The Horological Minute

With The Horological Minute, Eric Ku and 10 Past Ten engage in a fascinating dialog with collectors and members of the watch industry, as they discuss anything and everything about watches. Think of it as the Proust Questionnaire for the watch aficionado.

Charles Tearle
This week, we feature friend and horological industry veteran, Charles Tearle. Charles got his start working at the famed London based Somlo Antiques in 1990. After working for over 10 years at Somlo's, Charles joined the Bonham's team as a US based Head of Clocks and Watches. From there, he joined Antiquorum and subsequently became the head of the Sotheby's Watch Department in Hong Kong. After spending 20+ years working for some of the most prestigious names in the business, Charles decided to go out on his own, offering consulting services and selling a carefully curated selection of watches available on his website. An old friend, we're happy to have him as this week's Horological Minute.

What was your first watch?

A steel Timex I was given by my parents sometime before I was five, it was the first thing I owned superior to my older brother and became the catalyst for my continued obsession with all things watches; I still have it, on the original strap too.

What was the last watch you bought?

I spent two years trying to get the original owner to sell me his fantastic Explorer Ref.1016 and I just received it Tuesday. I sold it the same day; another of those I wish I could keep.

Do you prefer vintage or modern?

No doubt vintage, as I expect most of the people you ask do. There’s something personal about vintage, maybe because as wealthy as you are, unless you’re willing to research yourself or benefit from receiving educated advice, you can’t just decide one day to buy a great vintage watch, it takes patience and understanding. If I see someone in public wearing a Patek 5102 I think ‘he’s a wealthy guy’, if I see someone wearing a Rolex 6541 I think ‘he loves watches’ and usually say hello.

Can you remember your last great meal? Where was it and what did you eat?

This is a tough one as I love food, but I love virtually all food and so a great meal to me depends on the company I’m in rather than what I’m eating. Recently I had the blackened salmon salad at Taste on Melrose in Los Angeles with great friends and my family, it was sunny and the laughter flowed, that to me is a great meal, the food wasn’t bad either.

Do you remember what watch you were wearing?

A Rolex Explorer 1016 from 1960 with light brown tropical dial.

What do you love about vintage Rolex?

I love that it’s a vintage watch you can actually use regularly and we are still discovering little variations in versions, relatively speaking the Rolex sport market is still very young. Mostly though I love the fact you can wear a vintage Rolex daily and only very few people will recognize it as being valuable, but’s it’s those few that make it worthwhile.

Strap or bracelet?

NATO strap, on virtually everything.


Submariner, I was given a 1680 red Sub in 1990 after working for George Somlo in London for 10 years and have been a fan ever since. Besides, there was a reason James Bond wore one.

What do you want to see come out from Rolex at the next Basel Fair?

Considering the size of their RND department it would be great to see Rolex release a sports model with a new (non precious) case material that gives an option to steel. Personally I’m surprised they haven’t already released a special-edition black ceramic Daytona- just so they can start the lawsuits!

Can you tell us about the most interesting watch you’ve ever found/owned?

I honestly don’t know if I have just one; I’ve been lucky to have uncovered a few with great stories and each is a favorite for a different reason. Possibly the most interesting was the Patek Philippe unique minute repeater Ref.2419, just because it was a previously unknown model, looked like nothing Patek had done before and required a vast amount of research. Knowing it was retailed by Cartier and then discovering, I think at around 3am one morning while reading through a huge stack of books, that Cartier had held a joint event with PP in New York exactly one year before the watch was delivered was akin to a sleep-deprived ‘lightbulb’ moment.

What's on your wrist today?

A gold 1680 Submariner with blue dial and bezel, it is summer after all.

The Horological Minute
feat. Joshua Ganjei
This week we bring to you an interview with Joshua Ganjei, a second generation watch dealer based in Boston, MA. Joshua got his start in the business early, causing trouble at the European Watch Company store at a very young age. Eight years ago, he officially joined the family business. The European Watch Company has been a fixture on Newbury Street in Boston for over 25 years, and was started by Joshua's father Albert. In the store they carry a fine selection of both new and vintage watches. Joshua's real passion lay with vintage watches, as he as worked hard to expand their business in that area with his knowledge of various different brands, not just Rolex. A genuine vintage enthusiast, we're proud to have Joshua as this week's Horological Minute.
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