoy driving cars and playing/watching baseball.
I find my interests in cars similar to watches in the way that I prefer driving manual cars and also prefer simple and classic car aesthetics that are long lasting. Driving a car to me is not about how fast I can drive the car in order to beat some records and I can’t. LOL.
To me, it’s about the great enjoyment I get from being able to connect with my car thru the shifter, the clutch and the pedals. The shifting of gears may not always be as perfect as an automatic. However, it’s this human element of imperfection that makes each driving experience unique and rewarding. It’s analogous to handmade watches like Simplicity or Antiqua that each piece is unique in its own because of human element imperfections. In fact, they are not imperfections. They are the markers left behind by the watchmaker to make each piece unique.