A Chat with Kristian Haagen

We chatted with Kristian Haagen this week, who describes himself on Instagram as “Barbour-wearing, Land Rover-loving, middle-aged watch collector with seven published books on my CV.” Kristian is a true watch enthusiast and filled us in on his favourite watches and the important factors when choosing a luxury timepiece.

What was your favourite watch release from Watches and Wonders 2021 and why?

I already own the Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 in rose gold. But seeing it in white gold made me want that as well. What a beautiful iteration of a rarely appreciated watch. Also, I really like the Piaget Polo Skeleton. What a super launch. Fits my wrist perfect and the work they did on the movement with that charming micro rotor is really something.

If you could choose any three watches for your collection what would they be?

I have always considered the ref. 6542 Rolex GMT-master from 1955 as one of the most important watches ever made. Hence it sits high on my "wanted" list. I am also currently hunting down an IWC GST Aquatimer Split Minute. This somewhat odd yet rather fascinating complication was made by Stephan Ihnen, who is the head of research and development at IWC. I really appreciate not only the long discontinued GST line from IWC, but also the many complications that this line was offered with. A third on my list would be a Richard Mille RM35 of the very first iteration from 2011. What an amazing watch!

What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a luxury watch?

Looks, pedigree, provenance and that "Wow! I didn't even know about that model" surprise find.

What is your take on watch brands reviving old designs?

I like that a lot. It is like going to a concert, listening to old tracks. It evokes nostalgia and makes you dig further into the brands historic collections.

Do you use a watch winder or watch box and if so, why?

No. I don't. Primarily because my watch collection sits in a bank vault.

What do you like about Rapport’s Hyde Park Four Zip Case?

Fantastic quality and feel. And the convenience of having four slots is great. I think the Labyrinth Ten Watch Box would be my next purchase from Rapport.

Find Kristian on IG @kristianhaagen