Storytelling is something Andrew McUtchen, Founder and Editorial Director of Australia’s most popular luxury watches website Time + Tide excels at. A humble man with a spectacular eye for style and grammar, McUtchen, former Associate Editor at GQ, has become the government figure for luxury timepieces in Australia and the world over – sharing tales of watches (and their wearers) pasts.
“A watch doesn’t exist without a context,” McUtchen says. He attributes his appreciation of mechanical watches to a story he was once told. A friend’s dad passed away, McUtchen begins. “The task to clean out his apartment fell to him – the apartment was a real time capsule. One of the more precious items was a mechanical watch. He told me he rubbed the case, remembering it on his dad’s wrist. He shook it almost instinctively and the watch sprang to life.”
Andrew’s day varies between meeting and greeting celebrities and horology illuminati, hosting and attending sponsored events, black tie soirées and publishing articles on some of the world’s most prestigious watch brands. McUtchen resigned all other business pursuits to give Time + Tide his full focus about a year ago and to celebrate, bought a Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR with a bi-colour blue and black bezel, of course.
When it came to McUtchen’s own wedding day, a very special timepiece was required. “The wedding watch is definitely one to think through.” McUtchen don a Panerai PAM 111, a tan suit and a pastel blue shirt. “It was the crowning accessory for my outfit,” he says. “The rustic leather strap and oversized case was perfect for a country, outdoor setting. It’s as much about coordinating well with your suit as anything else.”
“The wedding watch is definitely one to think through.”
There is something so discernibly overstated and ostentatious about expensive watches. Perhaps it’s the status they command or the implausible boundaries of consumerism they tend to cross (some coming with price tags well over the value of a luxury sports car). To McUtchen, a mechanical watch is a marvel that should be cherished. “Anything handmade with a mechanical heart in a digital world should be cherished. How on earth did these things survive mechanisation, mass production and modernisation?!” A man’s watch, like a woman’s custom designed couture gown is a badge of exceptional taste but more than that, it’s an understanding of the craftsmanship and engineering and an acute appreciation for the hours of research and design that each timepiece represents.
“Find a dealer with a good reputation,” before buying a vintage watch McUtchen says. “eBay is risky and should only be resorted to if you’re prepared to blow your money on a ‘Frankenwatch’ (one that’s been put together with different parts)”.
This man’s passion for watches immediately incites a serious case of watch clique FOMO. To read more of his expert watch reviews and personal stories of those who wear them visit Time+Tide.