Interview with Nicholas, aka @chronoanthology on Instagram. - Whatʼs Your Watch Story?
Hi there, could you give a brief introduction of yourself? What do you think of the watch scene now?
I am Nicholas Teo. I am an Assistant Professor at Singapore Institute of Technology. My Instagram handle is @chronoanthology. I have always appreciated watches for their design and engineering. I only started my luxury watch journey this year, but I have been lucky to meet many collectors in the community. These collectors have exposed me to different brands, movements and models. There are many potential timepieces that can be added to a collection that fit different budgets. I think that every watch offers a different value for different collectors. There are the highly sought-after pieces that everyone is chasing. But just like everyone is different all watch collection journeys are different too. As collectors it is nice to see an appreciation for a variety of brands and models.
How did the passion for luxury watches come about and what is it about watches that draws you to them?
Because my journey with luxury watches is fairly new, I would say I am learning through my purchases too. I have to think and consider if I will wear them or if I am getting them at a reasonable price. Every time I see a new watch I am intrigued by it, but I have to take time to research into the brand and the watch to make an informed decision. This is a whole experience from researching to trying on the watch and even to buying straps for the watch. My background is in design and as I teach and practice as a designer part of my job is to understand what drives customer and user experience. I see that there are parallels between design and watch collecting. I also appreciate that buy watches is an experience in itself, there is a journey and these resonate with me as a design anthropologist. These are all the facets of watch collecting that really gives me a passion for it. At the end of the day I want to know that I will be wearing the watch and it will not just sit in the drawer.
Tell us more about your very first luxury watch story. How did you come to own that piece?
My first piece is an Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Chronograph I have always loved diver watches. And at that point I was looking for an alternative to the Rolex watches. It was a cheaper option and it was something I could go to the store to get. Not many people in the watch community that I am part of own this series and whenever I see someone with a Seamaster Diver I get quite excited. This is a sentimental piece to me and I hope to have the Seamaster as my own small family heirloom and heritage, to signify the first luxury watch in the family which will be passed on to the next generation. My perspective on watches is not always tied to the scarcity or the value but more to the stories and the design of the watches.
Let’s talk about your watch collection. What is your favorite watch in your collection and could you tell us the significance of it? Was it a milestone acquisition or does it have sentimental value?
I think from my own naïve sentimental significance of the watch the Seamaster will be one of the watches. I have a Tudor Pelagos which is a great daily wear because of its clarity and comfort. I have my Casio’s for more rugged activities too. But for me the favorite piece (currently) has to be the Girard Perregaux Laureato Chronograph. The panda face to me is the most unique piece in my collection. The details on the dial, the everchanging blue on the hands and indices as well as the history behind the brand is what drew me to this piece. When I tell people what I do I get funny looks because of my dressed down style but the relaxed style that I have really allows me to play around with my looks and pair the watches to my outfit. I guess that’s because I am a designer. Being a creative I can always break boundaries in the things that I do.
What will your next watch acquisition be?
Currently I am pondering between a Grand Seiko and a Panerai. The Grand Seiko I have been eyeing is a Spring Drive. The movement is an amazing advancement in technology and I do have too many divers in my collection so some variety will be good. As for the Panerai I was looking at the Destro PAM 557. A basic entry to the Panerai game that has the sandwich dial and the hand winding movement.I prefer the 557 to the 372 because it is a left hand crown. As you know the Panerai crowns are quite big and having the left one will be more comfortable to me. Out of the two I am still thinking which one will come next. Maybe if I see a good deal it will come quicker than expected.
Apart from his full time job, Nicholas also runs a podcast/talkshow on how design elements is connected to the world around us. Do check it out through the links below.