Please introduce yourself
My name is Chris and I’m 26 years old. I bought my GMT with 23 and took every penny I had to fulfill my dream. On that very first day I started my Instagram account gmtfanatic, following the footsteps of my Instagram Watch Idols. My hobby started to become more than that. I started to read a lot about mechanical wristwatches: history, watchmaking, design, etc. Going deeper into watches, I even made friends with the same obsession as me, so I met Mick from @wristporn in Berlin and a crazy group called the @watchmorons established, crossing borders to the Netherlands. I also managed a small gtg in Zurich – it’s just always great to meet people, no matter the age, that are obsessed with watches like myself.
Is there a story behind your Instagram name gmtfanatic?
Not really, I’m just fanatic about the Rolex GMT-Master II
When and how did your passion for watches start?
One of my biggest idols and caregiver was my grandfather. He wore a Rolex Air-King 14000 in steel from 1996 with a plain champagne dial and flat bezel in 36mm. This gave me a little start. But the real bug bit me, when my best friend and motivator came in and presented me his: Rolex GMT Master II. Love at first sight! Then I began to dig deeper in the world of watches, watchmaking, brands and value/performance of mechanical watches.
My first mechanical watch was just an Ingersoll with a very special dial, given to me by my mother. It’s run by a seagull movement and was my companion for nearly 7 years, without any serious problems. I didn’t have much experience and knowledge about mechanical watches back then, so I took it with me anytime and everywhere, including many bicycle rides. It’s still in my possession but it runs too slow now. I still like the separation of the hour- and minute hand very much. One view on the hour dial is enough to tell the time.
Which watches are in your current collection?
My current „collection“ if you can call it so, consists of a Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN and Datejust 16234. The others are still my Ingersoll and a Casio G-Shock Rangeman for the tough jobs.
Why these watches?
Beside that the GMT is my first dream watch, it is as classy as a Submariner, but not that „boring“ – at least it helps you with calculating a few timezones 😉
The Datejust 16234 was a long hunted object of desire – finally I found an offer through UhrForum and wrote the member on that same night it went online. The 16234 already has a scratch resistant crystal and a stunning blue sunburst dial that makes it just the perfect summer watch which should be worn on a Perlon strap. It’s the perfect combination of a classy and casual watch and the size of 36mm is just perfect for that.
Of course the GMT is my favorite, after all I’m gmtfanatic right? 😉
What do watches mean to you?
Watches mean a lot for me. First of all it’s the only real jewelry (beside bracelets) for a man and many are given through generations. So there comes the other big part: Passion. On one hand, there is passion due to an emotional value of the watch. On the other hand, there is passion in serious watchmaking, craftsmanship and art! Tiny gears and screws, a power saving spring, a “heart beating“ hairspring and complications, all manufactured by the human hand.
I’m a huge Rolex fan! Sadly many people can only see brands like Rolex as a status symbol. They judge you because of your watch, without knowing anything about your passion behind it. The same people would laugh at your „old watch“ even when it’s a Patek, because they don’t have knowledge about watches.
Sure thing that there are a lot of people out there, wearing a Rolex only because of its status, but at least it’s not a stupid purchase. The real „ballers“ are the ones who spend as much and more money on a Sellita powered Hublot…
But there are other watch makers that I like in addition to Rolex. Beside other swiss manufactures, I’m a huge fan of the “watchmaking made in Germany“. While A. Lange & Söhne and Glashütte Original are the flagships, there is another manufacture that built beautiful in-house-movement watches: NOMOS Glashütte. Minimal watch design, inspired by the modern Bauhaus Design from the early 20th century. The best you can get for the buck, no doubt about that!
And passion beside, some timepieces are blue chips, you’ll never loose a buck. And besides, they have to fulfill a purpose and should been worn, even a vintage Patek should be worn. A GMT is made for traveling, so my GMT travels with me, anywhere. Beside Europe it even was in Medellín and on the beaches of the Caribbean.
What are the most important factors when you buy a watch?
Of course it’s important for me, that I have to like the watch and that the watch fits to me and my style, but over all it’s value preservation and increase in value that makes the race. I’m not in the age to burn money on watches just because I like them, so I think well about my purchases and I always bought used. My GMT Master II is from 2009 and had one pre-owner, it came fresh from revision and looked absolutely new. I made a really lucky purchase, when I check the current prices for that model now, I already made a thousand bucks with it, the same with the Datejust. That’s Rolex!
What are your grail watches and what’s so desirable about them?
I would need a Grail-Watch-Shelf if I call up all my dream watches! 😉 So I list three of them.
- A.Lange & Söhne – Terraluna (Well, look at that backside!)
- Rolex Sky-Dweller white gold on a black alligator strap (Kinda got me!)
- Rolex Daytona rose gold, chocolate dial, brown crocodile leather strap (Just delicious)
What makes the perfect watch picture in your eyes, do you have some tricks?
No reflections, perfect lighted dial, high contrast and no damn dust corns on the crystal.