HEROES OF THE FRONTIER

The Rake speaks to the horological doyen Shary Rahman on the tireless innovation of Audemars Piguet, a house that continues to tick every box for the discerning watch collector.

Audemars Piguet’s success in adorning the wrists of A-listers — from Jay-Z to Denzel Washington via Ellen DeGeneres and James Corden — has brought the house wider public attention. Clued-up members of the mechanical watch intelligentsia, though — serious collectors who care about creative yen, artisanal detail, progressive design and technical mastery — pay more heed to the musings of the Bangladesh-born Londoner Ahmed Rahman (a.k.a. Shary), an avid watch collector whose affection for the 144-year-old haute horlogerie giant is in abundant evidence on his Instagram page, @time_mechanic.

Shary, an avid James Bond fan, had his passion for watches ignited by the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M’s appearance on Pierce Brosnan’s wrist in the mid nineties. Audemars Piguet, meanwhile, caught his hungry eye during his university years. “I was doing an internship at an investment bank, and the Royal Oak Offshore came on to my radar,” he says. “At that time the trend was very much about big, bulky watches, and the Royal Oak Offshore was basically the Royal Oak on steroids. So on the last day of my internship I walked out with my pay cheque, went to Marcus Watches [in Mayfair], and bought my first ever Royal Oak Offshore. I still have it. I’m never going to sell it. I still wear it a lot.”

The youthful Shary would never have known, that happily fateful day, that his new purchase would stand up admirably to the stringent watch-collecting benchmarks he would go on to establish in the ensuing decade. “I hope I’ve matured as a collector, and I’ve come to realise there are three parameters I look for when I am collecting,” he says. “Number one is aesthetics. I like watches to have a timeless style about them. Secondly, story and provenance have become much more important to me now than they used to be. The Royal Oak, for instance, has a terrific story behind it — it was designed by Gérald Genta, based on the porthole of the H.M.S. Royal Oak.

Published

December 2019

Tags

Also read