Please introduce yourself
Hello there! My name is Marshall and I’m turning 24 later this year, I’m a Malaysian, a law graduate from London, and also the founder of a humble little watch blog called The Matick Blog (@TheMatick.Blog on IG). I’m also the face behind the account @Marsh_Kai.
When and how did your passion for watches start?
For me, there was never really a specific moment where I became self-aware of my appreciation for watches. The earliest memory I could recall myself actually giving a thought about watches was some time back in 2012 when I was on vacation with my family in Taiwan, it was some time around November, which was a month after my 18th birthday and I think my mother told me that she was going to get me a watch while we were in Taipei. At first, I was reluctant because back then I didn’t quite understand how special it was to have a watch on my wrist, also I thought to have the time on your mobile phone was sufficient and I questioned her decision in doing so, and then my mother said this to me,
“Every man needs a decent watch, and I think the best thing I could give you for your 18th birthday would be the gift of time”…
That deeply resonated with me, so that was pretty much the beginning for me.
In the end, she got me a black, super thin Citizen watch, I rarely wear that watch now, but it is still a very important watch for me.
What do watches mean to you?
For me, watches represent a point in time when things were made with love, a long-term vision as well as pragmatism in mind, which is a far cry to what they tend to represent these days (status etc.).
Additionally, a decent watch would have no trouble in outlasting its owner, which is why to me, they are also somewhat mini history books. The scratches, the dings and the wabi-sabi of a used watch resonate with where they’ve been, what they represent to its owner and who’s owned them.
Most importantly, they also tell the world a little bit about who you are as an individual, and also if you’re lucky, have the ability to connect you to people who matter most in your life.
Tell us a little bit about your collecting philosophy.
Personally, I see this entire ordeal with watch collecting as a lifelong journey. There are many stages when it comes to collecting and there is simply no way that you could rush in or out of it. Why? Because I believe the transition from one stage to another takes time, patience, understanding and maturation in terms of your taste and choices on watches. Back then, I was merely trying to amass a collection by buying what I thought I liked, and that’s it. But after 4 years of collecting and studying about the history and conversing with the people and watchmakers in the industry, I can now say that my perspective has definitely changed quite a bit. And this, to me, is a perpetual process, you can never be ahead of the game, there’s just so much to learn and know about, so I try to keep an open mind when it comes to collecting, and at the same time, be patient and not too serious about it.
On top of that, before I decide to go ahead with any purchase, one of the things I prefer to have is a certain level of understanding in regards to that particular watch brand I’m buying from. Apart from that, I also have a tendency to attach each purchase to some achievement or a certain memorable moment, although I don’t always do that for every single piece I get my hands on, but it is definitely a prerequisite for me when it comes to collecting because that way I believe I can at least build some value into my collection from a sentimental standpoint, and that, to me, is what makes his hobby so compelling. Each watch tells a story of an individual from a certain point in time of their lives, and I believe that’s what makes watch collecting so interesting.
Which watches are in your current collection?
For now, I only have some modest pieces in my collection, nothing too flashy (with the exception of a few ‘wild card’ pieces..) or high-end. But like I said, it’s a journey so I’m just trying to enjoy the current pieces I have as much as can before I move on to the next phase.
My collection is pretty much a mixed bag of brands (mostly independents), vintage and modern. As of today, I have:
- Citizen Eco-drive AWP1018-55e,
- Seiko SKX007, UAE exclusive Arabic SNK063J5, ‘turtle’ SRP773, ‘fifty fathoms’ SNZH57,
- Orient Flight,
- Mr Jones Watches Nuage,
- Undone Watches Custom Aqua & Urban Skipper ‘Team Matick Master Editions’,
- Dietrich OT2, OT6 colored carbon, a super rare OT13, and a piece unique Dietrich TC1 with a turquoise dial,
- SevenFriday P1-1,
- Gruppo Gamma ‘Bronzo’ Vanguard N18v,
- William L 1985 Vintage Chronograph and a rose gold Calendar,
- Nodus Watches Retrospect Diver,
- Vintage CWC G10 from 1989,
- Vintage Trafalgar Diver from 1975,
- Vintage Buler Astrolon from 1977,
- Vintage Timex Diver for 70s,
- Vintage Seiko Pogue 6139-6002 ‘Resist’ Dial.
Do you have a favorite and why?
Definitely my piece unique Dietrich TC1, solely because of what it represents and the good memories attached to it. This watch was gifted to me for my graduation by a mentor and a good friend of mine, Emmanuel Dietrich. I wore it so proudly on the day I got called to the Bar in London. I can’t help but smile every time I put it on my wrist, but at the same time, it invokes a bittersweet feeling as well. Why? Well, let’s keep that for another day shall we? Haha.
What are the most important factors when you buy a watch?
It very much depends on the type of watch I’m looking to acquire. If I’m looking to acquire a vintage piece, I would usually be very particular about its condition, originality, as well as its provenance. As for the other watches, I would usually be very particular about the story or the philosophy behind the brand. But at the end of the day, I truly believe that design transcends price, so the aesthetics and design would have spoken to me on a certain level.
At this point in my life, I don’t buy/intend to buy watches for investment purposes. I mean I’m not even by any means in that playing field just yet but it’s just not something I would put too much thought into. If a watch I like turns out to be an excellent investment option, then it’s a bonus, but ultimately it doesn’t dictate my decision.
What is next on the buying list?
I don’t actually have a set list of what to buy next, because usually my acquisitions can be quite spontaneous and it is a very organic process, for I’m a person who cares a lot about the circumstances when buying a watch. It needs to be the right place, the right time and for the right reasons.
That said, I’m always on the lookout for the fun and more attainable pieces from brands like Sinn, Damasko, Autodromo etc. And that includes vintage pieces like the stuff from the Seiko 7016/6139 series, oh and vintage military pieces too.
On a serious note, I’m making plans to acquire the new Jaeger LeCoultre Polaris within the next 3-4 years, perhaps it’ll be an appropriate piece for a lawyer? Who knows.
What are your grail watches?
For a long time, it was the Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969, I was absolutely head over heels with how it sat so nicely on my wrist, the history of the brand as well as its signature tricolored sub-dials. Heck, I even have a massive clock of it hanging in my home! Maybe I should try wearing it as a necklace.. *cue Flava Flav*
But recently I attended a private launch party by Jaeger LeCoultre for their Polaris line-up and ever since, I have been lusting for the no-date variant so, so badly.
That said, it is still pretty much a blur for me at this point because my taste would change from time to time and depend on the circumstances. Apart from the Zenith and Jaeger I mentioned in the above, I do have a list of other ‘staple watches’ that I would like to see on my wrist in the future. They are, in no particular order:
- Either a Rolex 6536, 5512, or a 6542 bakelite bezel,
- Tudor Snowflake Marine Nationale,
- Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon carbon,
- Faberge Visionnaire DTZ.
What makes the perfect watch picture in your eyes, do you have some tricks?
Although I rarely take wrist shots these days, I think balance is key when it comes to watch photography. Other factors include appropriate lighting, color combinations, clarity as well as other secondary elements like props. For me, every photo needs to convey a certain message. And oh yeah, make sure your watches are smudge-free too!