Like Father, Like Son: Successful Watchmakers
June 18, 2020

Like Father, Like Son: Watch Collectors

Like Father, Like Son: Watch Collectors

The bond between father and son is often shaped by their time together. But sharing a love and passion for timepieces can extend this bond even further…

When it comes to father and son relationships, a shared passion is often a gateway to making that connection and bond even stronger. Sharing a passion is not just a wonderful way of exploring an interest together but it is also an act of opening one’s heart and mind to a greater world. Watch collecting is a perfect example of how a connection between a parent and child can grow even stronger.  

As they say, watch collecting is a journey and never a destination and for some fathers and sons, this voyage into the world of horology can prove to be as timeless as their relationships themselves. We discover several father-son watch collectors who not only share an appreciation for fine watches and craftsmanship but also a deep desire that will likely pass on from one generation to the next.

Time As A Foundation 

Collecting and appreciating timepieces is an element that runs long and deep between Sharan Valiram and his sons, Neerav and Divesh. Defining their relationship, both brothers admit that they look up to their father as both a mentor and a friend. “I think we both take him as an example on how to live life, treat people and conduct ourselves and to be an upstanding person,” elaborates Neerav. “Those are lessons that money can’t buy.”  

Divesh nods in an agreement, recalling a time when he turned to his father for advice when it came to deciding what path to take for his education. “I was deciding on universities as I wasn’t sure which one would be a right fit for me. So I looked to him for guidance and he ultimately helped me distinguished the one that was more appropriate for me.”  

Both Neerav and Divesh admit they share similar traits with their father. In Neerav’s case, he opines they tend to always put their time to good use by doing something productive. “I believe we are also introverts. I tend to come out of my shell whenever I am comfortable with someone and I think my dad is a lot like that.”  

Divesh on the other hand thinks that both him and his father I think that my dad has this innate ability to connect with people by finding a common ground and building upon that connection from there.” I’ve always seen that trait with him since I was young and I have strived to do the same.” 

In discussing watches both Neerav and Divesh admit they take a bit after their father in appreciating the qualities of a timepiece, especially the rich heritage and history that surrounds itNeerav who has an affinity towards design, favours the aesthetics of the watch, specifically the physical form of the overall design. 

Divesh on the other hand is drawn towards the craftsmanship, especially the complexities involved in making the timepiece. “One of my favourites is an IWC skeleton watch because you can see the intricacies that go into making something like that.” The two brothers were introduced to watches from an early age, admitting that they both received their first Swiss watches on their 13th birthday.  

“Mine was a Tag Heuer Formula 1, which was the first real watch I had,” reveals Neerav. “I remember tearing up when I got it.”  For Divesh it was a stainless steel Oris with a black face, which he picked out himself. “It was going to be my first proper watch and I wanted it to be a classic,” he explains.  

The brothers also reveal they share a fondness for Graham watches and the Rolex Daytona. However when it came to discussing what watches their father favours, the brothers believe that it is down to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore in rose gold and a Rolex, which was a gift from his father in-law.  

This of course begs the question if those watches be handed down the family line in the future. “Well the Rolex is a small dial model, so I would probably look for another rose gold watch that I like and I’ll probably hand that down for them to decide,” jokes Sharan. 

Shifting to what time truly means to them, Neerav opines that time is something to be treasured as it is something that we can’t get back. “That’s why I feel it’s very important to invest your time wisely as it is ultimately a commodity and something to cherish and use wisely.” 

Divesh wholeheartedly agrees, but also admits that he tends to lose track of time occasionally. “I’m always late for things to be honest,” he says with a laugh. “But I do realise that timing is really important because it is vital in progressing our lives and we should be respectful of it. This is something that I need to learn to do a little bit more.”  

Both brothers however readily admit that their father is someone that is very mindful of time. “He doesn’t believe in wasting time and he is never intentionally late for anything,” says Divesh. “Dad also has a thing he calls ‘take home’, reveals Neerav“Whether it is a social interaction or a meeting, he makes it a point to take something like a thought or a way of doing or seeing things from a different perspective, which he gathers after spending time with that person.” 

A Bond Built On Timepieces

For Dr Rajiv Bhanot his foray into the world of timepieces began at age 15 when he was gifted –as he puts it – his first ‘proper’ watch by his parents. “That watch was with me for six years in Moscow while I was studying there and it accompanied me on many various adventures,” he enthused. Like his father, Rajiv holds a deep appreciation for time as he feels 24 hours in a day isn’t sufficient enough. “For over a decade, working seven days a week has been the norm for me. When one truly enjoys what they do, work never really feels like work thus there are many days that I wish could stretch beyond the 24 available hours.”  

