Serial entrepreneur Jonathan Levine founded high-end headphone brand Master & Dynamic in New York in 2013. Here he tells QP about the one watch that means more to him than any other
WHO: Jonathan Levine, founder and CEO of Master & Dynamic
WATCH: Patek Philippe 1431
I’m sure my love of watches started as a young boy who was told about the small collection of beautiful timepieces, precious and not, that my father had collected and would one day would become mine. Among these was a 1945 Patek Phillippe Reference 1431 – although no-one knew the model number back then.
What made it truly special was that it had been first owned by my paternal grandfather, who handed it down to my own father – a dentist by profession but a well-travelled avid collector of many things and a true renaissance man. My grandfather’s initials, MJL, are engraved on the gold bracelet clasp. Having never met my paternal grandfather and only having four short years with my own father, who died aged 44, this watch became a true connection to my lineage (yes, we were living the ad campaign before it existed!). I inherited it at the age of 18; I was excited as I knew how special it was but I was absolutely afraid to wear it out.
I started collecting my own watches in my early thirties and now have a nice little collection. I add a new watch about every two to three years. I’ve also started passing down a few; both of my sons received a vintage watch from my collection on their 18th birthdays. When I think about the role watches have played in my life, I’m certain that my love of watches has been an important influence at Master & Dynamic. I often find myself taking inspiration from timepieces in my collection, or ones I have my eye on, in the design and selection of materials and finishes used in our headphones and earphones. It’s no coincidence that I often meet fans of our products who also collect watches.
Upon thinking more about my Patek Philippe, I’m going to commit to wear it more frequently in the future and not just save it for special occasions. It’s a beauty that has clearly stood the test of time.