GQ’s New Watch Columnist, Hind Seddiqi, Traces The Story Of Her Love For Horology
One day, when I was about 12 years old, my father returned to our home in Jumeriah with a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch. He held it in his hands, showing us how he could flip and turn it. My little mind was blown away: how can a watch do that? The model was created to stand up to the hazards of the polo field – ensuring that the precious crystal was protected during the game. I can’t imagine that those polo players were any more fascinated by the design than I was.
Later that night, I snuck into my father’s room, opened the drawer, and tried to reverse the watch on my own. I had to. I was so curious. A watch like that sets off fireworks in your brain. And, in my case, it set off a lifelong journey into horology.
Today, when I see a movement that I love, I still get the same excitement and fireworks. How could you not? Watches are amongst the rarest, most exciting, most dynamic objects on planet earth – they’re my passion, my job, my hobby. And I want them to be one of yours.
My hope is that, on these pages, as GQ’s watch columnist, I can draw your attention to the models, movements, breakthroughs and timeless pieces that should be on your mind. I had the fortune of growing up in a household that obsessed over watches – my family were my watch mentors. Family gatherings were spent talking about new movements or bringing new models into the UAE. And the more you learn about watches, the more they seduce you. When he returned from business trips to Switzerland, my father would bring us little gifts. One day, he brought me back my first watch: a Flik Flak. Years later, I graduated from school and added a Rolex Datejust gold to my collection. In that sense, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – you can see a Rolex on my father’s left wrist, without fail, every day.
I have to give the credit to my cousin, Mohammed: he’s our company’s chief commercial officer. He’s our watch geek – he’s the nerd. And he’s always been the person who teaches us. I remember when I first joined the business, we headed to Switzerland to visit factories and see how the brands function. Going to the factories was mind-blowing. I thought I loved watches, but you can’t begin to appreciate those timepieces until you start to appreciate the people spending hours and hours creating them.
That’s when I started taking clients to the factories in Geneva. The experience affects us. It’s mesmerising.
I own more than a few men’s watches. I’ve always been drawn to them. Growing up, I opted for men’s watches more than women’s – my Bovet Jumping Hours is one of my most treasured pieces in my collection. You see, watch brands never used to create a lot of complicated mechanical movements for women. No, it was the pretty and trendy pieces that were marketed towards women. The brilliant mechanical creations were usually reserved for men. I’m glad to see that trend is changing, because everyone deserves to collect a watch they admire. Watches are, I always say, a brilliant investment. They track time and create time. They’re easy to store, easy to maintain. They hold or increase their value. I always say we’re smarter than car collectors, if only because watches are, you know, way easier to stock and maintain. Garages can only hold so much. And there’s a reason why the pre-owned watch market is worth around $16 billion, according to some estimates: they’re amongst the greatest storytellers in the world. Every single watch has a memory, and a story. Just the same way that a scent can take us back to a time and place, our timepieces carry with them our successes and desires, our families and our futures. So, let’s make some new stories together, shall we?
Chronomètre à Résonance calibre 1499.3, price on request, F.P. Journe
Right now, this F.P. Journe is my latest obsession. François-Paul creates watches that are, at first glance, so simple. But the deeper you look, the more sophistication you find. The movements are remarkable (the Élégante is on my wrist every time I travel). The complexity of this mechanical watch – and its use of resonance – makes it as wild and brilliant as any model out there. Collect this not because you saw someone you admire wearing it, collect it because you really appreciate watchmaking.