The story behind Toolwatch.io
and a passion for mechanical watches
As far as I remember, I’ve always been interested in watches. At that time, I only knew quartz watches and my grail watch should’ve probably been something with solar energy. The idea of not having to replace a battery and to rely on another power source than traditional battery that would run out without even notifying its user was pretty cool ! I also loved the precision of those watches, allowing me to synchronize myself with whatever reference I could find (train station, the big kitchen clock, school clock…)
It was only later, when I was in high school I guess, that I discovered mechanical watches. It was an instant crush. You didn’t need a battery ! And the automatic watch that would theoretically never stop as long as you wore it was actually invented many decades before the quartz watch ! That was truly fascinating. Along with those mechanical aspects, I also loved the timeless designs that they offered and globally, the fact that they were beautiful luxury items you could pass along. The only jewel a man could own.
I started searching for a watch. My watch. The one that I would wear every day, in all situation.
At that time, Omega was the brand that excited me the most. Omega was cool. Even James Bond wore an Omega (okay, he used to have the Submariner from Rolex before that) ! I started researching and learning the history of the brand and fell in love with the Speedmaster. This watch was legendary, it went to the Moon ! Could you think of a more iconic watch ? I was clear for me that I should have a Speedmaster. The research phase started again, studying all the different references of the moonwatch and it took me a month to finally settle on one reference the Speedmaster 50th anniversary limited edition. It had everything you would expect from the “classic” Speedmaster Profesionnal but with a little exclusive twist. Perfect. A few weeks later, the watch was on my wrist and holds a special place in my heart.
Then, for my 20th birthday, my father gave me my grandfather’s Jaeger-LeCoultre. It was a Powermatic from 1951, actually the first automatic movement with a power reserve display. And it belonged to my grandfather. This was the most incredible gift I ever had and got me completely hooked with watches. This is how I really discovered Jaeger-LeCoultre and was amazed with its history. In my opinion, Jaeger-LeCoultre has the most interesting history and legacy in watchmaking. You cannot enjoy mechanical watches without appreciating Jaeger-LeCoultre. It is the brand that symbolizes passion for watches and the men and women behind them. At that point I could define myself as someone passionate by watchmaking.
With that passion came BIG PROBLEMS ! The will to own almost every cool watch possible (and trust me, that means a lot of watches!), staring at everyone’s wrist trying to figure out which timepiece he or she could wear, hours spent researching the history of all the watchmakers and their amazing products and, of course, being obsessed with the accuracy of mechanical watches. For me, the best watches are the most accurate. Simple as that. You want to be able to rely on your watch. Of course, beautiful movement decoration fascinates me. But at the end of the day, what are those lovely “Côtes de Genève” going to do if your watch takes +30sec a day ?
I started measuring the accuracy of my watches by simply using a pen and a paper (lot of cool stuff usually start that way too!). I would synchronize my watch with an atomic clock, come back a few days later and then see how my watch has been doing since the synchronization. This method gave me fairly accurate results but it wasn’t convenient at all. I had to remember when I had synchronized the watch in the first place then do the maths. If I’d lost my post-it I had to start again.
I then had the idea of using an Excel spreadsheet to automatize the maths and simplify the whole process. The results were better and I started sharing this spreadsheet with my father and a couple of friends. I realized I wasn’t alone with my sickness of “is my watch accurate or not” ! Then the idea of sharing this tool with more people came to my mind. It should be available online for anyone. And this is how Toolwatch.io was born ! With two friends also passionate about watches, we started building Toolwatch as a side project.
Our intention is to build the most convenient tool to measure the accuracy of a mechanical watch and to provide the best experience possible for watch aficionados.
We released Toolwatch a few days ago and I really encourage you to check it if you are crazy about watches ! We would be happy to chat with you either on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (where we love to post the watches we come accross in this incredible journey).
It is interesting to see how mechanical watches have gained interest over the years and even from digital natives at a time where Apple just launched its first Apple Watch. In my opinion, it is just the beginning of a new era for mechanical watches, thanks to Apple, generations of consumers will now get used to actually wear a watch and will, later on, consider wearing a more traditional one made of the passion of a watchmaker instead of a soulless pile of electronic components around the wrist.
Thanks for reading, take care of yourself and of your mechanical watches !
Feel free to reach out on @MarcAime if you want to continue the discussion, I’d be happy to chat and get your opinion !