A Pas­sion for De­tail

Plaza Watch International - - Letter From The Founder -

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.

I've fol­lowed

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

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