Talking Watches: With Wei Koh

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The world of watches is a small one, and if invited to a few of the larger international horological events, one begins to realize that there are indeed some special people without which the landscape simply wouldn’t be the same. Wei Koh, the founder of Revolution magazine is one of them. He is a uniquely gregarious man – raised and educated in the United States as the son of a diplomat, he changed schools often and seldom felt at ease. In fact, he describes his childhood as one where he simply didn’t fit in. It’s a notion hard to believe if you share a meal with Wei Koh today. He is perpetually the life of the party, dressed in only the finest bespoke suits from the likes of Rubinacci and Cifonelli (he is, perhaps, more broadly recognized for the founding of The Rake, arguably the bible for lovers of fine menswear) and always with a charming story of a haphazard run-in to share.  He travels from city to city, interviewing designers, creators, and tastemakers. He is a connoisseur of, well, life. Whether it be vintage motorcycles, fine shoes, great wine, or indeed watches, Wei Koh is the definition of a tastemaker. And today, we’re talking watches.

A small sampling of the Wei Koh collection.

Urwerk UR-210 Specially Engraved For Wei

This was one of the very first engraved Urwerks to be made.

When I think if Wei Koh, I think of a wide lapeled, pinstriped Purple Label suit tailed within an inch of its life – and an Urwerk. His special edition of the 210 has been completely engraved on the case sides and it was in fact a special piece made for him some years back. Urwerk has since created more engraved models based on this watch. Wei has been a longtime supporter of Urwerk and even, as he tells us, gave one to Ralph Lauren some years back.

De Bethune DB28T Tourbillon

It’s no surprise that De Bethune has found a fan in Wei Koh.

De Bethune is a brand revered by those in the know (as seen in Talking Watches with William Massena) and Wei can often be seen wearing one while traveling around the world. These are certainly among the finest watches in the world, and for a man like Wei, it simply makes sense to have one.

Richard Mille RM-21

Wei is, to me, the archetype of an RM owner.

As mentioned, there are certain personalities that make watches what they are. Wei is one, Richard Mille is another. In fact, the two are great friends, and Wei wears his RMs just as they’re meant to be worn – on the track, at the gym, and dressed in a tuxedo or t-shirt.

Unique Vacheron Constantin Cornes De Vache

This unique Vacheron comes with four different dials.

Wei and I share a love for the great Historiques Cornes de Vache from Vacheron Constantin. His piece, which comes from their Atelier Cabinotiers division, is a unique piece in yellow gold. Instead of iterating through several different dial designs, he had them make them all, and this watch in fact was made with four different dials. Very cool.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 5402 In Yellow Gold

A yellow gold 5402 was long on Wei’s hit list.

There is something about Wei Koh that feels at home in a yellow gold watch from the late 1970s. It makes sense, really, because he would often spend weekends away from his studies at Vassar to go partying at the likes of Studio54 as a teen. This is an all-time classic, and one you simply can’t argue with – a 1970s Royal Oak reference 5402 in yellow gold.

A Trio Of Omega Speedmasters

The wonderful CK2998.

Sometimes, the heart wants what the heart wants, and right now, Wei Koh is on a Speedmaster kick. He showed up in our office with three (yes three!) modern Speedies – the CK2998, the Snoopy, and, of course, the Speedy Tuesday. While in New York, I sat three seats away from him while he placed a bid on the Alaska Project III, and though he didn’t win it, I could tell his thirst is not yet quenched. The Speedmaster is, as I’ve said, is a must, and it’s clear Wei agrees.

<p>Speedy Tuesday</p>

Speedy Tuesday

<p>Snoopy Speedy.</p>

Snoopy Speedy.

EXCLUSIVE: Introducing The Heuer Carrera Special Edition For The Rake

While it shares a tri-color register with the Skipper, this Carrera uses a different caliber than this year’s HODINKEE introduction.

Now this is a fun one. Wei told me in the days leading up to our shoot he was bringing a surprise for me. And he wouldn’t share what it was until the cameras were rolling. He was a fan of our work with TAG Heuer in bringing back the Skipper and so in conjunction with The Rake, TAG Heuer will be producing 100 pieces of a new Carrera with a dial inspired by the Skipper. The watch will be available via The Rake and Mr. Porter in summer 2018. 

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