Confessions of a
Diamond Design’s Paul Blackwood
Shares His Passion for Timepieces
Paul Blackwood’s first serious timepiece was a pre-owned Rolex Yachtmaster. A beautiful gold and steel timepiece with a champagne dial, it was a fine choice – even though this purchase was pure instinct, chosen for its clean aesthetics alone.
“It just looked amazing, that’s all,” he chuckles.
He’s since learned that Rolex watches also make sound investments, and he recently sold the Yachtmaster and used the profit to purchase his newest treasure.
For his most recent piece, he stayed in the Rolex family, but put a lot more thought into his choice. He’s now the proud owner of a Rolex GMT Master II, BLNR, or ‘Batman’ as its known in the watch world. Full 904L steel with a blue/black ceramic bezel, its extra hand for a third time zone came in handy on his recent trip to this year’s World Watch Show in Basel, Switzerland.
Over four years into his position as Diamond Design’s Watch Specialist, Paul is learning the watch world inside out – and he loves sharing this passion with his clients.
As a young child, Paul loved everything mechanical, always taking things apart and putting them back together – or at least trying to. He now funnels that youthful interest in the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of complex objects into learning the intricacies of the pieces he is proud to represent.
“These are miniature machines,” Paul says of quailty timepieces, “and it’s amazing something so durable is so small. When you start to realize how much is involved in a timepiece, you’re blown away. If you look at an automatic timepiece, it’s got upwards of 150 components, miniature cogs, wheels, screws, pins, and on and on …. The balance wheel actually vibrates 600,000 times a day – that’s how it measures time.”
Since he began at Diamond Design, Paul has become intimately familiar with all the watches – those ‘miniature machines’ – that we carry. He was involved in bringing the OMEGA and Hamilton lines into the fold, both exclusive to Diamond Design in Atlantic Canada. These two exquisite brands now round out our ‘Big 4’ collection of Swiss-made watches. We’re committed to carrying only the world’s best brands – and Paul certainly knows the best.
In fact, Paul says one of the best parts of his job is that the legacy brands he represents are literally a part of history. He marvels that Rolex was recently named the #1 recognized brand in the world – ahead of modern-day powerhouses like Facebook and Google.
“I just like being involved in the very best of something.”
“I just like being involved in the very best of something,” he says.
This impressive history was actually a bit overwhelming when he started his career. “With Rolex, you have 113 years of history, with OMEGA it’s 170. Not many of the other brands we use today have been around that long or can claim that kind of heritage. These watches were around before cars and the light bulb!” he says.
With that rich history behind them, Paul says he’s still as wrapped up in the intricacy and beauty of the timepieces he sells as the day he started.
Meeting people who share his passion is what inspires him everyday. When someone comes into Diamond Design interested in a new piece, they’ll spend time discussing what’s new and exciting in the watch world – and he loves sharing his excitement.
“I was so excited to start sharing OMEGA’s Moon Watch (the Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph). It’s gorgeous and has such a great story about how it was tested by NASA. It was the only timepiece to pass all of NASA’s tests, so it was chosen to accompany all their astronauts on the Apollo missions, making it the first watch on the moon. So cool,” he gushes.
He’s also acutely aware that a luxury timepiece is a special purchase – likely reflecting a special moment in time for the buyer or recipient. “I tell my clients that this is something that will outlast you, that you can give to your children,” he says.
He’s so passionate about helping clients navigate their choices, because he knows that your watch is a piece of you that people will come to associate with you.
“’That’s dad’s watch,’ people will say. It’s not just a timepiece,” he says.
That’s why it’s so important to have a guide like Paul when selecting ‘the’ watch, especially if you’re new to the watch world or purchasing a gift. When Paul meets with a client, first he focuses on them – their style, their habits, their interests. Then he walks them through the options within Rolex, OMEGA, and Hamilton, ensuring that his client walks out with the right watch at the right price, one that will become a legacy.
“If you’re going to invest in a timepiece, make sure you’re doing it right, and that your choice is going to match your lifestyle,” he points out.
“If you’re going to spend the money, make sure you’re doing it right, that your choice is going to match your lifestyle.”
So how does Paul choose a watch today? Just like his first watch, aesthetics still drive his choices. “If I really like it, it’s not necessarily about the price,” he says with a laugh.
And his second consideration is finding good fits for his collection – be it a diver’s watch, dress watch and everything in between, he likes to find pieces with qualities he doesn’t already have.
For now, he’s still pretty pleased with that new Batman.
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