Please introduce yourself
My name is Kristian Haagen (Instagram @kristianhaagen), born and raised in Denmark. I started my professional life in advertising, trained in London. I worked as Art Director in the UK, Spain and Denmark for approx. 20 years. In 2005 I decided to quit advertising and concentrate on watches. I had already published my first book on watches in 2002 and have been published in newspapers and magazines since 1998. Today I work as valuer in the watch department at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers in Copenhagen. I am a published author of six book on watches and co-founder of WatchWork and 8past10.com as well as founder and owner of my own media TIMEGEEKS.
When and how did your passion for watches start?
I have always been crazy about watches. Ever since I was a little kid. I was into National Geographic and saw the ads inside of Patek Philippe, Rolex and Seiko and noticed that many of the divers, soldiers, explorers etc. wore great sports watches in the articles inside the magazine as well. And that’s when I started pating attention to wristwatches. I was six years old.
Which watches are in your current collection?
My collection is a wonderful mix of vintage and contemporary. It contains watches from A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Rolex, IWC, Omega, Breitling, Linde Werdelin, Seiko and Casio…to name a few.
Why these watches?
I love the history behind almost every vintage Rolex sports watch. These watches were meant to be tool watches, not a flashy piece of the jewelry for the wrist. But I also love the craftsmanship you can find in every single A. Lange & Söhne and since I was brought up with the Patek Philippe Nautilus this collection of course also has my full attention. I was six years old, when the Nautilus was launched.
What is your favorite watch for daily wear?
I wear a Patek Philippe ref. 5726 and 5980 a lot. They are great sportswatches. But since I purchased a blue dial Audemars Piguet Royal oak ref. 15300 of the very last production (2012), this has been on the wrist a lot as well. That said, I wear all of my watches. Even the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual and Zeitwerk. They are however not what you would consider “daily beaters” and certainly not on my wrist when I do sports.
What is the watch with the most sentimental value in your collection?
It is a Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675 from 1968. It was formerly owned by one of my biggest heroes, the author and war correspondent Jan Stage. His widow offered me to buy the watch unknowingly about my awe of her late husbands work. It is not my most expensive watch, but it is the watch that holds most sentimental value.
What criteria do you apply when you buy a watch?
I like sports watches, chronograph especially. And mostly I go for steel watches. That said, I am a passionate fellow and when I fall in love with a watch, I am not very sensible. Love is a mild form of insanity. And I am guilty of that when I have my heart set on a watch. And I am not a good hustler. The sellers sense my insanity and get the money they want. But then again, what is the price for happiness, eh?
What are your grail watches (vintage and modern) and what’s so desirable about them?
In my collection I’d say my A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk. I cannot see where I should go from there. This watch is so ummmpf and ahhhh on the wrist. And then when you turn it around to see the movement you go uhhhh and forget time and everything around you. Lange has that effect on me. My 1964 Rolex Daytona ref. 6239 is also a very very cool watch. I never thought I would ever own this watch. But now I do. And the particular watch I have is in immaculate condition. A very rare pearl! And to be qite honest I do not have any grail watches left in my mind as of now. It sounds like a have dreamless nights. But honestly…I feel very very content with my collection now. Sounds boring, I know. But it is the truth.
What is your best advice for a beginner collector with a budget under 1000 Euro?
Buy with your eyes, heart and wallet. That goes for any watch in any price range.
In your eyes, what makes the perfect watch picture and do you have some tricks?
Set the hands to 8 past 10 making our watch “smile” and make sure there are no harsh reflections. And please stop putting your watch into your food! that is just nasty, OK!?