Any lover of cool watches, men’s style, living well, and luxury travel will be familiar with The William Brown Project. A photographer and magazine editor Matt Hranek’s blog covers all those topics and more with aplomb. Thousands of others know the Condé Nast Traveler style editor through his inspiring Instagram account. Now Hranek’s first book, A Man & His Watch: Iconic Watches and Stories from the Men Who Wore Them has just become available for pre-order on Amazon in both a hardcover and Kindle edition.
Why A Man & His Watch Should Be On Your Bookshelf
It’s shaping up to be the watch lovers’ read of the season. Hranek traveled the world “conducting firsthand interviews and diving into exclusive collections” to assemble the photos and often never-before-told stories of 76 different watches for the 213-page tome, being published by Artisan Books. The weak point of many such books is often their photography, but given Hranek’s credentials, we expect it to be a thing of beauty.
Matt Hranek’s Skill Set
With his background in journalism and his knowledge of watches – Hranek owns several including a vintage Rolex Submariner and an Omega Speedmaster – he was able to ferret out the tales of legendary watches that have been hidden away in banks and safes for years. Through intimate accounts and Hranek’s storytelling, “the watches become more than just timepieces and status symbols,” Artisan notes. “They represent historical moments, pioneering achievements, heirlooms, family mementos, gifts of affection, and lifelong friendships.” Iconic watches in the book include the famed Rolex Daytona that Paul Newman “wore every single day for 35 years”. Hranek calls it “probably the single most sought-after watch in the world”, and notes it is now in the possession of his daughter Clea, who wears it every day herself in his memory – even though in our opinion it must be worth around $3-5 million.
A Few Famous People
Another important Rolex in the book is the Oyster Perpetual that inspired the Rolex Explorer, worn by Sir Edmund Hillary’s worn during the first-ever summit of Mt. Everest in 1953. Other watches featured in A Man and His Watch include the elegant gold Tiffany timepiece gifted to Franklin D. Roosevelt by a friend on his birthday, which he wore to the famous Yalta Conference in 1945 where he shook the hands of both Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill. The ultra-thin Omega tank watch owned and worn by JFK which he wore to his inauguration also has a mention. Omega acquired it at auction in 2005 for $420,000. Add to that some lesser known pieces, including a 1930s Cartier Tank watch owned by Ralph Lauren that he purchased from Andy Warhol’s personal collection. The takeaway: make room on the bookshelf, stat.