Interview with Blake Drayson
Time for another interview. This time with Blake Drayson, founder, and owner of TickTalk. TickTalk is a blog about collecting watches and mainly from a beginner’s perspective.
How did your love for vintage watches come to be?
My watch collection started with an unexpected birthday present from my fiancé, she wanted to buy me a watch but did not know what I would like. The process of thinking about looking at and eventually purchasing a watch ignited something in me and drove me to start collecting and then writing about the subject.
My watch collecting habits up to this point haven’t been driven specifically by a love of vintage watches. I’m new to collecting and I certainly do appreciate and enjoy vintage watches, but it’s not exclusive. The most recent memorable exposure to a prestigious collection of vintage watches that did have a big impact on me was at the Patek Philippe – Grand Exhibition in London last year. There was, as you would expect, some outstanding vintage pieces, transported from their museum in Switzerland.
How is your collection made up?
My collection is small but reasonably broad. It’s most definitely placed in the affordable section of watch collecting. There are no real vintage watches to speak of currently in my collection, but there are certainly pieces that take direct inspiration from classic vintage watches.
The collection started with a Citizen Eco-Drive and ranges from a selection of Casio digital watches through to a Christopher Ward C70. There are several Rotary watches including one with special sentimental value (given to me by my now departed Grandmother on my 18th) and a peppering of Russian Vostok watches. It’s roughly half and half with mechanical and quartz watches.
Currently, what is the watch you love to wear the most?
That’s a tough one! Day to day I normally swap between my Christopher Ward C70 Brooklands and my Citizen Eco-Drive Endeavor. However, I really love the most recent Rotary watch in my collection, the Les Originals Tradition, so that has been getting a larger outing than usual.
What is your vintage watch top 3?
1. Rolex Submariner 6538
2. Heuer Monaco
3. Scubapro 500
What is your grail watch?
Rolex Submariner Date (116610LV) without a doubt. It’s just something that speaks to me and the green on green is just outstanding. It’s a horribly predictable choice, it’s nothing out there or wacky and it probably shows a lack of imagination but sometimes watches have a way of getting under your skin. It’s also realistically obtainable at some point in time. I do plan to own it, just maybe not this year or next!
What is the watch that is now on the wish list but you’ll eventually own it?
Excluding the Rolex, which is a longer term plan, I have a hankering for a Tudor – Heritage Black Bay (79220R). The combination of the aged strap and the red ceramic surround is pure perfection. Alongside the Tudor I do want to own an Omega Seamaster Professional. I suspect that would be pre-owned rather than new. It has always been on the list since James Bond sported them, in fact that may also explain the Tudor and Rolex choices.
If you’d start over, what would you do differently?
Buy fewer watches and plan a lot more than I did. My collecting exploded out of one watch purchase and wasn’t really planned in any way. In hindsight, it would have been better to have had more of a plan. That said, I think my purchases have helped me figure out what I like and dislike from a watch.
What is the next brand that will go through the roof price wise?
I couldn’t tell you. I’m far too new to watch collecting to give any kind of prediction.
Do you have any tips for starting collectors?
Yes, my big, big, big tip, that is at the heart of my collecting is ‘Buy what you love’. I know you can collect to see your collection appreciate and to flip and make a profit but for me, and hopefully for any new collectors, there should be passion. A passion that comes from owning or trying to own pieces that you’ll love and enjoy every time you wear them. Now, a little planning never goes a miss, so try and physically see as many pieces as you can. If only to find what you don’t like.
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