For the latest in our occasional series profiling the prized watches of the world’s collectors, we visit the head cutter at one of Savile Row’s finest tailors
WHO: Davide Taub, head cutter, Gieves & Hawkes
WATCH: Tudor Ranger
“I wanted just one nice, classic watch – a watch for all occasions – and I do really like the style of vintage watches,” says Davide Taub, someone who knows a thing or two about style. The third generation tailor is a walking advert for the extraordinary bespoke garments he creates as head cutter at famed Savile Row tailors Gieves & Hawkes.
“I liked the simplicity of the design, in the sense that a lot of people can’t tell whether it’s old or new. I wear it at work, so it does get knocked around a bit because it’s a physical job that we do. It’s such a modern, functional design, but it’s quite elegant as well. ”
Taub’s grandfather, a tailor based in Hackney, wore a white-dialed Tudor with date window, which now belongs to Davide’s father. But the association has earnt the brand a special place in his heart ever since and eventually saw him brave a speculative purchase on eBay.
“It took me quite a while before I found one that I liked [the early 1960s Tudor Ranger pictured]. It’s not a working class watch, but it would have been a Rolex for somebody on a budget. What I didn’t know at the time was the relationship between the two companies, how it was a way of selling watches to a broader range of people, stripping back the designs while maintaining the quality.”
Taub’s grandfather may have died while he was still a child but he clearly left a lasting impression on Taub, who has inherited his grandfather’s profession as well as his appreciation of Tudor.
“Every weekend I was in his workshop, particularly Saturday mornings because then we’d go on and see the Spurs later on in the afternoon. I knew his factory well and I live around there now in Hackney. Funny thing was I bumped into a friend in a bar recently and she mentioned she was living around the corner in a converted factory, it turns out she was living in the same building so I went to visit her and it was quite odd. The goods lift, one of those with the concertina doors, where me and my brother used to play in the summer holidays was now her bathroom.
“It’s weird to notice what the striking differences were, it was less to do with not seeing rows and rows of people sitting on sewing machines, it was more the sounds and the smells. There was always that chattering sound of the sewing machines and the smell of the sewing machine oil and cloth as well, it’s so distinctive. That hit me more.”