Journal / Read

Complecto’s Jason Gong on a Lifelong Love for Watches

In Bezel's exclusive interview, we sit down with the Complecto founder, collector, and community cultivator to explore his introduction to the world of watches, developing a watch of his own, plus the most prized pieces in his personal collection.


Team Bezel

January 5, 2024


9 min read

Jason Gong (aka @wristshotnyc) is an outspoken champion of diversity in watches, having notably founded the collector community, event organizer, and now brand collaborator Complecto out of his vision to create a welcoming space for collectors of all backgrounds. Likewise, Gong's collection reflects a genuine appreciation for a wide range of different watches.

In Bezel's exclusive interview, we sit down with the Complecto founder, collector, and community cultivator to explore his introduction to the world of watches, working on a watch of his own, plus the most prized pieces in his personal collection.

In Conversation with Jason Gong

Bezel: How did you get into watches? 

JG: I was lucky to have grown up around watches and watch stuff - there were often catalogs around the house – plus my father always had a watch on, as did my paternal grandfather whenever I saw him.

This early introduction planted the seed of a journey that would span three decades, covering many personal and professional milestones, all while spending way too much money. 

On the wrist: Jason's Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 15400ST.OO.1220ST.04

Bezel: The watch industry will forever be indebted to fathers worldwide for getting their sons and daughters hooked early. Is there a particular watch you have memories of him wearing? What were his horological tastes like?

JG: My father has largely been a function-over-form kinda guy, and his choice of watches still reflects that sensibility. He wore a Timex Ironman watch for much of my childhood, but he also had a couple of elegant dress watches that I’ve since inherited; a gold-plated Tudor Le Royale, which was gifted to him by my grandmother, and 80s Omega De Ville.

Gong's prized Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz Ref. 19018 in solid 18k yellow gold.

Bezel: What was your first watch, and what’s the story behind it? 

JG: My first watch was a diver’s watch from Swatch that I received for my 8th birthday. I remember being so excited to wear it in the water that I asked my parents if I could wear it in the shower.

As a big fan of nature documentaries and all things Jacques Cousteau, wearing that watch made me feel like I could dive into the ocean's depths. It definitely instilled a sense of adventure and wonder in me.

Bezel: Do dive watches now play a significant role in your current collection? 

JG: I expect that dive watches will always play a large role in my collection – there’s just something so romantic and nostalgic about them. Across the board, dive watches also tend to be incredibly versatile, which is important to me because I like to wear all of my watches. I currently own dive watches from Angelus, Breitling, Longines, Oris, Rolex, Tudor, and Zenith.

Bezel: What’s your favorite watch in your collection? 

JG: The Bulova x Complecto Jet Star is my favorite watch for many reasons. It's beautifully designed, accessibly priced, and powered by a really interesting movement. Above all, it's Complecto's first collaboration, and for it to be with a historic brand like Bulova is beyond anything I imagined upon first launching Complecto.

This watch acknowledges the importance of Complecto's values, mission, and our dedicated community's sheer strength and passion. My second favorite would have to be my Rolex Oysterquartz Day-Date Ref. 19018.

The Bulova x Complecto Jet Star, limited to 100 pieces.

Bezel: Has being directly involved in developing a watch shaped the way you view collecting / the industry as a whole? 

JG: It’s certainly given me a much better understanding of what it takes to bring a watch to market. Obviously, there are tons of moving parts when it comes to the design, development, and manufacturing of a watch, but there’s an equally significant amount of work that goes into telling the story of the watch, and bringing that narrative to life.

This is critically important because buying a watch is an entirely emotional decision; none of us need a watch, so if we’re going to buy one, it needs to resonate with us on a deeper level. Doing this successfully is the single most important way for a brand to differentiate its watch from the competition’s.

Executed in platinum with a factory diamond-set meteorite dial, Gong's Rolex Day-Date 40 Ref. 228206-0036 is a certified heavy hitter.

Bezel: Why do you continue to enjoy collecting watches? 

JG: I will forever be in awe of the art of watchmaking. Its unique marriage of engineering, design, and artistry is something to behold.

Watch collecting is also a journey, and I enjoy celebrating milestones with new acquisitions. I also love the thrill of the "hunt," especially when it comes to rare and discontinued references that require determination and savvy to track down.

Have someone in mind that you'd like to see featured?  Interested in submitting a story of your own?

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- Isaac Wingold


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