I recently asked anyone who follows me to send in some questions about anything. It was a lot of fun answering these questions, especially about photography and watch collecting. I hope you enjoy and I plan on doing this again in the future.
What kind of lighting/camera do I use?
I use a Nikon D750 and primarily a Sigma 105mm 2.8 macro lens for watches. My lighting varies from shot to shot depending on what I am trying to accomplish. I always have Interfit Honey Badgers out. The ability to switch between using them as a flash unit or constant lighting is a great benefit, especially if I am experimenting with the light. I also have a couple simple softboxes with LED lights that I got from amazon. They are great for “flecto.” I also have 2 Yonuogo wireless LED bar lights. The light bars are excellent for when wires get in the way as they use a battery pack. They can also be switched to RGB mode and I can create almost any color light with them. They are a lot of fun when I want to get creative with different color ambient lighting.
Do you believe a “one watch” is truly possible?
The idea of only having one watch sounds amazing. The simplicity of knowing what watch you will wear every day to every occasion certainly has an appeal. You always hear stories of someone’s Dad or Grandfather and the watch they “always wore.” While that sounds great on paper, I don’t think I could ever do it. If I was ignorant to all the different watches that exist, I might be able to pull that off, but I am too lustful towards all the other watches out there. I think I would have more fun debating what watch could be “the one” if you forced to. If I had to choose one out of my current collection, it would most likely be the Oris Aquis. The only real reason I would choose it over my Speedmaster as a one watch is its water resistance rating.
Favorite kind of strap and why?
Nothing will ever beat a bracelet for me. If I have the option, I love having a bracelet on my watch. Some watches don’t come with one and I will try and find a bracelet to go with it. The most recent example being my Brew Retrograph. With that said, I don’t consider bracelets “straps.” My favorite type of strap are single pass leather straps. I didn’t discover how awesome they were until recently. NATO straps don’t do it for me whatsoever. I think they look cheap and bulky. I know I am most likely in the minority with that opinion, but it brings to my why I love single pass leather so much. They have all the convenience and security of a NATO but have the great looks of leather straps. They also eliminate the problem some watches of an awkward case gap with 2-piece straps. I only have a couple of them right now, but I plan on adding more in the near future.
What watch will never leave the collection?
Two watches will never leave my collection. My Oris Aquis and Omega Speedmaster. Both were gifts from my wife and hold more sentimental value than any other objects I own. I often say that one of the greatest gifts a man can get is a watch. There is something special about receiving a watch as a gift, especially when it comes from someone you love. They are objects you can have for your entire life and have them handed down multiple generations. While I get a lot of joy out of watches, I have bought myself, they don’t hold the same value in my heart as those two watches. Maybe I should buy a watch for myself to celebrate a special occasion.
What sparked the #sideswipe?
It started with the white dial Sinn 104. I wanted to do a reveal. Usually everyone does the wrist roll and those usually drive me kind of nuts because everyone goes too slow. I slid my watch out from the sleeve of my sweater and thought it looked smooth as hell! I started doing it more often and my wife came up with the name. After that, it started catching on. It’s always fun to see someone do one.
Any recommendations for those of us that aspire to take good pictures?
Never devalue your work. I see a lot of people, whether its in the watch community or not, say their pictures aren’t good enough. I think that is a mistake. If you took the time to think about how you wanted to take that picture, you should be proud of it.
I would also recommend reading up on general photography composition. There are a lot of rules, like the “rule of thirds” that are great to start out with to get your mind thinking in a photographic way. Once you get some of that down, it all starts to come second nature and you can bend and break the rules however you want.
Get inspiration from other photographers. Even if you want to take only watch photos, find some other subjects you like as well to get inspiration from. You would be surprised how a landscape or another product photograph can inspire you to create something unique.
One thing I started doing recently that has greatly helped me own photography is to experiment after I think I have “the shot.” I will get my shot setup how I want it and take my picture. This way if I experiment and don’t like the results, I always have my original. Once I have the original shot, I will start playing with lighting, props, etc. I’ve worked my way into some great shots by doing this. It gives me a chance to play around without risking a shot.
Anything you sold and really regretted?
The only watch I regretted selling was the Oris Big Crown ProPilot gray dial. The sunburst gray dial with the knurled bezel was just beautiful. I had it earlier in my watch obsession and was more into flipping. I sold it and regretted selling it a couple months later when I started seeing pictures of it again. One of the main reasons I sold it was because I thought I wanted the black dial version. I rebought the watch a few months down the road but got the black dial version this time. It wasn’t until I owned the black dial one for a couple weeks that I realized the gray dial version was my favorite of the two. The gray dial version had more polished surfaces and was a unique piece compared to the black dial version. I haven’t rebought the gray dial version again, but you never know.
Can we make a trade?
I’m always open to trade offers except for the Aquis and the Speedmaster
How long you have been collecting watches? What got you into it?
I’ve only been collecting mechanical watches for about 2 years. Ever since I was a kid, I always wore a watch. I never realized the world of mechanical watches exists like it does today until recently. Part of me always wonders what my collection would be like if I knew what I know now when I was younger. I recommend checking out my watch story posts if you want to know more.