Next we meet Daniel Somlo who is a vintage and antique watch dealer at Somlo London & Omega Vintage. Daniel was exposed to the world of watches from an early age by his father, George and has extensively studied the history of horology, antique watches and vintage wristwatches through the mid-seventies.
Daniel shares his views on the retail side of the watch business and the continuing impact that social media is having on the industry.
MWM: How is business?
DS: Business is steady at the moment, like with anything it has its peaks and troughs.
MWM: What are you currently working on?
DS: We’re trying to improve the marketing side of the business and building our social media presence. We want to try and bring the company into the 21st century.
MWM: Tell us something we don’t know about Somlo London
DS: Obviously we are known for our vintage OMEGA watches but when we travel to exhibitions we also have a huge selection of Antique Pocket Watches, some of which date back to over 400 years ago. This was really the very beginning of portable horology but the workmanship and skill that went into these pieces is astonishing.
MWM: What watch do you wear?
DS: 9 Days out of 10, a 1967 Speedmaster 105.012 CB (below). I have a couple of other pieces in the collection but I’ve had a Speedmaster since I was 18 years old. There’s something about the old 321s though, with that combination of history and character. Also I’m a sucker for a chronograph!
MWM: Which watch would you like to own?
DS: If I’m being really indulgent, a Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 perpetual calendar chronograph (below). It is both incredibly complicated and elegantly simple at the same time… Something Patek really excel in.
MWM: What do you like best about the vintage Watch business?
DS: You never stop learning. There is so much information and so many little details about vintage and antique watches that I don’t think it will ever be possible to know everything. New information is always coming to light and the collecting community is always happy to share their theories and opinions.
MWM: What don’t you like about the vintage Watch business?
DS: People who buy watches as a commodity. I read somewhere the expression: ‘you should buy with your heart, not your wallet.’ Vintage watches have character and soul. They should speak to you and that is why we should buy them. Not just for the return after 3-5 years…
MWM: What is next on the horizon for you and the business?
DS: We want to organise more events so we can really connect with the watch community. Also to encourage more young people to take the leap into vintage watches. All collectors have to start somewhere and they need guidance.
Daniel is a Friend of MrWatchMaster