My family has a large collection of National Geographic magazines, dating back to 1913. In the 1970s many of the first ads were from Rolex, Patek and Seiko and as many of the guys featured inside the mags wore i.e. Rolex, I started to take a linking to watches. You know, they were on the wrists of explorers, polar expeditions, mountain climbers and divers. As a kid this was a very fascinating world and this is where my interest for watches started. Must have been around six years old.
When and how did you make your passion into your profession?
When I sold small advertising agency in 2005 I took six months off doing nothing. And I realised I wanted to follow my heart and started to concentrate on watch writing. I had already been collecting for almost two decades at that point and already had one book on watches behind me, so it made sense.
What’s the story about the infamous Haagenbracelets?
During a holiday on a small island in the Philippines many many years ago I found these breaded bracelets and grew so fond of them that I found the maker and started to buy a few for friends. But when I started sharing wrist shots on my Instagram profile (@kristianhaagen) people started to show an interest. So I thought why not start selling them. However they are so popular that I do not have the time to offer them myself, which is why I sell them via different outlets, i.e. WatchBandit.com
What’s your 3 favorite watches from this years Basel World and why?
I really like what Tudor is doing and the new Black Bay Black with inhouse movement is a very very nice watch. I also like the TAG Heuer Monza 40th anniversary model and the Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback. And one of the reasons why I like these three is because of the distinct retro look. I guess I really like older watches and these three represent the past very very well.
Many new micro watch brands a born yearly. Do you have any favorites and why?
I like Linde Werdelin a lot. Not only are the watches great, but the Danish guys behind the brand are good friends too. Also very fond of Urwerk because of their great approach to modern horology and their crazy designs. Arnold & Son is also a very interesting brand due to their impressive complications and great designs.
If you where to launch your own watch brand one day, what would be the inspiration?
I really like the 1990s IWC Flieger models. And if I had to do my own watch brand I’d take inspiration in these models. A small Italian brand, orologi Calamai, actually looks very much like what I’d like my watches to look like, if I were to start my own brand.