Last week, our multi-part interview series started off with Frank Geelen from Monochrome Watches. We proceed with another great watch enthusiast, this time coming from Melbourne, whose watch blog has established a great reputation among enthusiasts in the international watch scene. His name: Felix Scholz.
Founded in 2014 by Andrew McUtchen, Time+Tide is arguably one of the big newcomers to the scene, but the blog’s overall quality immediately removed any doubts in mind. Perhaps it’s the good air in the most liveable city in the world, but the Time+Tide team always manages to add a refreshing dash of lifestyle to their informative coverage.
The reason is obvious: The creative minds behind the blog bring many years of professional journalism experience from various sectors to the table, whether it's GQ Australia or Hodinkee. At the end of the day, this combination is also what makes Time+Tide for us the archetype of a modern watch blog: an informative yet entertaining style of writing, a versatile young team and a really cool magazine character.
With which intention and vision in mind did you found your watch blog? How did it all start?
Time+Tide started in early 2014, and really was born because no one else was doing something like it in Australia at the time. Our founder, Andrew McUtchen was the watch editor for GQ at the time and had a background in more mainstream journalism and publishing. In contrast I had more of an enthusiast perspective and was writing for Hodinkee. It was a good match, and I’m proud to say that ever since, Time+Tide has been providing the latest watch news and reviews with an Australian voice, but on a global stage.
Describe your watch blog in three words only.
Australian, authority and … a bit irreverent.
What’s your value proposition and what makes your blog unique compared to others?
While it doesn’t make us unique, I think passion is really important. It’s hard to do what we do, day after day, if you don’t love it. But lots of people have passion, so I guess what makes us stand out is our combination of passion, and our unique Australian take on things. We’re a long way away from the rest of the world down here, and we see things a little different. We’re very serious about watches, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Oh, and our YouTube channel is pretty great.
What are your main challenges and your plans for the future?
In the slightly longer term, we’re planning on doing exactly what we’re already doing, talking to people about great watches. We’ve recently launched NOW – The Watch Buying Guide, which is very exciting. We’ve also got a few other plans for 2019 in the works, which we be challenging, but very rewarding.
Which disruptive innovation might hit the watch industry next? Which drastic changes do you expect?
I’m not sure if it’s disruptive or not, but I think one big change that is going to become more important is tighter release schedules. Currently watches that are announced at the start of the year are taking a long time to hit the market, I think that’s going to have to change on both ends. We’re going to see a more streamlined product rollout, as well as an increasingly fragmented calendar of product announcements. It’s not all about the big fairs of SIHH and Baselworld any more.
Tomorrow morning you wake up as Michel Loris-Melikoff. What would you have on your agenda to save the Baselworld?
Oh wow. First of all, I’d have to say I’m massively under qualified for the job. But if it was me, I’d follow the lead of Art Basel — and leverage the power of the Baselworld name, but make it in a roadshow format with a stronger focus on end users. A Baselworld in Europe, Asia and America would be very interesting to see.
In your opinion, which underdog watch brand doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves?
Grand Seiko. It’s an obvious answer, and while their star has risen considerably over the last few years, I still think they’re underrated, especially by mainstream watch buyers. Grand Seiko make some truly exceptional watches.
Describe your personal dream watch if you were to design your own.
Hmmmm. Steel, 39 or 40mm. Time only. Slim, but robust enough for daily wear. Classically styled but with a strong personality and maybe a bit of colour. Not original I know, but that’s the sort of watch I’d happily wear every day.
Which advice would you give to a young watch enthusiast? Which brand would you recommend in terms of bang for the buck?
Buy the best you can afford. One trap people who are just getting into watches always fall into is to look for the ‘bargain’. And while sometimes a bargain can be just that, there’s usually a reason why a watch is priced under market, and that reason typically isn’t good.
In terms of brands? For someone starting out, I think Seiko, Oris and Nomos are really good entry points into some fine watchmaking.