Interview with Eric Singer, the nomad of GPHG 2015

Our editor-in-chief talks watches with the legendary drummer, who is a member of the jury for this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

Paul O'Neil / worldtempus.com

He feels that some of his fellow jurors might have been dismissive about him, but your editor-in-chief was impressed when he immediately recognized the Wyler Genève chronograph on his wrist as he took his seat for the interview. You may be more familiar with him heavily made up as the drummer of rock group KISS, but Eric Singer has been a watch fan for even longer than he has been a musician. WorldTempus met him just before the GPHG press conference as he struggled with jet lag and the confusion of European daylight saving time.

How did you first discover that you liked watches?
My dad was a musician on transatlantic cruise liners and he would bring us gifts back from his trips. Once he bought me a small German mechanical watch when I was about five years old and I still have it. He had a number of interesting pieces and I was always fascinated by them. My family seemed to know I liked watches because they kept buying me them as gifts.

Do you collect more vintage or modern watches?
It started off collecting vintage watches but now I collect everything. The vintage market started to change with the arrival of the Internet. It gave more people more knowledge, which was both a blessing and a curse. As the market changed it became harder to find desirable and collectible pieces. But at the same time a lot of brands also started making retro-style watches. More recently I have become interested in vintage watches again but some of the prices are incredible nowadays.

What do you look for in a watch?
Everything. Today I’m wearing a Grand Seiko GMT, which is the watch that won the Petite Aiguille prize at last year’s GPHG. I think it is comparable to any Swiss watch and I just appreciate any nicely made watch of any style. Having said that, the Seiko is much more conservative than what I usually wear.

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