The exclusive Life of a WIS interview series continues with my third guest: Scott Meller, Vice President of Feldmar Watch Company. I met Scott for the first time during a special Maurice Lacroix event that was held at their beautiful retail store. Feldmar Watch Company was renovated in 2013 for their 100th Anniversary and WOW... the new store is simply fantastic. With over 10,000 square feet of showroom space, there are plenty of watches to enjoy. They are an authorized dealer for all the brands in their showroom, which includes: Omega, Breguet, Blancpain, Arnold & Son, Bovet, Bremont, Jaquet Droz and many many more.
BRIAN: Thank you Scott for taking the time to do this interview. We are very excited to learn a little bit more about you and your retail store. When did you discover your passion for watches?
SCOTT: As I am a fourth generation family member working in the industry, you could say I was born with a passion for watches. A love for watches/watchmaking is part of my DNA.
Which watches (or brands) do you currently own?
Throughout my 20 year career in the watch industry, I have owned and enjoyed many timepieces. At the moment, my personal collection includes everything from a Breguet to a Breitling, from a Clerc to a Swatch Sistem51 and more.
From your current collection, which watch is your favorite and why?
For years I had my eyes on the Breguet Classique 5140 in white gold with the grand feu enamel dial. This watch spoke to me with its pure design of telling just the hours and minutes and a sub seconds display without any indications. I have thoroughly enjoyed owning this watch from the day I acquired it. It is my favorite timepiece from my current collection.
Which was your first significant watch? Any interesting story or significance behind it?
My first significant watch was a TAG Heuer Pasadena. Early on in my career, really before my professional career started, I would spend some time at the store. I can't say why, but I fell in love with the TAG Heuer Pasadena. I would see it in our showcase and dream of one day owning that timepiece. I remember asking my father if I could have it and him telling me no. He said it was too expensive of a watch for my age. Then one day a few months later I was visiting my grandfather, Mr. Feldmar (2nd generation), and he presented me with the watch! He told me that he had learned of my desire to own that watch and that he wanted me to have it. He then told me the story of how he acquired it. It was not as simple as going to the showcase and taking it. We had sold the piece we had in stock. Though the watch featured the TAG logo on the dial, it was an older model produced by Heuer (prior to being acquired by TAG) and had been retired. However, with the help of our buyer and the great relationship we had with TAG Heuer, they found one last piece in inventory at TAG Heuer. It had been moved to the damaged inventory due to a minor scratch on the case and so they would not sell it, but made an exception for my grandfather who purchased it and gave it to me.
Which are your three favorite brands and why?
My three favorite brands (that's a tough question) are Breguet, their watches are simply magnificent; Omega, I am really impressed with all their advancements in watchmaking; and Greubel Forsey, do I need to explain why? :)
In your opinion, which is the most underrated brand?
I would have to say that Ball is the most underrated brand. They make some really great watches, offer incredible value with exceptional quality.
Which is your favorite watch at the moment?
After just recently returning from Baselworld 2015, I am feeling the same way I felt about the Breguet before acquiring it as I do about the Arnold & Son DSTB (Dial Side True Beat). This timepiece has certainly caught my attention so don't be surprised if you soon see it on my wrist.
What watch do you wear to work most of the time?
I usually wear my Breguet 5140 to the office. It is my go to dress watch and fits nicely with my daily dress code that includes dress slacks, a dress shirt and tie.
Outside of work, does your family talk watches at home?
We don't talk watches much at home, my wife and I have our hands full with a 7 year old son and a 7 months old daughter. Our conversations usually focus on them and whatever time is left on non-work related topics.
What do you most enjoy about working at Feldmar Watch Company?
My favorite part about working at Feldmar is being part of my family's multi-generational business and having the opportunity to work alongside my father and ultimately be responsible for the business until the next generation comes along.
What makes Feldmar Watch Company different from other retail stores?
The biggest difference between Feldmar and other retail stores is the family atmosphere that is the foundation of our company culture.
What is your next piece?
As I mentioned earlier, I think my next timepiece acquisition is going to be the Arnold & Son DSTB. I just can't get that piece out of my mind.
If you have one, what is your grail piece and why?
As a watch lover, grail pieces are tough to identify as the second you select one, you say to yourself... yes, but what about this piece...
Is it true that you lose some of the passion for the industry once you are part of it?
There are times that the industry and business in general can make it difficult to remain passionate about timepieces, but in the end if you truly love what you do (and I do), the passion will always thrive.
Tell us something about yourself.
Personally when I am not in the store I enjoy spending time with my family, preferably outdoors. It does not matter to me if we are playing in our yard at home or going for a walk or spending the afternoon at the beach. The time I spend outdoors balances all the hours I spend inside the store.
Feldmar Watch Company is located on 9000 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035.
All photos in this post from Feldmar Watch Company and used with permission.