Buying Seiko to Rolex to F.P. Journe: A Watch Collector's Journey With Shelby
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As a wristwatch enthusiast from an early age, Shelby entered mechanical watch collecting by means of Seiko. Early purchases from the famous Japanese watch brand paved the way to an extension of the collection into Rolex models.
The Rolex Submariner was among Shelby's early grail watches thanks to its longstanding association James Bond. Guidance from a watch collecting mentor inspired Shelby to purchase a Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34 among his very first luxury watch acquisitions. Today, that passion for Rolex watches endures in the form of two Rolex Cosmograph Daytonas in stainless steel and Everose rose gold. A hardcore car enthusiast and motorsports fan, Shelby appreciates the historic link between the Rolex Daytona and endurance sports car racing
The appeal of his rose gold Rolex Daytona is more elemental; "it pops alongside the black dial."
What does the future hold for Shelby's Rolex collection? The fabulous 2021 Rolex Submariner in yellow gold -- reference 126618LN -- likely will join this collection sooner rather than later. While James Bond may have defected to Omega in 1995, Shelby plans to add the sentimental favorite "first" cinematic James Bond watch from Rolex in the near future.
Patek Philippe watches beckon as the top wishlist watches for Shelby. The Patek Philippe 5270P perpetual calendar chronograph in platinum stands out as the ultimate grail watch for this watch collector, but the black enamel dial of the Patek 5370P split-seconds chronograph gives the 5270P a run for its money.
Shelby's career as a watch collector started in the early 1990s with a Swatch watch chronograph, extended into the world of Seiko watches, graduated to Rolex watches, and now encompasses independent watch brands.
Lately, he has embraced the world of independent watchmaking by means of F.P. Journe and H. Moser & Cie.
On Instagram, Shelby's account, The_Journe_Identity, reflects his passion for the watches of Francois-Paul Journe. Currently, the collection's crown jewel is a platinum F.P. Journe Chronometre Souverain, and it represents the culmination of three years spent researching the Journe brand and exploring online F.P. Journe collector communities. "It was a big milestone, a grail watch," Shelby explains. Moreover, this is the watch he declares would be his "one watch" if forced to choose a single model to wear for the rest of his life.
A clear preference for platinum Journe timepieces over rose gold models derives from Shelby's view that rose gold cases, while handsome, tends to overpower the dials of Journe watches.
The scope of Shelby's watch collection extends far beyond Seiko, Rolex, and Journe. His first true luxury watch purchase was an original Ikepod, and subsequent purchases include a vintage IWC Porsche Design 3700 titan chronograph, several Panerai watches, a Graham Chronofighter, and the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Centre Seconds. In the course of buying these disparate styles, Shelby has refined his taste in watch design.
As the son of an artist and a professional in Silicon Valley technology, Shelby has cultivated specific tastes in aesthetics and functionality. Despite early interest in huge, complicated, and highly technical watches such as the Graham Chronofighter, Shelby now prefers simple luxury watches with compact cases, clean dials, and traditional styles.
His no-date Moser Streamliner is an example of the type of watch he prioritizes today; "It's clearly inspired by the 1970s," he notes, but the design isn't a knockoff of the Patek Nautilus or AP Royal Oak. Moreover, he would like to add the Streamliner Flyback Funky Blue to build out his Moser collection. And Shelby notes that part of his attachment to the Moser watch brand is personal thanks to the warmth of its approachable CEO, Edouard Meylan.
Shelby can be found on Instagram as @the_journe_identity
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