When it comes to timepieces, Rajiv admits he prefers subtle timepieces that are practical to be worn regularly. “Personally, I don’t believe in wearing flashy watches. I always felt that subtlety expresses volumes instead,” he adds. He also admits he holds a high regard for the craftsmanship process and precision that goes into creating a watch. “I recently visited a watch factory in Switzerland and was able to witness the dedication of the watchmakers, which was the most appealing aspect of watchmaking to me personally.”  

The bond between Rajiv and his father is evidently strong, as they share common traits that aren’t necessarily limited to timepieces. “We are both strong-minded and opinionated which makes dinner-time conversations exciting and interesting,” he says with a laugh. “We will always have that strong bond of friendship with mutual respect.”  

When asked of the timepieces he treasures the most in his collection Rajiv admits he has an affinity for a 2014 Brazil World Cup special edition watch, which reminded him of his time there. “Again it’s a reminder of the importance of time. You live life once – so do it in a manner where when you look back someday in the future you can smile and not have any regrets. If there is one thing I wish I could have more of, it would be time to spend on the things I like with the people I love.”  

Time As An Investment

For Azmil Kamil Azahari and his father Datuk Mohamed Azahari Kamil they not only share a common understanding of the world of finance and numbers but also an affinity for timepieces. In an interview published previously in The Tatler (https://my.asiatatler.com/style/society-wish-list-azmil-kamil-azahari-watches-for-all-occasions), Azmil admits that he inherited his interest in watches from his father.  

He has also readily admitted that his father has a good eye and judgement when it comes to timepiece due to his numerous years as a watch collector. According to the profile piece, the best advice Azmil has ever received from his father is to always go for a timepiece that is designed by a watchmaker.’ 

Although there is a disparity when it comes to preference for specific brands and models both father and son have admitted that watches are intimate objects with distinguishable factors especially when it comes to social events and occasions. In a quote taken from the interview, Azmil admitted that, “The finishing touches for any man is a nice wristwatch. The watch sometimes helps me to get noticed and for me, I wear accessories to distinguish myself from others. It’s a simple pleasure of mine,” he explains. 

Despite building a collection of watches over the years, Azmil gives full credit to his father for cementing the basis of his collecting principles. He affirmed that the attraction between a collector and a watch, like a relationship between father and son, is undoubtedly built on emotion. 

When it comes to father and son relationships, a shared passion is often a gateway to making that connection and bond even stronger. Sharing a passion is not just a wonderful way of exploring an interest together but it is also an act of opening one’s heart and mind to a greater world. Watch collecting is a perfect example of how a connection between a parent and child can grow even stronger.  

As they say, watch collecting is a journey and never a destination and for some fathers and sons, this voyage into the world of horology can prove to be as timeless as their relationships themselves. We discover several father-son watch collectors who not only share an appreciation for fine watches and craftsmanship but also a deep desire that will likely pass on from one generation to the next.  

Time As A Foundation 

Collecting and appreciating timepieces is an element that runs long and deep between Sharan Valiram and his sons, Neerav and Divesh. Defining their relationship, both brothers admit that they look up to their father as both a mentor and a friend. “I think we both take him as an example on how to live life, treat people and conduct ourselves and to be an upstanding person,” elaborates Neerav. “Those are lessons that money can’t buy.”  

Divesh nods in an agreement, recalling a time when he turned to his father for advice when it came to deciding what path to take for his education. “I was deciding on universities as I wasn’t sure which one would be a right fit for me. So I looked to him for guidance and he ultimately helped me distinguished the one that was more appropriate for me.”  

Both Neerav and Divesh admit they share similar traits with their father. In Neerav’s case, he opines they tend to always put their time to good use by doing something productive. “I believe we are also introverts. I tend to come out of my shell whenever I am comfortable with someone and I think my dad is a lot like that.”  

Divesh on the other hand thinks that both him and his father I think that my dad has this innate ability to connect with people by finding a common ground and building upon that connection from there.” I’ve always seen that trait with him since I was young and I have strived to do the same.” 

In discussing watches both Neerav and Divesh admit they take a bit after their father in appreciating the qualities of a timepiece, especially the rich heritage and history that surrounds itNeerav who has an affinity towards design, favours the aesthetics of the watch, specifically the physical form of the overall design. 

Divesh on the other hand is drawn towards the craftsmanship, especially the complexities involved in making the timepiece. “One of my favourites is an IWC skeleton watch because you can see the intricacies that go into making something like that.” The two brothers were introduced to watches from an early age, admitting that they both received their first Swiss watches on their 13th birthday.  

