MF: You've had a special interest in IWC’s rare vintage Portuguese Ref. 325 watches. Could you tell us how your collection started?
AG: Indeed. I finally got my Ref 5441 RG, which by the way was my first IWC, from a collector who had put it for sale at the IWC official site. You will recall that it was once possible to trade vintage watches on the IWC site. The hunt for a Ref 325 was inevitable, but finding one in collectible condition proved elusive.
I joined the IWC forum, which was my main source of information and I owe you and other forum members a lot to avoid the pitfalls of vintage watch collecting.
Inevitably I found a Ref 325 in pristine condition and was intrigued by the hallmark on the left upper lug. Years later I did some research and re-discovered that the hallmark represents an armadillo, and was proof the importation tax had been paid. I wrote a small article on the issue which to my astonishment was published in the British Horological Journal.
MF: And you also have quite an interest in IWC military watches. What triggered that?
AG: Correct. I do like military watches. I appreciate that in military watches form strictly follows function, without gimmickry, which is a sin in which many watch brands fall, IWC included. My first military was a RAF Mark 11.
I now have all the Mark 11s from all the Air Forces and Airline that used them. The Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, The Royal New Zealand Air Force, the South African Air Force and the British Overseas Airways Corporation.