“A Man & His Watch” author Matt Hranek and Classic Watch Club founder Henry Flores talk about their favorite timepieces — and what to buy now.
My first watch: A Sears Winnie the Pooh watch given to me by my grandmother when I was about 5 years old. I still have it, but sadly it’s way too small, even for my tiny wrist.
Why wearing a great watch matters: It reveals to the world a little bit about how you want to be seen.
Advice for first-time buyers: Buy the best thing you can afford, don’t compromise.
Best watch to gift: I always seem to gift my wife watches that I want to wear as well, like Cartier Santos from the 1980s, and Rolex Datejusts from the same period.
Best watch to start a collection: My first watches were Swatch and I still have them, but my first “serious watch” was a Rolex left to me when my father died. Just collect what you like, if that happens to be expensive Swiss watches or inexpensive plastic Japanese watches.
Celebrity watch icon: Jerry Lewis [inset above], who had an epic Cartier collection.
Watch you’re coveting: I love watches that were designed with purpose: Rolex Submariners, made for divers, or Omega Speedmasters because they were on the wrists of astronauts and race-car drivers.
Best watch screen cameo: The watches in “Apocalypse Now.” You have Martin Sheen in a very cool military-style Seiko, and Brando is wearing a Rolex GMT, which are two iconic watches of the period.
Favorite watch book: I’m sure my publisher wants me to say “A Man & His Watch.”
My first watch: A TAG Heuer Carrera 1964 Heuer Re-Edition chronograph [left]. I have always been a car fanatic and was fascinated by all things racing. The Carrera is named after one of the deadliest races, the Carrera Panamericana.
Why wearing a great watch matters: It can be enjoyed for a lifetime and passed down to the next generation.
Advice for first-time buyers: Buy something that you’ll enjoy and won’t be too obsessed with keeping pristine in case you hit a door jam. Stick to modern, because the vintage watch world can be tricky to navigate.
Best watch to gift: The usual suspects such as Rolex Submariner, Rolex GMT, Omega Speedmaster, Seamaster or even a Grand Seiko would be great.
Best watch to start a collection: A manually wound watch, because it establishes a more personal connection with its owner.
Celebrity watch icon: Steve McQueen [inset above] would look cool in any watch — but the fact he wore a Rolex 1655 Explorer II, Rolex 5512 Submariner and a Heuer Monaco made those watches cooler by association.
Watch you’re coveting: An Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in 41 mm.
Best watch screen cameo: The pieces worn in “Ford v Ferrari”: Matt Damon’s character in a Heuer 30 Reference 7753 SN while Christian Bale’s character wears a Heuer Autavia Reference 2446. I loved that they were period-correct pieces.
Favorite watch book: “History of the Swiss Watch Industry” by Pierre-Yves Donzé.
An Italian financier who hops between Milan and Miami, this famed collector posts updates on his ultra-rare pieces to 104,000 followers.
Personal style: In Miami? Lululemon joggers, Balmain T-shirts and Air Jordan 1 Retro High Dior [sneakers]. In Milan? Jeans, shirts and classic shoes.
First watch: When I was 16 years old, I did deliveries for a grocery store to buy a Bulova, which was very similar to a popular watch at the time, the Breitling Chronomat.
Watch count: I’ve always focused on quality rather than quantity. Today, I have a few Rolex, a few Patek Philippe and a few others.
Favorite complication: I’m in love with the grande sonnerie.
Watch icon: Gérald Genta [inset above] was truly one of the greatest watch designers of all time, the genius behind several of the most famous and enduring models that have become the foundation for success for several brands including Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Cartier.
Recent purchase: A Rolex Day-Date made in 1984 for Qaboos, the late Sultan of Oman. It’s amazing, with a rainbow bezel, and on the back, there’s the Khanjar [crest of the Omani royal family]. It’s one of the rarest Rolexes ever produced.
Favorite travel watch: Sorry to disappoint you, but I never wear my watches.
The former Sotheby’s staffer launched Dimepiece — focused on female collectors — seven months ago, and has already drawn 16,000 Instagram followers.
Personal style: I love the prep school, “Gossip Girl” look. I rarely wear a lot of designer clothes, but when I do, it’s all sourced secondhand. I love my mom’s double-breasted Chanel jacket from the 1980s.
First watch: To celebrate my 31st birthday last May, I just got my first luxury watch: a small steel Cartier Tank Française.
Watch count: Six, including that Cartier. Not bad for a gal who just got into collecting, right?
Favorite complication: Who wants to take me in their sports car to see a Rolex Daytona in action on the raceway?
Watch icon: Mary-Kate Olsen [inset above] — I feel like I’ve grown up with her. In the early aughts the Olsens were known for popularizing big men’s watches, and now she’s taking a more polished route with a yellow-gold Rolex Day-Date on a “President” bracelet — she even wears it while competing in horse races. I’m obsessed.
Most recent purchase: The Rolex Lady-Datejust.
Travel watch: I’m in LA right now, and I’ve heard there’s been a lot of watch theft. I’m trying to keep a low profile, so I like my steel Cartier because it’s the most low-key