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'In Time' With Watch Connoisseur - Farzad Khan



1)     Tell us about yourself.

I am a young Horologist Studying at University of British Columbia, and so I basically live in Canada. I’ve been running my startups in Bangladesh for a long time. I actually also started my company in 2015, it is called Prestige Motors, haha!

So, I’ve been selling cars, car parts, and other things related to automobiles to all sorts of clients. I’ve worked with some of the ministries as well. And on top of that, I’m involved in my family business which is manufacturing electronics and garments.

Other than these, to fuel my passion for watches or other expensive things, I’ve actually been fixated on building my career so that I can fund myself. I’ve been getting new-time pieces, or vintage-time pieces, or any sort of time-pieces that I possibly can.



2)     When did you start developing an interest in watches?

I distinctively remember when it happened.

When I was 5-6, we went on a family trip to Dubai. I walked into a very big watch store, which I think was in Dubai Mall, and I remember my dad picking up one of his watches from there. And, I sat there, being mesmerized by how nice the watches looked.

The seller, who had been trading watches to my dad for 10-15 years, came to me and said “One of these days, all the watches that your dad buys will be yours.” And that sparked this endless interest in watches in general. And I feel that is one of the integral point in my watch-collecting journey.

I wear watches that range from $200 to high $30,000s. And I’ve acquired a very large number of them from my family – I’ve inherited a lot of them. The watches I wear tell a lot more about me than anything else in my life.



3)     Could you tell us about a story behind your watches?

My daily watches are basically functional watches. For example, I’m wearing a Rolex Submariner right now which were initially made for people in the army or who work for the government. And, so the whole idea of these expensive watches represent their history, getting richer over the course of time. And that’s what drives me towards them because I feel like I’m a part of history that’s already been made as well the history that is being made as we speak.



4)     What was the 1st watch that you purchased? Do you still have it?

I do have it. I bought it in 2010-2011 and even though it wasn’t very expensive, I had to save up for 2 Eids to buy it and I went on a family trip to USA where I told my dad that I wanted to buy it. He insisted on buying it for me but I was adamant to buy it for myself.

The watch is very similar to ‘GMT Pepsi’ of the Rolex Submariners with the colors red and blue, but it’s made by a brand called ‘Charles Hubert’. It’s a Lexus edition – they basically partnered up with the car brand Lexus many years ago to launch it. The first time I saw it, I knew I had to have it. I didn’t have a Rolex back then and I always wanted one.

I’m just very passionate about time-pieces mostly because my grandfather was a collector, and my dad still is. So, I guess I just grew into loving it. And I’m really grateful because a large portion of what I’ve been earning has been invested in watches, because of which I don’t have spare funds to invest in something that may not be good for me, at least at my age.



5)     Could you tell us about the 1st watch that you inherited like you said?

That one was what triggered my “addiction” to Swiss watches – The Black Submariner.

The one I’m wearing is a Blue Bezel Two Tone Gold Submariner and the one I showed earlier was a Plain Stainless Steel Black Submariner. And if you look at all kinds of successful people and leaders, you’ll see this Black on Silver Submariner as their go-to watch.

And one of the reasons why I’m so drawn to it is when I got this watch from my father, I got to know that he saved this for me ever since 2006 – he bought it in 2005. So, he saved it for all those years just so I could have it on my 13th/14th birthday.

It’s also priceless because my dad and I wear similar, and even same, watches and we can match every now and then which gives me the feeling of being more connected to my family.



6)     Do you collect watches according to a certain theme or style?

I do actually. I’m slightly obsessed with sport watches which is why I wear a lot of watches that have the Oyster Strap or Jubilee Strap, But sometimes a rubber strap too.. I basically focus on the strap more than the body itself. What happens is I’d look at a watch and I’d like its face and everything, but if it’s not comfortable to wear, even if it’s a very classy watch, I probably won’t wear it.

So I always go for straps that I feel comfortable wearing regardless of the watch being made of stainless steel, gold, platinum, or whatever it is.



7)     Do you have an era of watches that your collection is focused on?

The era that I’d say is the most significant, at least in my perspective, is the Preceramic Era of Rolexes – which is basically the ones that I wear. Up until 2007-2008, the watch bezels were not made of ceramic. And I feel all the bezels of that time had a certain thickness or width which looks best on anybody’s wrist. Even though I own some of the newer versions, I still enjoy wearing the vintage ones as they are lighter and feel better than the current watches.



8)     How do you choose which watches to buy?

You know the phrase, “love at first sight”? So the way watches work is that you lay your eyes on it and you either like it or you don’t. If you like it, you’ll love it, and if you don’t, you’ll immediately want to move on to see what else is in store.

