Welcome back to Talking Watches. Today we’re shaking things up a bit, as this is the first episode filmed on British shores. It’s also my first go-around as host. But the series remains, as it has always been, focused on exceptional collectors and their watches. Today’s guest is exactly that, and his watches certainly do not disappoint.
If ever you wanted to know what the most interesting chronographs of the modern era are, and many people do, Ahmed’s collection might provide some answers. Ahmed’s no snob when it comes to chronographs though, and his come in different shapes and sizes. They’re manufactured by various watch companies with divergent histories, and sometimes they feature other complications as well. Each one provides a snapshot of the complication’s most interesting recent developments though, and it’s this kind of wide-angle/macro attitude that characterizes Ahmed’s collecting.
Ahmed’s interests don’t end at watches though. He’s passionate about art and style as well, and from the cut of his lapels to the cocktail cuffs that partially conceal his timepieces, there’s a certain casual elegance about him. In each of the non-chronograph pieces you see here, you’ll find more than a hint of that as well. Today we are thrilled to present the official HODINKEE Talking Watches with Mr. Ahmed Rahman.
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1A
The Nautilus 5980 is a lot of things. On the one hand, it represents one of the most significant shake-ups of the original Nautilus design. It’s bigger, bolder, and much pricier than your standard three-hand Nautilus. On the other, it features one of the greatest in-house self-winding chronographs of the past decade. Period. And the co-axial 60-minute and 12-hour counters at six o’clock help it maintain that clean Nautilus look despite the bump in functionality.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Squelette
Ahmed’s favorite thing about the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is that it’s a skeleton perpetual calendar that he can happily take for a swim. And while that isn’t why he purchased it (nor the reason you should) it doesn’t hurt its appeal. Ahmed’s model is solid platinum (case and bracelet), and it features a personalized rotor with his initials – an option offered by Audemars Piguet which many don’t know about. This is about as hardcore as a sports watch can get.
A. Lange & Söhne Datograph
Much has been said on this website about the Datograph, nearly all of it positive. And Ahmed happens to agree with us. Of all the modern chronographs he owns, and he owns quite a few, he says this one is the very best. Note, this is the original Datograph, not the later Up/Down, so it features a smaller but thicker 39mm platinum case.
Richard Mille RM035 ‘Baby Nadal’
The Baby Nadal is not a watch you’d expect to see sitting between a vintage Daytona ref. 6263 and a Patek Phillipe ref. 5070P. And yet, there it is. It has the upper hand on both those watches when it comes to lightness and contemporary design, and it’s one that you have to pick up in your own two hands to properly appreciate. The RM035 Baby Nadal is a guilty pleasure watch, no doubt, but it’s hard not to love it.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time
Ahmed travels a lot. And, more often than not, this is his chosen travel companion. It’s easy to wear, draws very little attention to itself, and can take a few bumps here and there. Oh, and this one’s co-signed by Tiffany & Co. just like John Mayer’s.
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263
Ahmed does not focus on collecting vintage watches, and that speaks volumes of the Daytona ref. 6263 in his collection. It’s a testament to the watch’s historical importance and long term collectibility. I’m sure it won’t surprise you to learn that Ahmed also owns the new stainless steel Daytona with ceramic bezel, a fitting partner for this older favorite.
Cartier Tortue Monopusher CPCP
The Tortue Monopusher has been produced in very limited numbers since its introduction by Cartier in 1998. Part of the Collection Privée, it’s a very, very difficult watch to get directly from Cartier. The shape of the case and design of the dial are quintessentially Cartier, but what makes this watch even more exciting is the movement, a monopusher chronograph designed by three of the greatest living watchmakers, Francois-Paul Journe, Denis Flageollet and Vianney Halter.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Tribute To 1931 ‘Magritte’
The trouble with Reversos is that there are so many to choose from. However, the decision was easy for Ahmed, who says that as a big fan of René Magritte he had to have this special edition. Part of the Tribute to 1931 collection, it’s a rare and charming talking piece. Only five like this were made in white gold. Rumors of future Magritte limited editions aren’t hurting the collectibility of this first piece either.
Patek Philippe 5970G Salmon Dial
This one’s a bit special. Ahmed placed the order for his 5970G with a special salmon dial in the summer of 2015, following Patek Philippe’s London Exhibition, where it was unexpectedly presented to collectors. It marks the return of an icon, and is, without a doubt, the crown jewel in Ahmed’s collection.
IWC Portuguese Rattrapante Chronograph
When a simple chronograph just doesn’t cut it, Ahmed turns to this split-seconds chronograph from IWC. Reference 3712 is a cult IWC watch despite it being very unlike IWC in a number of ways. It’s plain, it’s simple, but it happens to be powered by a very cool movement designed in 1992 by Richard Habring (before he went on to found Habring2).
IWC Ceramic Fliegerchronograph Ref. 3705
Casual as it may seem, even more so when it is presented as part of this particular collection, the ref. 3705 is actually one of the rarest and most interesting modern pilot’s watches. Ceramic was still a relatively new material when the Fliegerchronograph was released, and this is actually the first ever ceramic chronograph. It has aged very well indeed and is just such a charming watch from top to bottom.
Breguet Tourbillon Ref. 5357 Tourbillon
Ahmed’s love for chronographs is obvious, but it’s not the only complication he appreciates. The tourbillon is another of Ahmed’s favorites, and Breguet is a perfect choice here.
Abraham-Louis Breguet’s invention made its way into Breguet wristwatches quite late, in the 1980s, but it is once again considered Breguet’s speciality, typically becoming the focal point of the company’s high-end models, such as this 40mm platinum reference.