Management Consultant, Watch Collector
Niklas (a.k.a. NiklasArvid) is a management consultant in competition economics. He has been seriously into wristwatches for 20 years. Speedmasters have been an important part of his wristwatch journey. His other passion is small sailboat racing and he is currently sailing a foiling Moth dinghy.
1. Do you remember your first watch?
Yes, I still have it! It is a mechanical ”Continental”. I think I got it for my seventh birthday. Unfortunately it stopped working after a while since I pried it open with a screwdriver about 100 times to look at the movement, leaving massive scars to the back and the case and then demonstrating to all my friends its waterproofness by submerging it in any puddle and jar… Yes, there is some corrosion…
2. The 3 most iconic watch models?
The OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch. A timeless instrument made to be practical. It’s 60 years of production in unchanged form up until today and still running must be unique for any mechanical product in any field?
The ROLEX Submariner. The timeless diver watch. Everyone knows it and everyone wants it.
The CARTIER Tank. The original wristwatch. Iconic timeless design, still in production a 100 years after its inception.
3. A noteworthy anecdote with one of your watches?
My JLC Reverso. It is one of the 200 whose original cases were found by the Italian distributor on a visit to the JLC factory in 1972. Production of the Reverso had been halted for decades since square watches were really out of fashion postwar. But movements were then sourced and watches completed from the 200 cases. The 1972 Reversos sold out in no time in Italy and JLC resumed production. The Reverso line then revived the JLC brand, which then became the ebauche provider for a lot of the higher end swiss brands post quartz crisis. I think it is fair to say that my particular individual watch saved the entire swiss watch industry in the 70-ies. 😉
4. Are you more modern or vintage?
Definitely vintage. And I want the watch to be historically interesting in some way. Either design, or mechanics, or a particular story around the watch or specimen, or an interesting intended use. At the moment I am sort of into milwatches. They all carry a legacy and importance in themselves.
The only modern watches I own are the two ones I have personalised myself. An SMPC cased 7757 from a Wyler Vetta/Chronostop ”La Giraglia” Yacht Timer made in the 1990ies for the famous yacht race known today as ”The Rolex Giraglia”… And my 2893-2 GMT ”poor mans explorer” with a no-name dial and a St. Cristopher plaque on the dial that I use as a travel and everyday watch, it has a screw down crown and is very versatile.
5. I love Speedmasters because …
Because of the space and science connection and its ruggedness and perfectly balanced dial. But also because there are so many routes for collecting and exploring different Speedmasters.
1. You can, as always, look for the perfect examples with flawless dials and cases.
2. The Royal bloodline. You can start with any 1861 from the 1980’s and work your way down through the 145.022, 105.012, 105.003, 2998, 2915.
3. I had a thing for getting close to the Neil Armstrong 24.002.981 watch, I think I got to some 70 serial numbers apart before I left that route.
4. There are soo many cool versions, I particularly love the the Panda and the blue Gemini IV.
But note: anything Speedmaster but the manual 321/861-line are just silly cannibalism on the good Speedmaster name, don’t buy those…
6. Your favorite Speedmaster?
It may have been my bastard ”2915”. In 2009 I bought a 105.003 with a good case, but wrong dial and hands. I replaced the bezel, dial and hands with the ones from a 3594.50. I now had a watch that looked sort of like a 2915 with its straight lug case, all OEM parts, but could be used every day! I loved it and used it a lot! And nowadays this straight lug classic configuration is again available from OMEGA in the 318.104.22.168.01.001, a great watch I would surely like to own.
7. A single personal item you would take with you for a long stay on the Moon?
My favourite aviators watch! A well used EBEL ”Battle of Britain”, issued in 1940 by the UK Air Ministry. It has deserved to fly high!
8. You just won the lottery. Do you first buy a sports car or call a financial advisor?
I am a PhD economist so I am not sure I need a financial advisor… I’d just throw most of the money into a well mixed bag of equities and maybe get an old 3 litre BMW Z3 and bolt a plastic ”Nubodi” panel kit on it as a treat, it would be the perfect grand tourer.
9. Where would you spend the next 24 hours if you had a teleporter?
On the International Space Station!
10. How many times a day do you watch … your watch?
Not sure, but I get stuck every time, the way it looks, moves, and the way its parts fit together.
11. The last watch you bought?
An ELGIN A11.
A US Air Force issued watch from 1943. The design is fantastic, like a dashboard instrument from a WW2 plane. A real toolwatch that has seen active duty. It is a complete mystery to me how anyone can buy a new ”pilot watch” when treasures like these are available today for really small money.
12. What’s on your wrist today?
My OMEGA Seamaster Chronograph CK2907. It is from the batch of misprints that has ”Seemaster” engraved on the backside. I guess the german intern was running the engraving machine that week? There are a small number of known examples within a very narrow serial number range. Kind of fun and rare!