What started as a simple ‘Follow Back’ on the ‘Gram’ has now turned into a friendship with a fine Irish gentleman that calls London his home. With an eye for photography, a passion for the good life and a real addiction to Goyard and Mount Street Shoe Company loafers comes @APKStyle. After finally meeting in person this friendly Londoner at the Hotel Les Trois Rois during Baselworld 2018, all we can say is that his content on Instagram is not ‘smoke and mirrors’ but the real deal. Despite @APKStyle has been collecting watches for a relatively short period of time —unlike other watch collectors we’ve featured— his passion for watches seems to have no boundaries.
Now, you’ll hear straight from him all that he wants to share about this amazing hobby that brought us together in the first place.
When Did You Start Collecting Watches?
I guess I’ve been collecting watches since I was in primary school. I still remember the first watch I bought with my own pocket money. It was a Gladiator —90s UK TV show— themed watch with a digital and analog display and all I can recall is that it was simply awesome. I wore it everywhere. Back then, I bought as many watches as I could afford and I bought what I liked. Fortunately this is something I have tried to stay true to in the way I collect watches.
How Long Have You Been Watch Collecting?
I started ‘properly’ collecting about 5 years ago. That’s not to say that I bought my first nice watch back then though. I am now 32 years old but when I was 21, I remember GQ had loads of advertisements for the Raymond Weil Don Giovanni in rose gold, and I fell in love with it. I would look at pictures of that particular watch everywhere. I think I even used to cut out pictures of the watch and keep them during the pre-Instagram era. To say I was over the moon when my parents presented it to me on my 21st birthday is an understatement, to say the least. I don’t post that watch much on Instagram, but it is very special to me and I tend to wear it mostly for special dinners with my fiancé, or during family celebrations.
What are Your Favorite Brands?
I really like independent brands, but I think if I had to buy only one brand for the rest of my life, it would be Patek Philippe. While I also love Rolex and Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe is one of my favorite brands purely because I don’t have one yet. I’d like to add an Aquanaut Travel Time ref. 5164A to my collection as I think it straddles the casual and classy lines very well. Another brand that I like is Czapek as they also make some fantastic watches. I particularly love their dials and I’ve been lucky enough to have played with a few. To me Czapek is one of those brands where ‘if you know, you know’. I also like Magellan, which is a very ‘under the radar’ brand I currently own —see picture below.
Which of Your Watches Do You Consider Special and Why?
I consider my Raymond Weil very special for sentimental reasons. I will never sell it, never, not even if I am going through the process of trying to fund my grail watch. My Rolex GMT Master II ref. 116710LN is also very special to me as it marks a career milestone and since owning it, I have done so much with that watch on my wrist. There are so many memories attached to it. This GMT Master is the first watch that goes inside my watch roll when I travel.
Can You List the Brands and Watches You’ve Owned In your Watch Collecting Journey?
During these five years, I’ve owned approximately eleven different watches. That number includes some that I still own. While the list is not really long, there are some very special pieces in there: Raymond Weil Don Giovanni, SevenFriday P1, SevenFriday Woody, SevenFriday RocketByz, Frederique Constant Worldtimer, Frederique Constant Chronograph Flyback, Tudor Black Bay Bronze, Magellan Northern Hemisphere GMT, Rolex GMT Master II ref. 116710LN, Panerai Luminor Marina and an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time ref. 26120OR.
Why Do You Buy Certain Brands and Watches?
I’ve always bought a watch because I thought it was cool. First and foremost, if I like it and I can afford it, I buy it. I’ve recently tried to curtail my buying behavior and be patient for a bigger purchase. Irrespective of brand, I tend to have been drawn to rose gold watches and DualTime/GMT/WorldTime functions. I love playing with my Frederique Constant Worldtimer, as all the functions are controlled via the crown, unlike many other worldtimers that require a pusher. For under £5K, it’s a great piece of micro-engineering.
Generally, the love of the watch should be the main driver in your mind when buying a watch, whether it’s a £1,000 of a £30,000 watch. Therefore, I still love my Seven Friday P1 dearly, even though it’s the ‘cheapest’ in my collection.
Only once, I think I’ve bought a watch with the mindset of potentially selling it at a profit in the future. Not anymore!
Which is Your Grail Watch you Wish to Own One Day?
My all time grail is the Greubel Forsey GMT in rose gold. I remember the first time I saw it, I fell in love with it instantly. I love GMTs, dual times and worldtimers but for me, the real beauty of the Greubel Forsey GMT is in its spherical globe at 8 o’clock.
I remember how I used to detour on my way home past Marcus Watches on Old Bond Street to look at it in the window. The detail and finishing is out of this world. In my opinion it’s a true masterpiece. I also lust after a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph ref. 5970R and a A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Lumen. I’d say those three watches would make up my grail list.
How Many Times Do You Switch Watches During The Day?
During a work day, I don’t really change my watch after I put it on in the morning. On the weekend, I’ve been known to change maybe twice during the day and while on holiday, maybe up to three times. It really depends entirely on what I am doing that day. If I’m going for a swim, or doing something relatively active, I won’t be wearing a precious metal watch, but if I’m going out for dinner after said activity, I will almost certainly switch up to something a bit more fancy.
If You Had to Keep and Wear Only One Watch From Your Current Collection to Wear for the Rest of Your Life, Which One Would That Be?
This is such a tough question and one I have asked my fiancé on a few occasions —she happens to have a better watch collection than mine. It would be a very close call between my Rolex GMT Master II ref. 116710LN and my Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time ref. 26120OR as both are Dual Time complications which is my favorite complication of all. But if I really had to choose between the two, I think the Rolex might be it for durability reasons. This is a watch that can be worn in shorts and a t-shirt, just as easily as it can be worn with a suit and tie.