NEW YORK – Brian Sacawa, the professional musician and former elite-level bicycle racer behind the enormously popular men's site He Spoke Style, values the roles that quality and craftsmanship hold in men's fashion – and especially watches. A self-described "budding watch geek" who has already developed an impressive growing collection of his own, Sacawa is excited to dive even deeper into the world of vintage timepieces, heritage brands and the world of auction. Ahead of Sotheby's 8 June sale, we spoke with him about his personal aesthetic, all-time favourite watches and styling tips.
BRIAN SACAWA. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF HE SPOKE STYLE.
In a few words – how would you describe your personal style?
Classic with a modern sensibility.
Generally speaking, how have you seen men’s accessories evolve in the last few years?
I think the biggest recent evolution has been that more men are putting the time and effort into caring about their accessories. It’s become infinitely more acceptable for men to show an interest in their dress and personal style, and as a result, the “regular guy” has been given a kind of social green light to feel more free and confident to explore this area of his wardrobe.
What are some of the biggest watch trends you’ve noticed recently?
Cases have become larger – though it looks like the industry is starting to downsize in this area – and styling has become a little more flashy and flamboyant. Personally, I am not a purist, but I do think men who aren't collectors should stick to classic iterations of classic watches.
Why do you think so many men gravitate towards vintage accessories?
Men love details and items that come with a story and a sense of history. Vintage accessories scratch all of those itches.
BRIAN SACAWA. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF HE SPOKE STYLE
What are you wearing right now in terms of watches? Any all-time favourite brands or styles?
Right now I’m alternating between two different watches: an extremely classic Rolex Datejust in steel and white gold with a silver stick dial, fluted bezel and Jubilee bracelet and the new Drive de Cartier in steel with a black dial. I’m a budding watch geek, so my favourite brands and styles are mostly limited to what I’ve personally had contact with. I love classic and iconic brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, IWC, Omega and Cartier. Ask me again in five years and I’ll probably have a different answer! In terms of styles, I’ve had a long-time crush on the Rolex GMT Master with a Pepsi bezel.
Watches (like anything!) are often as much about how you wear them as what you wear – what are some of your top styling tips for men who want their timepieces to stand out?
I am a firm believer that subtlety exudes style to a much greater degree than something that is ostentatious. I have more respect for what I like to call understated elegance, where the details of something reveal themselves not at a distance, but only upon close inspection. That’s not to say that a beautiful watch can’t be a centrepiece. Even the most subtle timepieces will stand out against a simple and classically styled outfit. Think: navy or charcoal grey suit, crisp white button-up, simple solid or striped tie and cap toes or tassel loafers. Keep your outfit simple and your accessories will stand out and actually “make” the outfit.
Click below to see which pieces from Sotheby's Important Watches auction caught Sacawa's eye.