Watch collecting is more than just a hobby—it’s a lifestyle. Those who are into mechanical watches can be the most zealous of the lot, with a clear eye for detail and a focus on quality, materials, and functionality. But while an intense focus on watches can be a bit consuming, that doesn’t mean watch collectors don’t have time for other interests. Collectors enjoy a lot more than just their timepieces, and many of these hobbies appeal to the same personalities. Here are five other things that mechanical watch collectors love, to serve as proof that they can see beyond their own wrists.
Horology and travel intertwine so often, it’s arguable that they share a common DNA. In the early days of exploration, ship captains would carry a pocket watch to aid with not just timekeeping, but also navigation. In more recent years, mechanical dive watches have faithfully served divers as they time their dives, which has made the more trusted brands valued not just for their reputation but as a critical element of safety.
The usefulness of mechanical watches isn’t limited to the waters, either. In aviation, pilots and pioneers have used their trusty timepieces for navigation and timekeeping. Charles Lindbergh worked with watchmakers to design the watch he wore for his famous transatlantic flight and many watch brands trace their roots to aviation. DuFrane Watches offers their own in-house versions of the classic dive and aviation-style watches, which likewise share these heritages.
2. Knives and Blades
Maybe it’s their usefulness as a tool in survival situations? Perhaps it’s the equal precision in care and craftsmanship? Whatever the reason, many mechanical watch collectors also love collecting knives. Knives, pens, wallets and other accessories are commonly known in the men’s fashion world as EDC, or “every day carry” items. Mixing or matching these different items can further enhance your style.
Why do these two different collecting hobbies often intersect? In addition to being considered a part of one’s EDC, collectors of both knives and watches share an appreciation for the skill that goes into creating these beautiful pieces. Different metals and alloys can both create a fine blade in a knife or make up the inner workings and casing of a mechanical watch. Fine leathers can make for a knife handle or be used to customize the look on a watch strap.
With a shared interest in cutlery, it should come as no surprise that many watch enthusiasts also enjoy the art and science of the culinary world. Both hobbies cater to the precision and craftsmanship which create a certain je ne sais quoi. This one is a little controversial, as many professional chefs disagree on whether or not it’s appropriate to wear a watch in the kitchen, citing cleanliness and the sometimes brutal environments such a workspace provides.
However, one needn’t need more convincing of how important timekeeping is to chefs when you look at the laundry list of culinary personalities that share an interest in horology. Food Network personality Alton Brown is known as a watch enthusiast, dating back to a piece gifted from his father. Gordon Ramsay is also fond of classic watches and has been spotted on his television program Hell’s Kitchen wearing one, as has Ramsay’s MasterChef counterpart, Joe Bastianich.
A fine writing utensil is another essential part of everyday carry, or one’s kit of day-to-day must-haves. Just like the other items on this list, beautiful writing utensils are closely tied to mechanical watches. In fact, many luxury brands like Mont Blanc and Cartier are known equally for their pens as they are for finely made timepieces.
Just like a watch, one’s writing utensil also serves as a necessary tool for both the workplace and life’s everyday challenges. With both, you’ll be equally prepared to answer “What’s the time?” as you are “Can I borrow your pen?” Just make sure to keep a watchful eye if you oblige to the latter.
5. Fine Spirits and Craft Cocktails
After the end of a long workday, a mechanical watch collector is no different from anyone else, often indulging in a libation or two to unwind from their hectic day. What a watch collector sits down to drink may be a direct reflection of their personality or mood at a given moment. Are you a fan of the classic dive watch? Well then, Mr. Bond, a classic Martini (shaken, not stirred) is probably your drink of choice. Do you like brightly colored dials with colorful NATO straps? Well then, it’s time to order that piña colada or margarita. Then there’s the traditionalist, who likes to wear a classic leather-strapped dress watch. Sit down in your leather chair and sip on some bourbon while puffing your equally fine cigar. See, watch collectors are interested in more than just watches.
Written by Marco Cummings for RootsRated in partnership with DuFrane Watches.