Meet Tolga Aktas

Meet Tolga Aktas

3 min read
Richard Brown
Richard Brown

This extraordinary feature is designed to introduce you to one of our new special guest authors who will be doing great work over the next year for the WatchGecko Magazine. We’ll leave you with the gentleman himself to do the intro: 

My name is Tolga Aktas, and I’m a conservation biologist, writer, and photojournalist based in The Cotswolds of Gloucestershire. My main interests range between conservation biology, ecology, rewilding, human population growth, and global food security, and I try my best to promote my areas of interest to the wider members of the public through creative writing, photography and my accounts on social media. 

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by watches. My father often came home with a new watch when I was a kid, and he would show me what made this one special and why he purchased it. I never knew much back then with regards to a technical standard or what watch brands were good ones, but nevertheless seeing the various kinds of watches in all the sizes, colours, and functions were pretty cool to be honest. Now that I know a little more about watches and could treat myself to some every now and again, it has certainly become a little addiction more than a hobby. 

I am not sure when it happened exactly, but I have found myself really fascinated with field watches and especially the kinds that are well-engineered and truly built to withstand any adventure. Almost all my watches in my collection have some field ties to them and that is what I look for most, especially for what I do with my career as a conservation biologist and photojournalist. I recall back in July 2018 when I flew out to South Africa to work with endangered species of wildlife including the: African wild dog, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino (both black and white), Vulture, and Cheetah. So, it was important for me to have timepieces that I didn’t mind getting dirty, knocked about on my travels, and something that was just robust enough to handle whatever my journey could throw at it. I travelled back to South Africa again the following year to work with the wild dogs and Lions again for my university thesis, and straight after that flew over to Borneo on a university field trip to experience and learn about the ecology on that island. Travelling around the world with my watches made me really appreciate the time and detail that goes into timepieces themselves, and I was grateful to have faithful companions on each of my journeys. 

Like so many people my adventures started with a venerable Casio G-Shock. I selected a model GE-7900b-1ER. The following trip to South Africa I went semi-analogue and evolved to Casio’s outdoor brand Protrek with the highly capable PRW-6100Y-1. It was later that my “classic” field watch interest began and I moved away from polymer/digital. I have recently been travelling with an excellent Marloe Haskell Field Standard and a ubiquitous Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical, both of which WatchGecko Magazine have reviewed.

As of now, I am sporting a new model. Back in September 2022, Geckota provided me with a great opportunity to test out the new Sierra Zero One Phalanx Special Operation watch on my current travels to Arizona in the United States and Mexico. Fully kitted out with a variety of straps, it is by far my robust timepiece to date and I am looking forward to sharing what I got up to with the Phalanx watch on my trip. 

Please tune in to the next article series to find out how my trip went.

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Richard Brown

About the Author: Richard Brown

I truly believe one of the best partners in exploration and adventure is a fine watch. Over 30 years of collecting, my fascination with the technical capabilities of both vintage and modern timepieces has never abated and it is a privilege to be able to share this passion through writing.

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