On this leg of the Collector’s Series, we find ourselves in Poland. We sit down with one of the country’s foremost watch experts, Lukasz Doskocz (from chronos24.pl), to find out why he fell for an über cool Tudor. Lukasz describes himself as a ‘yet-to-be developed’ collector with interests in unusual, avant-garde creations as well as classic, timeless icons, like the Tudor Heritage Chrono Ref. 70330N you’ll discover below. He has a passion about all things handcrafted and non-electronic, which means an Apple Watch is a big NO!
Born and raised in Warsaw, Lukasz studied mechanical engineering, but quickly came to the realization that it wasn’t what he wanted to pursue in his working life. He is a graphic and web designer turned journalist. With a passion for all things hand-crafted and non-electronic, he co-founded chronos24.pl 6 years ago – which has now grown to become the largest, Polish specific platform dedicated to watchmaking. He is proud to be both Editor in chief at Chronos24 as well as a contributor to number of other print and online publications, including Esquire, Playboy and Mercedes Magazine.
When did you first get into watches?
Some good decades ago. First it was pure pleasure of admiring through the display windows. Later my passion turned to work, when we started chronos24.pl. I always liked well crafted objects and since I am not a fan of digital gadgets, mechanical watches were quite an obvious choice. Looking back it fascinated me to see how my taste has evolved. It went from big, chunky pieces and watches for 1000CHF that seemed like a high end watch all the way to classic, timeless (I hate that word) watches with history, pedigree and quite sober looks and size. Watchmaking has many faces, different and very complex at times, and that’s what makes being part of this world so much fun. But I guess you at Monochrome know that well too.
What drew you to Tudor as a brand?
Few things. I respect the Heritage and the Rolex connection, which guarantees certain level of quality. I like the people behind the brand – they are friendly and seem passionate about their work and reviving good-old Tudor. Most of all, of course, it were the watches – the Heritage line that so beautifully combined the old with the new, keeping the old aesthetics with contemporary execution and affordable price tag. All in all it somehow spoke to me more than any other company out there.
Why the Tudor Heritage Chrono Ref. 70330N?
It was love from the first sight (pun intended). Since I first saw it at Basel 2010 I knew I will have it on my own wrist. The commercial video with Creedence Clearwater Revival soundtrack and 1967 Porsche 910 supercar sealed the deal (and to think I was never susceptible to advertising, go figure). But the thing that stroke me most is the look – brilliant old-school vintage grey dial with two black counters, contrasting orange accents, home plate hour marks (hence the nickname Tudor “Homeplate”) and black aluminium bezel add up to a great, near perfect. I love chronographs and do honestly think this one is up there in the absolute TOP of the best chrono-designs ever.
Did it take some time to track down?
It did take some time to… save for it. It is not an expensive watch by all means (around 3.700 Euro) but still took me good 5 years to hunt it. I pulled the trigger in June this year and I am as happy as the day I picked it up.
When buying, what is more important to you: Brand/model Heritage? Aesthetic? Accuracy? or Rarity?
I love that quote by one of my friend / collector, who once said: “Buy watches, not brands”. Of course the logo on the dial is somewhat important, but all that matters is the piece itself, when you look at it and feel it in your hand. Accuracy is better in any quartz watch, so why bother? (considering it does not run super-fast or slow).
[bctt tweet=”I love that quote by one of my friend / collector, who once said: “Buy watches, not brands””]
Can you tell us more about the movement in this Heritage?
Tudor just only recently introduced their first in-house calibre, so every piece before that (whether vintage or new) used to feature stock ETA movements. The one in Heritage Chrono is an ETA 2892 with a Dubois Depraz chronograph module – automatic, 42h power reserve, quick date set, stop-second. It works and feels as good as it should be, and the story wants that the brand even improved the base calibre.
What is the case material?
Stainless steel, brushed with polished edges. Solid steel caseback. Screwed down crown and chronograph pushers.
How important is the case material to you?
Quite important as it determines both the durability of the watch and the price. Steel for me is an ultimate watchmaking metal – it looks great, it can be beautifully finished, it can easily be restored, it ages nicely, it’s robust and not as expensive as gold, not to mention platinum or those crazy high-tech composites we see this days.
How much wrist time does it get?
Plenty of it, at least when my wrist is free. Being a watch journalist, a lot of different pieces come and go, so every little time I have for my own watches, it goes to the Tudor. I like to wear it and discover all those little details you don’t see at the first glance.
What sort of day/event do you find yourself strapping it on?
Any, except a very formal event or a strict “black tie”. At 42mm it goes well with pretty much everything, from shorts and t-shirt to a casual suit. Steel-on-steel pieces have that quality to match well with a lot of styles.
Do you listen to the advice of anyone before making a purchase?
Of course – there is never too much knowledge to get. Watches are a tricky subject and with so many choices nowadays, you’ll faster get a headache than a clear view of what you want and why you want it.
Is the joy of wearing a watch more important to you than considering resale value?
Absolutely and without a question. First and foremost a watch should make you happy and should be worn on the wrist, where it belongs. Emotions are a fundamental aspect of collecting timepieces, even when they are truly expensive works of art.
What (if anything) have you got your eye on next?
A lot of things, and surprisingly I must say that my taste evolved drastically over time. I would not mind a good old Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch or perhaps even a nice, vintage Rolex – pieces I wouldn’t even look at few years ago.
Can a collector ever be fully satisfied with his/her collection?
Hard to say, but I guess no. There is just too much, and even if you’re collecting Submariners there is always a reference you chase. It is like a never ending, never fully satisfying hunt. Like any noble addiction.
Other than Tudor, which brands do you think are doing interesting work out there?
I have very weak spot for independent (Tudor, btw. should be considered one) and some of them – well, most of them – are doing pretty interesting things – whether we’re talking about design or mechanical innovation. The independents are the ones to follow. Big brands are more reasonable when it comes to true innovations, but look at Audemars Piguet, TAG Heuer, Omega or A. Lange & Söhne and you’ll witness some truly impressive stuff.
When collecting do you think it’s important to stick to a brand or a category (ie. Patek/IWC or aviation/dive ?)
None of those. What’s important is to stick to your passion, to collect what you like. If it happens to be one particular brand or category, so be it.
Is this Tudor a keeper or can you see it leaving your collection one day?
I’d certainly say it’s a keeper… for now. I wanted it long and am happy with it, but who knows. Life works mysteries ways.
What piece of advice would you give to someone considering starting a collection?
Be smart, learn as much as you can and follow your heart.