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Important Timepieces – Curated by collector Per Nilsson

Curated by a watch collector

– Per Nilsson

Per Nilsson is a collector who has had a great interest in vintage watches for years. He is one of two founders of Gentlemanualen, a modern style guide for men, who he founded together with Andreas Weinås. Per is also the author behind four bestselling style guiding books for men and works as a senior editor at Connoisseur Magazine.

When did your interest in watches begin, and who inspired you?
– I think everything started with Swatch in the middle of the 80s. I became obsessed, and I especially remember the Jellyfish model that I bought at Nordiska Kompaniet in the summer of 1985, when I was 11. Four years later, I received the book The Classic Watch by Michael Balfour as a Christmas present, and after that, I was hooked. Later I had come to understand that a lot of my interest comes from a gentleman that I met when I was a newborn, namely my grandfather, who for a majority of his time worked with really nice wristwatches during the years when he ran pawnshops at Sibyllegatan and Nybrogatan in Stockholm.

› 4. Patek Philippe, Calatrava, 18K gold, around 1989. Estimate 70 000 - 90 000 SEK.

What’s your relationship to auctions, and do you often buy watches at them?
– I am what people might call a catalogue junkie. I love to botanize and dream in front of my mobile or laptop screen. So far, I haven’t bought anything, but it’s just a question of time… Which in my case is the same as “when I have the money necessary to win the bids on the watches I want”.

How would you describe your collection of watches?
– I would describe myself as more of an enthusiast than a collector, but I keep a few classics that I’m pleased with from the manufacturers and brands I admire the most in my safe deposit box.

› 46. Patek Philippe, Aquanaut, around 1998. Estimate 250 000 – 300 000 SEK.

Tell us about your selections in the auction – why did you choose them?
– Exactly this reference came to my attention when I was in New York for a mid-term break with my family in the late 80s. Several of the men at Wall Street wore it, and the street vendors waved aggressively with copies of it wherever I went. Calatrava is legendary, and I would love to wear this with a suit or smoking. A good thing in a small package that fits my wrist perfectly.
– My eyes opened to Patek Nautilus in the middle of the 90s when I saw it on handsome men in Stockholm over and over again, and knowing that they still wear that same watch daily. The Aquanaut model I saw for the first time a few years later. It was on the wrist of Mauro Scocco, I believe it was around 1997, and I want to remember it was at Norr Mälarstrand where I know he likes to take his walks. I lived nearby then, and it was always a pleasure seeing him wearing that watch. I was as taken with the Aquanaut as I was with the Nautilus a few years earlier. This particular reference is 35mm in diameter, which fits me perfectly.

Photography Milad Abedi

Viewing: 27 October – 1 November, Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm.
Open: Mon–Fri 11–18, Sat–Sun 11–17.
Auction: 2 November, Arsenalsgatan 2, start 7pm.

To the catalogue

Per Nilsson's selection

4. Patek Philippe, Calatrava.
Hammer price 
90 000 SEK
70 000 - 90 000 SEK
94. Patek Philippe, Aquanaut.
Hammer price 
260 000 SEK
250 000 - 300 000 SEK