Interview with Charles Walhingford
Charles Walhingford is a YouTube content creator who focuses on watch related content.
He makes a number of very interesting videos, and I highly recommend checking his channel out and consider subscribing. Today, we interview him and ask a range of questions which we think his fans and our readers would find interesting. Without further ado, let’s get into the interview.
What got you into watch collecting?
There are so many elements of my life that l have led me to watch collecting. Ever since my mother and I could remember I have been very particular and detail oriented. Also I have do not like be unaware or reliant on others. I am not afraid to follow, but I will never be a blind follower. I rather put the blame on myself, I can only control my own actions not anyone else’s. So when you are like this, knowing the time is a must. Without a watch on my wrist I am naked.
I have always loved the micromechanics of clock work. I have always loved to watch the cogs, wheels and levers turn, oscillate and vibrate in unison. With that I have always love Skeletonized watches. My Father for years had some version of the Bulova Accutron Spaceview. It is a funky looking watch but I found and still find myself starring into the dial with so much wonder and amazement. It is like there is a tiny complex team sitting on my wrist.
What was your first watch?
I have been wearing watches since I could tell time so that is a hard question. I can remember in 3rd or 4th grade wearing a Casio digital number. It had an alarm, chronograph (back then I had no idea why Chrono meant stop watch) and date. I wanted the one with the calculator but that was too expensive for my family to buy for me. But I loved that watch. I wore it so much that not only did I have that wrist watch sun tan line but I would develop that weird, wet nasty condition similar to when you wear a Band-aid too long on your finger; yeah, that was on my wrist. Plastic should not be worn that tight and long on the body.
How did you get started making videos on YouTube, what was the inspiration/thought behind starting your channel?
There are many reasons behind starting my channel. The first thing I would say that motivated me was that there are so few places where a watch collector can go and interact with like-minded individual outside of the virtual world of the internet. Though YouTube is still the virtual world, it provides another layer of reality and tangible connectivity that is not found in other platforms. I wanted to be a part of that; I felt the knowledge that I have acquired could do some good and give my fellow watch collectors a place to go when they need help, entertainment, knowledge and even leadership. The second reason goes with what I explained before about my personality. Where I blame myself rather than others. I did not like and/or what other channels where covering or failing to cover. Rather than be one of the many trolls and complain about the content or lack thereof I would fill in where they(other YouTubers) left off. I like to cover the lesser known Micro-brands- far too often we purchase products due to product placement and exceptional marketing, also these brands tend to be more watch for your money. I also cover Travel and Leisure- I find it idiotic to own a find luxury timepiece and not have a worthy place to wear it.
If you could only keep one watch for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This may come as a shock to most of my fans, followers and subscribers but I would have to choose the Rolex Yacht Master I, Platinum dial. For some time now, I have been, “some might say”, anti-Rolex but rather I am anti-sheep or anti-lemming. Too many people have sung the praises of Rolex yet know very little about Rolex and even less of Luxury watches to crown Rolex the King . For me Rolex is not the wrong choice but the easy choice. Saying that I can’t think of a better singular watch to own for the rest of my life. The Corum Golden Bridge, Breguet Type XXI and my super “Grail watch the Jeager LeCoultre (place any rendition here) Gyrotourbillon are all far more desired, but impractical to wear regularly. They are all those are Special pieces that would get babied and rarely worn. I feel comfortable wearing that Yacht Master every were everyday with everything (within reason of course). It is not the usual Submariner or DateJust or Daytona, yet is not some far out piece that people would not recognize either.
What advice would you give to new watch collectors who are just starting out?
Look into original designs brands like Damasko, Sinn, Chistopher Ward, Fortis before you consider purchasing imitations of Rolex, Panerai and others. If all else fails get a Eco-Drive in the meantime.
If you can purchase you your grail watch tomorrow is it truly your grail watch?
To what extent do you believe with the statement that smart watches mean the doom of the low end mechanical watch industry?
I believe there will be a serious Tsunami wave in route to the watch industry as a whole not only the smaller micro-brands or low end mechanical watches. The Smartwatch will not be the reason, just a pawn that will eventually be discarded like the Two-way pager. Brands like Ball, Sinn, Christopher Ward, Fortis will be dead in the water. The heavy hitters like Breitling, Omega and Rolex will be hobbled for a while. This will be like the quartz crisis all over again. This situation is not due to a failure of other brands to evolve and technology being a more sensible choice, but rather the evolution of human kind’s ideals these days. The Youth will always be the key. When I was a kid I collected Sports Cards. The way that industry was going then I could be a very rich man when I hit forty. The reason why it was booming was not due to the rich collectors at auctions splurging on Honus Wagner or Jim Thorpe. It was my friend’s and I’s lowly purchases of $1.50 a pack a week and maybe $10.00 once every two weeks with paper route money. Kids today could care less about sports cards subsequently you can purchase Hall of Fame Super Bowl Winning Quarterback Brett Favre Rookie Card for less than $8.00 including shipping. Oh yeah guess who is about to turn Forty?!? The personal style of today’s youth is not one of sharp detail and precision . Many times than not you don’t see creases on shirts, shoes are not shined and wearing sneakers with a suit is acceptable. Most of the time, they are not wearing a watch at all. Our greatest hope is that smartwatches are a hit and last. Many times, myself included we the people of this type of watch community have looked down on Invicta and other Mall watch wearers. It pains me to say this but here’s the thing…
They(Invicta) very well may help fend of this assault. They may be the Swatch watch of the 80’s. History always repeats itself.
How many watches do you have in your collection, and are you happy with your current state of the collection?
I have 5 watches that I covet, baby and wear sparingly Breitling, Longines, Muhle Glashutte, Ball and Hamilton, I have around ten for work watches that I wear regularly Bulova Precisionist, two Citizen Eco-drives, Luminox, Swiss Legend, Deep Blue, two Victorinox. I have 5-6 watches that I rarely to never wear that I keep for sentimental purposes.
As a collector, we always want a new watch, be it a new release or vintage, super high-end or reasonably price tool/beater. That is the life of watch collecting / watch lover. I am more than about with my collection. I have come from almost nothing to be able to afford my Breitling Chronomat which is a huge accomplishment. Of course I have watches in my cross hairs. On the low end I am looking at a New Fortis Cosmonaut or a Wempe Sport Chronograph, moving up a little would be the Tudor Fast Rider Black Shield or New Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Up a level Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snow Flake, (pre-owned only) Breguet Type XXI, Rolex Yatchmaster I Platinum Dial. The Grail would a Corum Golden Bridge, Almost any Meteorite Dial watch and Urwerk 201.
Would you ever like for your YouTube channel to become a full time occupation, or do you see it as more of a hobby?
I absolutely want this to become a full time job. Most people want to have their labor to be their passion. I have always had dreams of this. I have always watched shows like the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with Robin Leach. I would also watch Anthony Bourdain and Samantha Brown. I want to be big just like them. I want to be like Dose of Fousey, Jenna Marbles or Eh Bee Family. Notice I did not mention any successful Watch World YouTubers. I don’t mean any disrespect but our genre is too small to get those huge numbers. This is why have opened up my videos to Travel, Cigars, Aged Distilled Spirits along with watches. I hope to have separate Channels one day but these interests are all interconnected.