Journal / Read

Market’s Mike Cherman on Digging Into the Watch World

In Bezel's exclusive interview, we sit down with the Market founder and creative director to explore his introduction to the world of watches, his love for the watch collecting community, plus the most prized watch in his personal collection.


Team Bezel

February 16, 2024


9 min read

Since founding his own label Market in 2016, Mike Cherman has made quite a significant impact throughout the worlds of streetwear, graphic design, and fashion at large. Having released licensed collaborations with the likes of the NBA, Pokémon, Bob Marley, and the Grateful Dead among others, the Los Angeles-based creative's accolades truly speak for themselves.

In Bezel's exclusive interview, we sit down with the streetwear brand founder to explore his introduction to the world of watches, his love for the watch-collecting community, plus the most prized watch in his personal collection.

In Conversation with Mike Cherman

Bezel: How did you get into watches? 

MC: For a long time, I never understood the idea of collecting watches. Seeing friends of mine who lived check-to-check buying a Rolex with their first big payout left me scratching my head. It wasn't until I first met my friend Billy Parks that I started to realize how special the world of watchmaking really is, and how collecting wasn’t just a vehicle for flexing wealth.

Once I realized collecting was truly rooted in an appreciation for the art and mastery of horology, I was hooked from there. I bought my first pre-owned watch online – a Tudor Day-Date Prince Ref. 76214. I wanted to buy a Rolex Day-Date badly, but I knew I had to walk before I could run, and that the Presidential Day-Date was something I had to earn, not just skip right into owning. It was all history from there, and I was hooked.

Cherman displays a portion of his collection on the wrist, with stand-out pieces from Omega, Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Cartier.

Bezel: What was it about the Tudor Day-Date that spoke to you?

MC: It felt like a safe first watch for me because it gave me the feeling of having a Rolex without the price tag, but from first glance, it’s always just assumed that I’m wearing a Day Date in some precious white metal. I remember the first day I wore it, and one of my employees came up to me and said,

“Man I hope I can get a Rolex one day.”

I sat there laughing, knowing that I’d paid ¼ the price for my Tudor but was still turning heads.

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

MC: My first watch was a “Shark Watch” by Freestyle from Kohl’s. I loved these watches because of how sporty they were, and the unique colors they let you wear on your wrist. It felt like what the Apple watch feels like now, and while it was such a simple design, it felt like I was 6-degrees away from being on a beach in Southern California – far away from my small east coast New York town where surfing was only but a dream.

It's funny to think that this is where my love of watches began, but also I think that by starting here and not with something more conventional, it made it harder for me to adopt nicer watches as I grew older. It definitely took some time to appreciate the jump from a "novelty" watch to something more serious.

Bezel: Humble beginnings have their advantages, too. Do you find yourself still reaching for more accessible pieces despite having amassed a serious collection? 

MC: I still love novelty watches, but it’s funny – the more and more I get into legit watch collecting, I find it harder to wear the novelty watches I once loved. Even newer “Hypebeast” style brands like Laavaree. I’ve picked up two of their watches, but when I put it on my wrist, I just laugh at the novelty more than I get excited to wear it regularly. But then again, I guess that's why not every watch is a daily driver, and a reminder that each watch has its own reason for being special.

A selection of the streetwear brand founder's collection, featuring a Rolex Day-Date Ref. 18238 "Onyx," Cartier Tank Must, Omega Speedmaster Ref, Rolex Datejust Ref. 1603, and a Tudor Day-Date Prince Ref. 76214.

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

MC: My favorite watch is my Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5066A. It’s my most valuable watch, but it’s also the one that gets compliments only from people who truly know what it is. Otherwise, this one flies under the radar and usually goes unnoticed.

As you’d expect, it’s on a tropical strap, and its luminous applications have even developed a slight patina over the years. I wear black almost every day, so the black rubber strap and dial alone make it my favorite and most special watch in my collection.

Mike’s prized Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5066A in hard-wearing stainless steel.

Bezel: It really is the most tasteful subtle flex in watches, period. Where do you think you’ll take your collection from here?

MC: I just picked up two beautiful Cartier watches recently. One was the Cartier Santos Carrée Ref. 2960 “Ghost,” complete with all of its original boxes and papers. It’s definitely a grail I’ve been after for a while, and I love it somehow stands out from the rest while still going largely unnoticed. 

The second watch I picked up is a really special vintage Chopard for Cartier Baignoire Ref. 67887 that has a unique shape compared to a standard Baignoire. I’m really excited to wear it as an elegant daily driver. I love a small watch as my wrists are not huge. I honestly don’t even hate the idea of wearing a lady's watch, as they look really cool if worn properly.

Cherman pictured inside Market's Los Angeles offices.

Bezel: Can you share three must-have watches listed on Bezel right now? 

MC: Definitely! ‍

Cartier Baignoire “Mini” Ref. WGBA0017

Cartier Coussin “Bamboo” Ref. 78102

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5140G-001

Black sports watches, two ways: Mike's Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016 alongside his Patek Philippe Aquanaut

Bezel: Can you share three must-have watches listed on Bezel right now? 

MC: Definitely! 

Omega Speedmaster Professional "Snoopy Award" Ref. 3578.51.00

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar Openface Ref. 4020T/000G-B655

Omega Speedmaster "Japan Racing Dial" Ref. 3570.40.00

On the wrist: Cherman wears an early  Cartier Baignoire Ref. 67887, produced in 18k yellow gold by Chopard for the iconic maison.

Bezel: Why do you continue to enjoy collecting watches? 

MC: I love making friends with all the different dealers and collectors who teach me so much. No small part of collecting is the relationships you make along the way, and the joy in appreciating something together with another human breeds a special level of connection that we all look for outside of our mundane, everyday working lives.


Start browsing watches now

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!

Get the app