So, if a watch doesn’t stand out to you instantly, you should find something else. But to me, that “love at first sight” kind of a thing works significantly more – which is definitely a problem, haha!



9)     Tell us something about your collection.

I won’t disclose how many watches I have but I wear around 18 of them. I bought maybe 5/6 of them but the rest were acquired from my family. Most of them have rose-gold bodies, which I really prefer, and there’s a few white golds, stainless and platinum. But my go-to watch of all time would probably be a 2-toned watch of any kind of any brand. That’s why I’m so comfortable with wearing my submariners.

When Asian people with a slighter darker complexion wear gold watches, it seems okay to me yet a little overpowering. It’s not too flashy and the idea of it going with our skin-tone is actually what interests me most.

I’ll probably wear my sport watches to express functionality and I’ll wear the more expensive ones for formal gatherings or events.



10)  How do you take care of your watches?

First thing’s first – get your watch insured. Insurance on it is the best investment one can ever make. Every time I go back to Canada, I take back my 10-watch case to leave at the bank there. Since I have all the paperwork of my watches, the bank immediately calculates their current value and gives me an insurance on that.

Other than that, when my watches are in Bangladesh, I put them in a locker, because I don’t trust my home to be safe enough for them, and you don’t want something so priceless to be destroyed. And if you keep them at a bank and something goes wrong, the bank is responsible for it and will pay you back in an alternative way.

So, I’d say that if you own any watch worth more than $4000-$5000, you should get them insured. Sometimes you can get global insurance, where it extends from UK to America, or Bangladesh, or some other region. Being able to sleep at night knowing that your precious things are secure is the best feeling.

And the second thing I would say is to clean them. I know so many people who have nice watches, but they don’t clean them, at all! It's as simple as it gets.

Having a watch is like having a baby. You need to take care of it, you need to be emotionally attached to it, because then you can feel every dent, every scratch on it. You spent so much of your time and wealth to buy one, you should value it properly.



11)  If you could pick only 3 watches to wear for the rest of your life, which ones would you choose and why?

I actually carry a 3-watch case that was gifted to me from Audi Dhaka, I carry it with me wherever I go. I carry 3 watches in that and wear another 1, and so no matter where I am in the world, I’ll always have 4 watches with me.

So, when travelling, I take 3 Submariners and 1 Yacht-Master. But since I live in Canada, I take back my Rolex, my Patek, and my Hublot, and I always carry an extra watch for working out or something, which is usually not an expensive one that I know I won’t complain about if gets abused.

I actually grew up watching my dad using these same watches and I’ve always wondered what it’d be like if I could wear them someday. And now that I have them, even though I have much more expensive ones, these mean the most to me.

I feel that when I’m travelling to different parts of the world, even if I’m on a 6-7hour long drive away from Dhaka, I’d always think of them while packing my suitcase.



12)  What is your favorite brand? And where do you like buying watches from?

I’d say that my favorite place to buy watches from would be Singapore as my family’s watch dealer is there. Cortina Watches has been selling different selections of watches to my family for as long as I can remember.

And I’d say that my go-to brand is probably Rolex amongst all other brands of course. I really respect a lot of other brands, I wear a lot of other brands, but at the end of the day, my go-to watch has to be a Rolex as it makes me feel a lot more confident about myself when I wear one.



13)  What are the watches you’re planning to buy next?

I’m currently investing in a Rolex Submariner Hulk with a ceramic bezel and a green inner & outer face. What Rolex does is that they create a wide range of watches, including GMTs and Submariners, with different bezels and different colors – which are pretty unique.

So I’ve been in the waitlist for 8-9 months now and I’m saving money to buy one so that when I get the call that I can go and buy it, I can pull the plug instantly.

I was thinking of getting a Jaeger LeCoultre - Reverso. But I realized that I should fulfill my hunger for sport watches first before I get into dress watches.



14)  Apart from collecting watches, do you have any hobbies?

My other hobbies kind of align with the line of work that I’m in. I really like cars and I’ve been collecting cars here and there, whether it’s a vintage car or a newly-launched car, which sort of fueled the passion to be in the trade itself. If it’s something that I lay my eyes on and like, I must get it no matter what the circumstances are.

I feel like the clients that come to me understand that. I’m a pretty young fellow, at least in this trade, amongst people who’ve been in it for the longest time. And so when clients meet me, they understand that it’s not my bread and butter but my passion. Ultimately that helps me fuel my “addiction” to watches and cars and also helps me to stay in the trade.





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