Interview With Martin Lee
Some, do I dare say the majority, don’t have the means to jump in at the vintage Rolex, Heuer, Universal Geneve etc. side of the market. That’s why I decided to interview “regular guys”. Collectors or watch nuts just like you and me. This is the very first interview and it’s with Martin Lee from the UK. Someone who loves his vintage watches (and razors) and is a serious Roamer collector.
How did your love for vintage watches come to be?
I was initially looking at vintage Gillette razors for sale on eBay when I clicked on sellers other items and saw a nice old watch. As my cheap quartz Pulsar had recently stopped working I thought I would try a vintage watch as I`d enjoy using the vintage razors so much.
How is your collection made up?
My collection is mostly Swiss vintage mechanicals (manual and auto`s) from the early 1920`s through to early 1970`s.I also have some modern mechanicals from Hamilton, Seiko and Orient.Main vintage brand collected is Roamer but also have Tissot,Eterna, Helvetia ,Cyma, Fortis and Buren.One or two modern quartz also.
Currently, what is the watch you love to wear the most?
My favorite watch at the moment is a Roamer chronometre from the late 1950`s. Nice large size, handsome watch and got it at a very good price as it needed work.
What is your vintage watch top 3?
I don`t really have a top 3 specific watches but I would like to add some pieces by Longines, Omega and possibly Rolex at some point.
What is your grail watch?
My grail watch at the moment would probably be a nice vintage Swiss chronograph from the 1940s/1950s. No particular brand at the moment.
What is the watch that is now on the wishlist but you’ll eventually own it?
I`m currently looking for a chunky 70s Roamer diver chronograph.
If you’d start over, what would you do differently?
Probably narrow my collecting field slightly. There are so many great watches from many good eras/brands that it`s quite difficult.
What is the next brand that will go through the roof price wise?
Who knows? It can just take one or two articles in a magazine or on a blog to spark interest in a brand and start prices rising. Enicar springs to mind recently but many different brands have just one or two “iconic” models that are always sought after.As new release versions of classic vintage models come out this can also spark interest in the originals:Hamilton militaries, Tissot PRS 516 reissues, Eterna Kon tiki’s etc.
Do you have any tips for starting collectors?
Collect what you enjoy wearing,don`t go buying expensive brands until you’re a bit more knowledgeable about both the brands and the sellers.If you’re collecting smaller brands, consider the availability of spares or donors to keep your watches running. Find a good local watchmaker too.