At a GTG dinner after Baselworld, I shared the table with some really interesting people. After the obligatory table-shot, I spotted a Jacob & Co Epic X on some guy’s wrist, a watch that I had never seen before in real life. A few minutes later I spotted a Konstantin Chaykin Joker on this guy’s other wrist, a watch that is even more rare. Who was this guy?
Then I remembered an instastory from @Swisswatchgang, who was in Basel with his red Epic X and Joker. What are the odds of someone wearing the same exact 2 super rare watches?
‘Are you Swisswatchgang?’, I asked. ‘Yes I am!’, Marko replied with a smile. I told him that I was a big fan of his work, and it turned out he had been following me on insta as well for a few years. I tried to hide my excitement, even though my smile went from ear to ear.
Two days later, I had an appointment with Jacob & Co at Baselworld. I was seated in a conference room, and who walked in: Mister Marko Swisswatchgang! What are the odds?
‘Hey Watchmespot,’ he said, ‘nice to see you again!’
After Basel, we kept in contact. I asked him to do a watchspotting interview, and with the same optimism as always, he agreed!
The two watches you seem to wear a lot are the Konstantin Chaykin Joker and the Jacob & Co Epic X. Watches you don’t see that often in the wild. Why did you get these watches?
The way I buy watches is driven by emotion and aesthetics. I usually like things you don’t see around that much. With the Joker, it was purely emotional. I am a happy, smiley person who always tries to look on the bright side of things. These were the same emotions I felt when I saw the Joker from Konstantin Chaykin. I had to have it because I felt that the watch was a representation of a part of my personality.
I am a huge fan of independent watchmaking, mainly because they dare to make crazy and adventurous designs. I have been a big fan of the brand for years, and I pulled the trigger when Mr. Chaykin brought out the Joker.
The purchase of the Jacob & Co. Epic X was driven by my love for tear-drop (cow horns) lugs and skeleton movements. The Epic X had the right type of lugs and an amazing skeleton, so it checked all the boxes.
It might look big and chunky, but it has a very light titanium case, and the bent lugs really hug your wrist. It is really comfortable to wear, I even wear this as my daily beater now.
If I go hiking or do sports, I use my Tudor Black Bay Bronze Bucherer Blue edition. It’s even more of a tool watch and I use the bezel to time events. I love the combination of the rich dark blue bezel and dial with the bronze.
How did you get into watches?
Watches really caught my attention after I opened up my grandmothers vintage wristwatch and saw the mechanics beating. It was as if a new world suddenly opened up and I was hypnotized for over an hour.
That was 2010, and after that I started to go online and read magazines to learn more about watches. The first brands I came across that blew my mind were Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Ulysse Nardin, Blancpain, Patek Philippe and more. I was always intrigued about the movements and my first grail watch became at the time the Vacheron Constantin Malte Tourbillon, don’t ask me why, still think it’s a gorgeous piece.
What was your first ‘real’ watch?
My first “real” watch was an Omega Day-Date automatic. I borrowed 200 euros from my grandmother to buy it. Once I paid her back, I brought it to a watchmaker and asked him to replace the dial. Even though the new dial wasn’t the correct dial, I really didn’t care to be honest. It was my first “real” watch so it’s not going for sale anytime soon. I still kept all the original parts.
After that I bought a ceramic Rado and then that escalated into a series of watches I bought and sold in a matter of 1 year, from a Zenith Rainbow, Vacheron Constantin 85180, Audemars Piguet 15300ST black dial and more…
What’s your ultimate grail watch?
That’s the most stressful question you could ask. It changes every year.
I can narrow it down to the independents and Ulysse Nardin, but there are just so many watches I want to buy and I can’t decide. Having just one ‘perfect’ watch would make life so much easier.
A few that come to mind are Romain Gauthier Logical One, Ulysse Nardin Freak, a double or triple axis Tourbillon like the Twin Turbo from JCO or the Vianney Halter Deep Space, MB&F Legacy Machines, URWERK UR-110, a nice piece unique minute repeater from Christophe Claret, Vianney Halter Antiqua, De Bethune DB28 and many many more. All independent, interesting and just overall special watches.
My Instagram page is a nice mirror of the type of watches I like the most and I’d love to own. The collections of @santa_laura, @dubaiwatchclub and @horonation are ones I aspire to and it takes a lot of smart and hard work to get there, so we better get going!
What an interesting guy. People with a real passion for independent brands aren’t very common these days. Make sure to follow him, he is always up to something big!