Our next collector is Dev – Gentleman Watch Collector, who has enjoyed collecting fine Swiss watches for many years. He is generally known as ‘Dev – The Gent’ derived from his ‘collecting hobby’ and the Gentleman Watch Collector forum. He has built up a great deal of experience and knowledge predominantly through forging friendships with fellow collectors.
We are delighted to bring you a fascinating insight into Dev’s motivation to collect, his more cherished pieces and what he’d love to own.
MWM: Where does your interest in watches originate from?
Dev: For me the only jewellery a man can wear regularly is his wedding band and watch. For this reason I wanted to ensure what I wore was a perfect expression of my personal style and taste. Initially it was my love of the delicate and intricate nature of vintage Swiss wristwatches which bedazzled me. The elegance and simplicity of predominately dress watches was particularly enrapturing. The patination and character of the watch, the ownership history and rarity were particular accents I looked for. I dressed much more formally than I do today which meant the two went together. Over time I learned more about the movement/calibres which changed my tastes to look for more advanced in-house movements rather than pure external aesthetics.
MWM: What was the first watch you owned?
Dev: A Casio World Time. My Christmas present when I was 10 years old. I still remember the excitement and packaging. My first expensive piece was a Chopard Yellow gold dress watch I bought in the USA. I loved the design, simple white dial and brown croc strap. I sold it to fund university which broke my heart though the dealer it went to told me the dial had been repainted, it had been serviced by a non-approved technician, the hands were not original. That numbed the pain.
MWM: Why do you collect watches?
Dev: It is an addiction. You always like to think that the next one will be the ‘grail’ but tastes and desires evolve as our own character does. There is also a plethora of new releases annually to tempt. I enjoy many of the people I have met along the way which is a reason I buy, in the financial markets I am valuing assets constantly which makes my collecting a fun hobby too. It pushes me to learn and have a good database of models in my mind with production periods, nuances of particularly model runs and values over time.
MWM: What do you love about collecting watches?
Dev: There is an immediate common interest I share with fellow collectors. It is not about the budget or size of the collection but rather discussing tastes, ownership experiences and values. It is great because I am not much of a sportsman! Additionally as an accessory we wear on a daily basis, one can switch according to mood and attire. It really is a mood changing item of jewellery. It is also great to follow the evolution of brands, build relationships with authorised dealers and look at the wrist and marvel.
MWM: Is there anything you don’t like about collecting?
Dev: Selling. I loathe having to deal with dealers. My experience has been entirely negative. When buying, in my experience, the retailer is keen to give all the reasons why this is a ‘must-have’ timepiece. As soon as this ‘5-minute’ purchasing window passes the relationship usually breaks down. If you do fancy selling, then few respond or if they do, then the bid is appallingly low. Once in the ‘dealing room’ they will tell you why your ‘pride and joy’ is a ‘poor example’ and why you should expect ‘bottom dollar’. It is a massive psychological mind sequence – that is why I started buying straight from fellow owners.
MWM: What is the favourite watch in your collection?
Dev: It changes with my mood. Two years ago I didn’t wear any Audemars Piguet preferring my Patek Philippe 5712 as a daily wearer. Today I wear a very limited run AP Offshore Alinghi Carbon daily. It has been through so many trips – I love it because few have ever seen one ‘in the flesh’ yet when I am in rural parts of Asia people think it is G-Shock! I definitely moved away from Yellow Gold preferring White Gold for security reasons (Sadly, I hold all watches at the bank because of this) Equally the most expensive watch I own is not my favourite either.
MWM: Which watch would you love to own?
Dev: Richard Mille has started to produce some incredibly wild creations. I have several of the entry level pieces. If money were no object I would buy a RM-19-02 Tourbillon Fleur. The level of detail is truly incredible whilst it would be a highly occasional piece!
MWM: How do you decide which watch to acquire next?
Dev: I let the public surprise me! I receive many emails on a daily basis – according to what I like the look of I buy accordingly. I am happy for now to continue building an investment portfolio of fine Swiss watches that reflect my ever evolving taste.
About Dev The Gent
For many years Dev has enjoyed collecting fine Swiss Watches. Through forging friendships with fellow collectors and buying he has developed a great deal of experience and knowledge. With this in mind he plans to make this accessible to everyone online. Indeed this is the reason for him developing the Gentleman Watch Collector – a Public domain for guiding ‘would-be’ and existing Collectors of fine luxury items. There you will find many photos of his extensive watch collection.