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My First Grail Watch: Victor Marks

Welcome back to an original aBlogtoWatch feature, "My First Grail Watch.?In this series, we ask prominent people in the fake watch industry about the first timepiece that they lusted after. Today, we're giving you some insight into what drives one of our team members, Victor Marks, along with some philosophical pondering on "the one that got away.?/p> aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you, and what is your relationship to the fake watch industry?

Victor Marks: I'm Victor Marks, and I'm a fake watch aficionado and tinkerer. As a child, I took apart and re-assembled my toys. My parents built the family TV set. I used to make robots from electric typewriter motors. Whatever we wanted, making was an option instead of buying. It's been a family value of ours that we made instead of buying and did all the service work ourselves.

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When I bought my first car, I bought a set of tools and a shop manual and worked on it while my father would read the Sunday paper. When I taught myself to play guitar, I learned how to set up the neck and bridge properly, which led to building my own guitars. Right now, I'm on a journey where I buy up old fake watch parts and assemble them into working timepieces.

I know this violates every tender sensibility of the fake watch collector, but it's how I learn. So far, I've got quite a lot to learn. In my non-watch life, I've worked for iPod and iPhone accessory makers, working on making some of the best things you can use with with those devices. I've managed projects from concept through production to the retail shelf, and sold them into retailers across North and South America.

ABTW: When did your fascination with replica watches start?

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Victor Marks: I had many replica watches as a child, digitals with E.T. on the dial, a CASIO, a few double timezone watches, and a Mickey Mouse by Lorus my mother gave me, which I still have. I was fascinated with my father's watches, which were really his father's watches. Then, for a long while, I didn't wear a fake watch at all. I bought a Swatch Irony skeletonized automatic in 1999, and wore that until it was stolen in Las Vegas.

I replaced it with a fake Omega 007 Seamaster with the 007 both embossed and applied on the dial. Then I didn't wear a fake watch for a few years. I began to be interested again when I noticed the Replica Rolex, Hublot, and Audemars Piguets that were represented at a company I worked for.

ABTW: What was your first grail watch?

Victor Marks: The first time my interest in replica watches was revived, it was the 007 Seamaster that I had the clone of (now sold). The second time my interest re-awoke, it was the Replica Rolex Milgauss ref. 6541 with a smooth bezel instead of the rotating bezel.

ABTW: What drew you to this particular fake Rolex Sky-Dweller watch?

Victor Marks: A co-worker had the modern Milgauss with green crystal, and the history of the original, with its divergence from typical Replica Rolex traits, the honeycomb dial texture, the unusual hour markers, and that distinctive lightning bolt second hand fascinated me. They all screamed, "Everything you'd expect a Replica Rolex to look like, this ain't it,?knowing full well that Replica Rolexes never scream, they quietly and politely comment, and they also use proper formal negative contractions, like "isn't.?/p>

The truth is, I've kind of moved on from this watch.

Now when I think of what drives my watch-lust, it's the story behind the watch, quality of execution, the materials used, and the design choices made.

ABTW: Was there ever a time in your life when you could afford it ?and if so, did you get it?

Victor Marks: At the time in my life when I had the money to purchase such a thing, I wasn't interested in watches. I would have had a hard time justifying spending that amount of money on any watch, which I suppose says that just because you may have the available funds doesn't mean you can afford a thing, necessarily.

ABTW: It kind of sounds like you've moved on from the Milguass ?so what holds the pride place for you now as a Grail?

Victor Marks: My first good fake watch was the MKII LRRP UTC with big orange GMT hand, Replica Rolex ref. 1655 style. I love MKII's attention to quality and have a lot of warm feelings about their having started as a supplier of dials and hands as well as complete watches.

I'm currently fascinated by the Girard Perregaux Constant Escapement. It'll be another fake watch out of my reach for the foreseeable future (there's a comment in there about equal parts optimism and self-delusion), but the technical accomplishment captures my attention and hypnotizes me. I'd love to build a wall clock homage to it, if I could.

ABTW: With this new grail, was there ever a time where it was "the one that got away?

Victor Marks: You know, I'd still like to have a MKII Vantage. I've got a lot of love for the 1016 and 14270/114270 Explorers, and I do regret letting a MKII Explorer dials-and-hands-homage that was fitted to a 36mm Hamilton get away from me recently. I have a Seiko with a sterile (unbranded) MKII dial and MKII Milsub hands, and there's something very tasteful about it.

The thing I've learned about grails and "the one that got away,?whether it was a fake watch or anything else, is that there doesn't have to be a shortage of beauty in the world. Just because one thing of wonder falls through my hands doesn't mean there won't be another. The world is full of ugly things, and it's our job in life to try and create more beauty, and to make sure what we have doesn't go unappreciated.

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