My Collection: Justin Hast
It doesn’t take much to get a watch lover talking about their watches. The history, the design, the story of the case – there’s just so much to love! But in truth, I have never viewed myself as a collector. I seem to have subconsciously shied away from the term, in a failed attempt to pretend that I didn’t have a problem. Well, this might be the first time I have admitted it – but I do. I have a problem, and I love it!
I wake up and think watches and go to bed thinking watches (sad in many ways I know). Questions like: what’s next? Where will I get it from? Is this really me? Will my taste change and is that hand relumed all tend to run through the mind on a daily basis. Now you understand the psyche a little better, here are a few of my favourites in my collection that will be with me forever.
First up, the most underrated military watch around (in my view). A 35mm, British made Smiths W10. When I picked up the watch earlier this year, I was over the moon, and instantly fell for the incredible tritium dial, white central seconds and elegant Smiths logo. The brand went bust many years ago, but in its prime it made for the Army as well as dash instruments for car makers. While mine is from 68, these W10’s tended only to have seen conflict in the Falkland’s in 82, when they were soon after replaced as the final mechanical watch issued to the army. In the Horological Journal of December 1966 it was announced that Smiths Industries in “competition with several other well-known makers of watches” had been awarded a contract to supply watches to the British Government. The article noted that the contract “which was placed by the Ministry of Defence, is for General Service watches for H.M. Armed Forces. Users of the watches will be forces personnel including helicopter pilots, paratroopers and tank crews” . The movement used for the model was based on the Smiths Astral movement but with exacting specifications and the addition of a hack feature to allow synchronisation of the seconds hand. Rigorous testing was carried out at laboratories of the Chronometer branch of the Hydrographer of the Navy at Herstmonceux. Field tests of the model were also carried out in the tropics and the arctic. Oh, and the broad arrow on the dial – is just badass.
Next up my Swatch collection. Who doesn’t love Swatch! The colours, the dials, the fun! These are the full set of original 1990’s chronographs – and no watch ever gets as many comments as these do when I wear them! With a 37mm diameter plus crown, they are taller than the usual gents models and the rich patina on the hands and markers is sensational! Everyone should own a vintage Swatch! They are also the ultimate “non-compete”, when you just want to rock up and boss it without spending a fortune.
Next up is my IWC Top Gun Ceramic. Its 44mm with a triple date function (unlike the latest variations from IWC). IWC have always had a special place in my heart. It has a number of my favourite designs, from the supremely elegant Portugieser and Portofino to the rugged Pilots line. I also have a passion for the vintage Porsche Design collaborations which I think will climb in value in years to come. This watch of mine is ceramic, which IWC is known for as an early pioneer of the material in the Da Vinci range. It is scratch resistant and hard wearing. I love the contrasting pushers and overall stealthy vibes.
I am a sucker for Bauhaus design and minimalism. In terms of architecture, product design and as a way of living. Nothing sums that notion up more than Junghans and its Max Bill series. While this came well before, this design from the 70’s was the cornerstone for what would come later. I love the fact its mechanical, hand a domed case, printed – elongated markers and a wonderful logo. Plus an affordable package in 35mm.
And finally, the big boy - my Grand Lange One in platinum. We all need a killer dress watch – and nothing comes close to this for me. The design is untouchable, with its large date window, running sub seconds and power reserve. Its understated, simple and the German silver hand wound calibre boasts some of the finest finishing in the watch world – bar none. The fact it’s in platinum, and has that extra heft is just the cherry on the cake.