A Passion for Detail
20 years since I founded Plaza, but even more than that, it's been 41 years since I bought my first advanced watch. Well, let's put it this way, it was advanced in terms of the new technology back then. It was one of the first solar powered watches. It was 1974 and I was the first to own one in my town, and more importantly, in my school. I bought it with my own money, earned by selling the morning daily papers.
That watch grabbed everyone's attention. I sold it a year later to my school mate Niklas Zennström, who later became one of Sweden’s most famous entrepreneurs after founding Skype. It was also one of my best first deals, as I sold it for 500 crowns, having bought it a year earlier for 400 crowns. A huge profit back then. My first real interest in details brought me to my first Rolex at the age of 14 some years later. This was followed by an Omega at 15 and a small Cartier Tank at 16. I lived with my parents in southern France in an area known for the encircling mountains of St Tropez. It was here, in the Côte D'Azur, that our family travelled every summer for months at a time. My father was an artist and sculptor, and my mother, a woman driven by an author's ambition, was focused on poetry. The landscape of southern Provence was loved by my father and it was that, in combination with the unique light, that made it the perfect place to paint magical landscapes. As a young Swede, this early introduction to the world at large and rich cultural scenes, served to feed my fascination with high end timepieces.
We travelled through Europe in our baby blue Dodge Dart coupé, through all the major cities, visiting art galleries, museums and numerous other intriguing locales. Even then, as a 14 year old, I daydreamed of being an immaculately dressed man with a distinguished wristwatch on my arm. I must have been an old man in a young body, and consequently was thrilled to receive permission to travel to Italy by train to shop for clothes and watches. I had learnt early that being smartly dressed made me look older, and that people seemed to treat me differently. Besides the smart clothes, my shopping in Italy resulted in a collection of Italian magazines - amongst them, L'Uomo Vogue. Little did I know then that some 24 years later I would launch the magazine you are now reading, Plaza Watch. A magazine dedicated to the watch lovers of the world.
It's been over
you can read our homage to Dominique Tadion. When I first visited the Rolex Manufacture in 2002, one of the first official factory visits Rolex had offered since the 1965 visit for Prince Charles, I met Dominique for the first time. She was the perfect person for the job. She was like the tough teacher you had in school, not accepting any mistakes. I'll always remember entering that James Bond style conference room at Rolex HQ, sitting in Poltrona Frau chairs and listening to Mrs. Tadion explain that Rolex wouldn’t answer any questions from the press. Which was a bit odd for a factory visit. As my interest in the brand runs deep, I got her attention by revealing some knowledge of Rolex components and my thoughts about Rolex buying out all their suppliers. And with my calculations of the number of watches produced per year.
After that visit I was always invited by Dominique to an exclusive lunch at BaselWorld each year. I felt that she was a woman of details and that she really appreciated my magazines, which warms a publisher's heart. I also
In this issue
remember when Dominique started at the Fondation Haute Horlogerie. I created an idea for the annual exhibition, which was originally small postcards of various watch photographs. Dominique sat in her office at SIHH, laughed, and said, “Christopher, I love the postcards, I have some of them in my kitchen on the fridge". She asked me to arrange it so she had them all. These words and her interest for my work meant a great deal to me. She was a true and respected person who is sadly missed.
the watch industry closely for a long time and Plaza has been partners with the SIHH and BaselWorld for more than 14 years now. I've met many craftsmen in the industry, but I still especially enjoy observing the final consumer close-up. I often tell my friends that if they feel that they have nothing left to prove, that they should go to the watch fairs, and there they will feel insignificant again... to see and feel the goods there is in the watch industry.
my life to small details. That's why every issue of Plaza Watch is dedicated to details. Contentment is found in many ways, for me it's been in the detail... especially those concerning watches!
I have devoted
Christopher Östlund, Founding Owner of Plaza Watch