Meet our fourth "Collector of the Month", Mischa!
Name: Mischa Alexander
Place of residence: The Hague, Netherlands
1. What’s the story behind how you came to own your first watch and what kind of watch was it?
I’ve been ‘collecting’ watches for as long as I can remember. I think I was about 12 years old when I purchased my first watch, it was an Emporio Armani with a black dial, black leather strap and a Quartz movement of course. Being a very ‘fashionable’ young man it was not long until I bought my next watch; a Guess with a day-date complication and a brown strap to match my brown oriented outfits. And that’s where it all began... I was bitten by the watch bug haha!
2. How did your passion for watches evolve over time and when did you realize that you wanted to be a collector?
I don’t think I have ever made the ‘decision’ to become a collector; it just sort of happened. At some point my collection existed of about 15-20 watches from fashion brands like Armani, Guess, Massimo Dutti and Breil to low-budget 'more serious' watches like Stührling and Invicta. I have longed for a Breitling for a very long time – it was my ‘one-day-I’ll-own-one’ brand and then my brother bought one.. BUMMER! That was the trigger for me to buy my first serious watch, a Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 11, which I later sold to buy my Tudor Black Bay Red.
3. How would you describe your collection and what does collecting watches mean to you?
The key focus of my collection is to have a watch for every occasion and I’m proud of each and every one. It doesn’t matter to me whether I wear my Seiko SKX007 or my Omega Speedmaster Professional (a €3,000 difference). I know what I have on the wrist and I know that any real ‘watchnerd’ would appreciate it.
I have sold basically all my cheaper watches. The only ‘expensive’ watch that I’ve sold is my Tag Heuer and I do still regret it. I aim to never sell a watch, but who knows I might one day have to trade one or a few in order to get my dream piece! Never say never!
I have promised myself that I would stop buying watches at random moments. I’ve purchased my speedy on the same day I signed for my new house. The next timepiece purchase will be the day a small @adutchwrist enters this world (with a watch on the wrist of course! Haha). I’m pretty sure it will be a Rolex Submariner No-Date.
4. Out of all your watches, which one are you are the proudest of?
That must be either the Tudor Black Bay Red, 1st gen or the SixOFourLife.
The Tudor because it is the watch that started my Instagram account and triggered my real interest in horology. It is also the model that (in my opinion) put Tudor back on the map amongst the big players – right where it belongs!
The SixOFourLife because it is a watch that reminds me of a meeting I had in Amsterdam with one of my best buddies in the watchfam, Caleb. Caleb is the owner of SixOFourLife and came all the way from Canada(!!!!) to Amsterdam to show me his brand new prototype collection and talk watches. That evening is forever engraved in my brain, so I had to have one of their watches! I expect their brand to become huge one day!
5. What kind of relationship do you foster with other collectors?
I have met several collectors over the past year from all over the world. I have met guys from Portugal, England, Canada, Czech Republic, Belgium and of course the Netherlands and had meetings in London, Amsterdam, Brussels and Ibiza. I am in contact with them on a daily basis on Instagram mainly. I love to attend Get Togethers to stay in touch, such as the last one in Amsterdam on February 17, hosted by Daily Diogocosta and the next G2G will be hosted by deGriffstraps in Brussels on April 28. If you have no plans, you should come and bring your watches!
6. What are the most important criteria for you to consider prior to buying a watch?
- Do I have a good ‘excuse’ to buy it? (Or the way I explain it to my lady: “If I buy a watch for this occasion, I will always remember this occasion when wearing my watch!”)
- Is it going to be an addition to my collection or do I just ‘want’ it?
- Will I ever regret the purchase? (Regretting a -€200 Seiko wouldn’t hurt, but regretting a €8000 Rolex would...)
I always tend to postpone buying a watch. That way I am sure that when it sticks in my head for a longer time, I know all there is to read about it and I am still in love with it – it will tick all the boxes and make me a happier man!
7. What is your relationship with retailers like and what is their role in helping you purchase a watch?
Zero actually. I stop by jewellers every now and then to check watches, but I never have the feeling that they are willing to really take the time and talk watches with you. In the end, they are there to sell watches, unfortunately, not to talk passion. I will do my research elsewhere and only go to them when I need them: to swipe the debit card.
8. How does the most recent watch you bought reflect who you are and what has changed since your first watch in this regard?
My most recent purchase was my Seiko SKX007J and I believe it shows that I care about a good watch – no matter the price tag. I am not the type of guy who would wear a Rolex because it is a Rolex. I think the Seiko shows that.
To be honest, I was afraid I wouldn’t give it any wrist time because of the more expensive pieces I have in my collection, but the best part is that I can now swap my speedy onto a NATO for 2-3 weeks in a row and only wear it in the evenings and weekends and wear my Seiko to the office instead!
9. Which watch is your favourite “daily watch”?
Impossible to answer...! If I would have to get rid of my entire collection and become a one-watch-guy, I would have to go for my Omega Speedmaster Professional. It’s such a versatile piece and goes with any outfit for any occasion. Wear it with a quality leather strap under a suit, with a bracelet under a shirt or go casual with a nato or canvas strap... it just works! And the manual winding movement makes you bond with your watch really well. It’s a total no-brainer!
10. How do you use WatchAdvisor for yourself and where do you see its greatest benefit?
I came across WatchAdvisor by reading the interview of Kuo Chern Ng, who happened to be one of the first guys I became friends with when I started my Instagram account a little over a year ago. I appreciate the ‘People’ section and I love to keep an eye on the News section for interesting content on a daily basis (mostly during breakfast!). I am not in the market for a new watch at the moment, but https://my.watchadvisor.com surely offers a wide range of interesting timepieces for any collector!