Anyone who believes that all the company founders and top executives from Silicon Valley wear nothing but smart watches would be wrong. Perhaps it is the interest in sophisticated technology in general – including mechanical technology –or the desire for a bit of analog balance in an overwhelmingly digital work environment, but the fact is that quite a few biggies from the IT world like mechanical wristwatches. We present five tech nerds and their watches:
Former senior director of Apple’s iPod, iSight, & Special Projects Group, Tony Fadell, may not be a household name, but the products he’s been responsible for certainly are. In addition to being known as the “Father of the iPod,” Fadell also co-invented the iPhone.
Fadell is not only a nerd, but also an enthusiastic watch collector, as he revealed in a conversation on the watch blog Hodinkee. His everyday watch is a real cracker: a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712 with moon phase and power reserve indicator. More information about the watch can be found here.
In 2014, Satya Nadella became Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation – a mammoth task for the native Indian, who follows in the footsteps of IT heavyweights like Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
When choosing his watches, the computer scientist thinks on a relatively small scale. His Breitling Colt Automatic is actually quite an affordable luxury watch – especially for him. In his first year as Microsoft chief he received $ 84.3 million, and so, assuming an asking price of $3,500, Nadella was able to earn the money for his Breitling in less than half an hour.
On the other hand, Kevin Rose may well be a household name, provided the house were inhabited by avid fans and followers of watch blogs. The Silicon Valley veteran and co-founder of companies such as Revision3, Digg, Pownce, and Milk has turned his back on the Valley in 2015 and dedicated himself to his passion for wristwatches, as CEO of the highly successful watch blog Hodinkee.
A real standout in his collection is the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Handwerkskunst. Only 30 copies of this watch were made. Particularly striking is the surface of the dial, which was hand-engraved using tremblage technique. Kevin Rose was able to purchase the watch from one of the 30 original buyers.
Steve Jobs, of course, requires no introduction whatsoever. The co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple Computer, who was taken from us much too soon, was one of the true visionaries of the industry and a pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was, however, rather less revolutionary when choosing his wristwatch.
The Seiko watch favored by Steve Jobs has a simple and straightforward design, and with its small (even for today) diameter of 33mm, it is definitely one of the more inconspicuous of timepieces. Nevertheless, this little Seiko has achieved cult status thanks to its appearance in a legendary photo with Steve Jobs and a Mac (see above). No wonder, then, that this simple quartz watch realized a final price of $42,500 at a 2016 auction.
Always popular are tales of the humble lifestyle of well-known billionaires. Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad is said to have driven a 1993 Volvo 240 GL for 20 years, and the former richest man in the world, Warren Buffet, lives in a house that accounts for but 0.001% of his wealth.
Bill Gates and his wristwatch tell a similar story. The founder of Microsoft, who is still worth around 100 billion, wears a Casio diving watch with a quartz movement (reference: MDV-106-1A), which doesn’t even cost a hundred bucks. The underlying message seems to be that status symbols are of no interest to those with actual status. The watch itself certainly has high status in the world of YouTube watch videos.
If you are a self-confessed nerd, you can find many more suitable watches at our online shop.