“Mine was a Tag Heuer Formula 1, which was the first real watch I had,” reveals Neerav. “I remember tearing up when I got it.”  For Divesh it was a stainless steel Oris with a black face, which he picked out himself. “It was going to be my first proper watch and I wanted it to be a classic,” he explains.  

The brothers also reveal they share a fondness for Graham watches and the Rolex Daytona. However when it came to discussing what watches their father favours, the brothers believe that it is down to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore in rose gold and a Rolex, which was a gift from his father in-law.  

This of course begs the question if those watches be handed down the family line in the future. “Well the Rolex is a small dial model, so I would probably look for another rose gold watch that I like and I’ll probably hand that down for them to decide,” jokes Sharan. 

Shifting to what time truly means to them, Neerav opines that time is something to be treasured as it is something that we can’t get back. “That’s why I feel it’s very important to invest your time wisely as it is ultimately a commodity and something to cherish and use wisely.” 

Divesh wholeheartedly agrees, but also admits that he tends to lose track of time occasionally. “I’m always late for things to be honest,” he says with a laugh. “But I do realise that timing is really important because it is vital in progressing our lives and we should be respectful of it. This is something that I need to learn to do a little bit more.”  

Both brothers however readily admit that their father is someone that is very mindful of time. “He doesn’t believe in wasting time and he is never intentionally late for anything,” says Divesh. “Dad also has a thing he calls ‘take home’, reveals Neerav“Whether it is a social interaction or a meeting, he makes it a point to take something like a thought or a way of doing or seeing things from a different perspective, which he gathers after spending time with that person.” 

A Bond Built On Timepieces

For Dr Rajiv Bhanot his foray into the world of timepieces began at age 15 when he was gifted –as he puts it – his first ‘proper’ watch by his parents. “That watch was with me for six years in Moscow while I was studying there and it accompanied me on many various adventures,” he enthused. Like his father, Rajiv holds a deep appreciation for time as he feels 24 hours in a day isn’t sufficient enough. “For over a decade, working seven days a week has been the norm for me. When one truly enjoys what they do, work never really feels like work thus there are many days that I wish could stretch beyond the 24 available hours.”  

When it comes to timepieces, Rajiv admits he prefers subtle timepieces that are practical to be worn regularly. “Personally, I don’t believe in wearing flashy watches. I always felt that subtlety expresses volumes instead,” he adds. He also admits he holds a high regard for the craftsmanship process and precision that goes into creating a watch. “I recently visited a watch factory in Switzerland and was able to witness the dedication of the watchmakers, which was the most appealing aspect of watchmaking to me personally.”  

The bond between Rajiv and his father is evidently strong, as they share common traits that aren’t necessarily limited to timepieces. “We are both strong-minded and opinionated which makes dinner-time conversations exciting and interesting,” he says with a laugh. “We will always have that strong bond of friendship with mutual respect.”  

When asked of the timepieces he treasures the most in his collection Rajiv admits he has an affinity for a 2014 Brazil World Cup special edition watch, which reminded him of his time there. “Again it’s a reminder of the importance of time. You live life once – so do it in a manner where when you look back someday in the future you can smile and not have any regrets. If there is one thing I wish I could have more of, it would be time to spend on the things I like with the people I love.”

Time As An Investment

For Azmil Kamil Azahari and his father Datuk Mohamed Azahari Kamil they not only share a common understanding of the world of finance and numbers but also an affinity for timepieces. In an interview published previously in The Tatler (https://my.asiatatler.com/style/society-wish-list-azmil-kamil-azahari-watches-for-all-occasions), Azmil admits that he inherited his interest in watches from his father.  

He has also readily admitted that his father has a good eye and judgement when it comes to timepiece due to his numerous years as a watch collector. According to the profile piece, the best advice Azmil has ever received from his father is to always go for a timepiece that is designed by a watchmaker.’ 

Although there is a disparity when it comes to preference for specific brands and models both father and son have admitted that watches are intimate objects with distinguishable factors especially when it comes to social events and occasions. In a quote taken from the interview, Azmil admitted that, “The finishing touches for any man is a nice wristwatch. The watch sometimes helps me to get noticed and for me, I wear accessories to distinguish myself from others. It’s a simple pleasure of mine,” he explains. 

Despite building a collection of watches over the years, Azmil gives full credit to his father for cementing the basis of his collecting principles. He affirmed that the attraction between a collector and a watch, like a relationship between father and son, is undoubtedly built on emotion.