Detailed and classic. Those are the two words that first come to mind when meeting Brian Sacawa. It’s a chilly fall morning in Baltimore and when he opens the door to his home studio to greet us, though he’s casually dressed, he looks impeccable. Brian’s look hearkens back to an era where tailoring was paramount, but he has a modern influence that is all his own.
We head down to Brian’s studio, the new hub of He Spoke Style, a blog devoted to “all things menswear and men’s style.” It offers advice, tips, inspiration, and content for the classically modern man. As we go down the stairs, black and white photos of Carey Grant, Steve McQueen, Fred Astaire, and other style icons grace the walls. These men weren’t just fashionable, they were an aspirational lifestyle that continues to inspire Brian. When you get into the studio, its chocked full of items, but the styling is meticulous and everything serves a purpose.
To your left is a well-stocked bar with mid-century styled rocks glasses. In front of you, a supple leather couch with shelves of men’s fashion, style, and lifestyle books above. Mixed among the books are vintage tchotchkes, cigar boxes, and framed images Brian has picked up along the way. On the industrial coffee table there is a brass canister to hold matches, that also serves as a match striker. To your right is a styled work desk and a film backdrop with a rack of clothes where Brian films videos that garners thousands of views on his YouTube channel.
Its immediately obvious that Brian is passionate about He Spoke Style, his current project. He will tell you that he likes to have a lot of these types of projects going on, he can’t just sit idly. Prior to starting the site, Brian headed up a classical music series and raced a bike at the elite level. After he took those to as far as he felt he could, it was time to focus on something else. At that time, he was also feeling the need to elevate his own style. When Brian couldn’t find a good resource for guys like him, he decided to fill the gap and He Spoke Style began.
Brian believes there are two kinds of people in style – the look at me and the listen to me. Brian aspires to be the listen to me. With He Spoke the goal is to provide attainable aspiration to the regular guy. It’s about sharing the experiences, passion, and information on men’s fashion and lifestyles without losing the approachability. This includes watches.
It is no surprise that Brian’s watch collection is filled with classics. He has a keen eye for design and knows what will work well now and in the coming years. So, he shows us a few of his favorites in what is a classic and varied collection.
To kick it off, he shows us the ever-iconic and versatile Rolex Datejust (ref. 116234). His is stainless steel and white gold on a Jubilee Bracelet, with a fluted bezel and a silver dial. This is a watch that is a part of many collections, but for Brian this one is special. It was the first Swiss watch he purchased, and it will always remain with him.
The next watch is fairly new to his collection, but it comes with a deep amount of sentimental value. As a wedding present, his wife Robin, gave him a Cartier Tank Americaine with their anniversary inscribed on the back. It sits on a blue alligator strap. This offsets the blue hands and sapphire cabochon beautifully. There is over 100 years of history in Cartier, this watch was part of the centennial anniversary collection, and the design has changed very little. To him, the styling is transcendent.
In Brian’s collection is a watch that many people covet and can’t wait to get their hands on – the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 with a blue dial. When he moved in to his house a year or so ago, he noticed an authorized dealer across the street. He went in and chatted with the owner. Brian told the owner he wanted the 5711 and the owner laughed at him, but Brian persisted.
After getting on the sixty-person list, Brian kept going back, teasing the dealer to see if his watch was in. On a Friday afternoon visit where their banter continued, the store owner sent him home, again empty-handed. That Monday, Brian got a call that the one 5711 the dealer would get in for the year was there and it was his if he wanted it. With a wedding coming up, the timing couldn’t have been worse financially, but he pulled the trigger anyways.
Lastly, we take a look at his A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Flyback. This watch is intricate and elegant. However, because it flies under the radar, it can be dressed up or down. To Brian, the watch is exceptional and is everything that Lange stands for. He notes the architecture of the movement and the symmetry of the dial. He sees it as the perfect casual watch in his collection.
In Brian’s collection is also an IWC Ingenieur, a birthyear Rolex Pepsi GMT, and a Cartier Drive. He also has the limited edition Carrera Chronograph “Blue Dreamer” collaboration the Rake and Revolution did. All in all, like everything else in Brian’s life – his collection is intentional. It is timeless and classic yet fits modern silhouettes effortlessly.
Much like his collection He Spoke Style is centered around intentionality. It is thoughtful, aspirational, but not unobtainable. Brian wants to show that if you work hard, you can have the things you want, and you don’t have to wait for special occasions. His and He Spoke’s lasting mantra? “When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good about yourself, there is nothing that you can’t accomplish.”
Check out more watch stories from stylish guys like Matt Hranek and Sid Mashburn.
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rodney | May 28, 2019
I’m from baltimore also. I’m much older than brian and not nearly as accomplished. we have similar tastes in classic clothing and accessories. i welcome his views on fashion/style and what can be found in the baltimore area. i’ve signed up for his blog and look forward to reading it. way to go brian!