Where did you learn?
In Hamburg, I did something completely different in my previous life, shipbuilding.
And how did you get from shipbuilding to watches?
I’ve been interested in watches since I was a kid, so as a teenager I was already collecting them. At some point I went on a sailing trip with friends and thought to myself, someone has to design yachts, a shipbuilder will probably do that, mistake (laughs). Then I had a job as a ship technician, despite not having finished my education. But then again I was good at that, within a weekend I learned the technology of the ship’s engine by heart, for example, because I wanted to. I did that for a year, it was exciting, but at some point I realized that it wasn’t the right thing to do. I then told myself that I had to do something, got some advice and ended up at a watchmaker. My love for the job came during my work.
How do you acquire your watches?
Watches that I buy to sell again, I usually do not necessarily have to repair, sometimes I can leave them as they are. Different people come, there are sometimes flying dealers, then quite often people who have inherited something, have found something at household liquidations or also those who have a collection and want to liquidate it.
So do you wear watches personally at all?
I don’t wear many watches, so maybe 30 or 40 days a year I wear a watch. For me a watch is also jewelry, in the past the watch was really a timepiece, today it has become much more jewelry and sometimes I decorate myself.
I’ve already seen, you don’t wear a watch yourself?
Well, I have a lot of watches, but not for so long, so I had a collection, but with the beginning of self-employment I sold it, because for years I said: that’s not possible that a barkeeper starts to drink his wine. And because I was also afraid that I would then keep all the best pieces for myself and go bankrupt because of it. In the meantime, I see it differently, because I also have to take care of my old-age savings, and of course I pull out the one or other watch that I like, just as old-age pension.
What kind of watches do you have, and what interests you at all?
Yes, the large watches are of course also part of my work, but I just don’t find that so exciting. I find the small clocks, the finer, the more difficult, the more exciting I find them. When I have to really concentrate, I sink into this microcosm. Working on larger watches feels rather crude to me.
So more like luxury watches?
I look at the whole thing with luxury watches very critically, that’s also where I sometimes doubt my profession. So when I accompany the purchase of a watch for 140,000 €, then I have to ignore what you could possibly do with this money. But well, that’s just so, not everyone can have any professions where you can say I’m mega important.