In Bezel's exclusive interview, we sit down with Spector to explore his introduction to the world of watch collecting, buying his first Rolex, and the best collecting advice imparted upon him throughout his journey to date.
Driven by producing impactful products and experiences, Mason Spector sparks conversation surrounding mental health on a daily basis through his fashion and lifestyle brand, Madhappy, as well as The Local Optimist – Spector’s online community of mental health resources.
In our exclusive interview, we sit down with Spector to explore his introduction to the world of watch collecting, buying his first Rolex, and the best collecting advice imparted upon him throughout his journey to date.
Bezel: How did you get into watches?
MS: I owe it all to my girlfriend's dad - a lifelong enthusiast. The first time she and I went back to the East Coast to visit her family in 2019, I showed up with a naked wrist. "You need a piece," he told me. I didn't really get it at the time. Fast forward 3 years later, and he and I are talking watches on a weekly basis.
Bezel: What’s been the best collecting advice he’s imparted? Any stand-out pieces from his collection that you admire most?
MS: First it was to do your research - to actually learn about the watch and the brand. Then it was to be obsessed with the watch. Anything that you’re going to get, you should absolutely love. And the last piece of advice would be to wear the watch and be okay with the natural wear and tear that comes with it.
He has a Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar 5740/1G. That was the first Patek I tried on and was absolutely shook. That allowed me to really understand first hand that there are levels to this game.
Bezel: What was your first watch and what’s the story behind it?
MS: The first serious watch I bought was a Cartier Santos in February of last year. There’s nothing quite like getting something brand new, and opening the box for the first time. This model was considered the first men’s wristwatch upon its original release in 1904, so it just felt right as my first, too.
Bezel: What about Cartier speaks to you as a collector? Have any other Cartier watches caught your eye since adding the Santos to your collection?
MS: I think out of all major watch brands Cartier has the most cultural significance outside of the watch space so I was naturally more familiar with it. Its rich history in both the luxury space, fine jewelry space and culture at large positions it uniquely and made it feel very accessible for my first piece. Not to mention it's probably the only retailer where you can walk in any day and buy a watch for retail.
Bezel: What’s your favorite watch in your collection?
MS: My Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 16700. It’s my first Rolex, and it’s got such a great nostalgic vibe to it. When I was getting into watches, the contrarian in me wondered “everybody has a Rolex, it can't be thaaat special can it?” Short answer - yes, it can be. There’s a reason why they’re the biggest name in watches. Because they’re the best.
MS: Absolutely. I came across a VC Overseas a couple weeks ago that I loved. Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe are bucket lists brands for the collection, as well. When the time is right.
Bezel: Why do you continue to enjoy collecting watches?
MS: Curiosity – there’s always more to learn. Every year new models are coming out, old models are getting discontinued - it's a year round sport to keep up with and dive deeper into. Not to mention just the concept of keeping time itself. There’s something so powerful about time. It’s the most precious thing we have.
Bezel: Can you share 3 watches in your Wants on Bezel right now?
MS: I thought you'd never ask!
Bezel is available to download on the App Store now. Please reach out to our concierge team if there is anything we can help you with!