Matt Hranek is a man of serious style. His current gig as men’s style editor at Condé Nast Traveler takes him all over the world—which makes him the envy of at least the C&C office. And to boot, he gets to sample the best examples of food, drink, cars, and company you can find. Just take a scroll through his Instagram feed and you’ll see what we mean. Before he landed at Condé Nast, Matt was a contributor at GQ, ran his own lifestyle and travel site, and worked in film production and photography. As he says himself, Matt wears many hats.
But for the purposes of this interview, Matt Hranek is a collector of watches. You’d expect nothing less from a guy who makes his money writing about men’s style. His timepieces run the gamut from vintage Rolex and OMEGA to Swatch and some more obscure brands. We talked about many things in our time with Matt: cars, shotguns, and of course, watches. One thing remains consistent in his love of al of those things— they all pair “beautiful design with amazing function”.
When it comes to his watches, though, Matt’s favorite pieces carry a clear note of sentimentality. Watches aren’t merely functional objects. And they’re not simply pieces of art you can wear. For many people, they carry an emotional resonance that makes them deeply personal objects. Matt is no different in this. He highlighted some of the key pieces in his collection for us:
This Datejust is the most important watch that Matt owns. The story he tells about his father (the original owner), his father’s journey to acquire it, and what it means to him to wear it now is a deeply personal one—definitely worth a listen.
Not all watches come with a high price tag. This particular piece, a Winnie the Pooh watch straight from the Sears catalog, was a gift from Matt’s grandmother—the first watch he ever owned at age 5. Consequently, it was the piece that really shaped his aesthetic toward wristwatches. While it’s obviously not a watch he wears often, it remains a meaningful piece in his collection.
There was a time when Rolex customized its dials—unheard-of nowadays. But Matt loves the story this particular watch tells about the company’s history, and it doesn’t hurt that he acquired it while directing several Domino’s Pizza commercials a while back.
These aren’t the only watches that get Matt’s storytelling treatment from our interview. Check out the entire video above or head over to our Youtube channel here.