Episode #9: Watch photography via Scotland - shown on an Instagram feed near you...
When we first starting the little series of ours, we shared how the whole concept was around sharing thoughts, experiences and insights from people who help shape this watch industry. Well, this next guest sees watches quite literally through the lens of a camera. Allan is a photographer of watches and is someone who runs a hugely successful watch Instagram account @thewatchdude2.
Where Allan differs from the plethora of watch accounts out there is how he incorporates the lifestyle around watch ownership and how he expertly injects welcomed personality with every post. Allan is someone I've regularly chatted to about watches for a good few years now and have followed along as his account has gone from strength to strength. If it wasn't already abundantly clear through his photography, his passion for watches runs deep and luckily for you, we get a little bit more of it via his answers below.
1. Let’s start with something everyone is always interested in, what’s on your wrist at the time of writing this?
The watch I am wearing at the moment probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows me on Instagram as it's the Rolex Submariner No Date 124060.
2. What was the first watch you remember that left an impact on you?
The first watch I remember leaving a significant mark on me was the Japanese domestic model Seiko Alpinist SARB017. It was the first watch that properly resonated with me as it was a watch that was initially designed for Japanese mountaineers. With my Dad being a climber I felt a real and deep connection to the watch. Eventually, I ended up gifting the watch to him for his birthday a few years ago which he wears and loves every day.
3. How did you start working in and around watches?
Through photography actually! It's something I have been around and involved with since a very young age. When my passion for watches began to grow I felt it was a good opportunity to mix the two. This has ultimately led to me being able to do it for a living.
Finish the following sentences:
4. The best-kept secret in watches is...
To buy what you love, not what others love.
5. The one watch that got away from me was…
A birth year Rolex Explorer 1016.
6. If I wasn’t working in watches, I’d be working in…
No doubt I’d be working in photography of some sort.
7. What is one thing you think is missing from the watch industry today?
That’s a tough question, I'll have to say better marketing. I feel some brands are only just scratching the surface of the new social media approach to marketing. I think it will be really interesting to see where we are five years from now.
8. Tell us about one watch that took your breath away recently?
Oh, that goes to the Moser Streamliner Matrix Green Central Seconds - incredible!
9. What is your most prized possession in your collection?
I don't just have one, I have three watches that all have significant meaning to me:
First up is my Grand Seiko SBGH267 as it was gifted to me by my Dad for my wedding.
The next is the watch I am wearing right now, the Rolex Submariner No Date 124060. I bought this in 2020 as it was the same year my son was born; this one is for him.
And lastly the Rolex Explorer II 16570 ‘Polar’. This was “the grail” which I was lucky to acquire a few years ago.
These are all watches that have a special place in my heart. But don’t get me wrong, I would sell them in a heartbeat if I needed to put food on the table for my family. At the end of the day, I am very aware they are only watches.
10. Date or no date?
For the weekday, I'll take a date. If it's the weekend I'm going no date.
11. What was your most recent watch purchase?
That goes to the Submariner, again!
12. And the next watch you’ll be adding to your collection?
I'll be honest, I haven’t thought about another watch since getting the Sub. I really don’t have a need for anything at the moment. I would always love to add that 1016 but I think I need a significant lifestyle change for that to happen.
13. What is something you feel passionate about in the world of watches?
The one thing I feel most passionately about in the world of watches is the people who own them. This is my favourite subject when it comes to photography and watches.
14. What is one piece of advice for people out there looking to make it in the world of horology and watches?
One piece of advice to anyone wanting to work in the world of horology is to be aware that it is a business after all. It can be very easy to lose that fire and passion of horology once you cross over from collector/enthusiast to it being a career.
15. Tell us about something you’re working on that is really exciting?
I have been working on a personal photography project of mine called ‘Time’ in which I am capturing people and their connections to the world of horology. Unfortunately due to COVID and current restrictions, this has slowed down the ability to meet people, but hopefully once restrictions ease and it becomes safe to do so I hope to get back to working on this.
We'd like to take this moment to thank Allan for his time and for featuring on 15 Questions With.
To follow along with Allan's journey through watches, be sure to check out his Instagram account @thewatchdude2 right here.