On my watch: Ajaz Sheikh

ON MY WATCH: Interview with Ajaz Sheikh, CEO, The Arts Club Dubai

GMT GCC:   It is said that a timepiece is a perfect conversation starter – what would you ask someone about their watch to start a conversation?

Ajaz:   Paying someone a compliment is usually a great way to get a conversation going. I like to pay attention to details so I would ask someone about the watch they’re wearing, especially if it’s a watch that I’m not familiar with or that is not well recognised, in which case I will go out of my way to find out more. 

Can you share a special memory that relates to ‘time’? 

As I get older, I’ve noticed that time is something that is becoming more precious as I’m conscious of how finite it is, especially now that I have two young children in my life. I’m constantly trying to find the best way to manage my time as I work on my career while continuing to be present for my family.

What’s your favourite way to pass the time? 

With my family. When the weekend comes I try to switch off, spending time with either immediate or extended family. We cook at home – I really enjoy cooking with my kids – or we go out to the beach if weather permits. 

What kind of watches do you like, or collect, and do you have a watch with particular meaning to you personally? 

With the exception of a couple of digital watches, my collection is entirely composed of watches that have in-house mechanical movements as I really value the craftsmanship and mastery that goes into creating mechanical timepieces. I have a vintage Omega SeaMaster that was passed onto me by my grandfather that I hold particularly dear and that I spent several years saving for when I was younger, in order to undertake some of the necessary restorations to bring the piece back to its former glory.

What are your favourite conversation topics?

I’m very interested in current affairs and am an avid consumer of the news so I’m often discussing something that I’ve heard or read about on my way into work. I’m also a huge fan of cars and Formula 1 and I like to race in my spare time – not to mention my interest in food and drink. 

Do you have your eye on any new watches to add to your collection?

Having said that I’m mainly a fan of mechanical watches, I’ve been contemplating adding one of the MoonSwatch Bioceramics to my collection; I really like the Mission to the Moon. From a wish list perspective, I’ve been admiring the Patek Philiipe Nautilus 5712r; I spotted it a few years ago and it was love at first sight. I’ve also coveted the JLC Duomètre Quantième Lunaire for a very long time – it’s a piece that encapsulates multiple high level complications, balanced with exquisite aesthetic. I also have my eye on A. Lange & Söhne as a Maison – their timepieces have a classic look that belies the mechanical mastery they contain. If I had to pick one, it would be the Grand Lange 1 Moonphase; I’m missing a moon phase complication in my collection, and this would serve as a pleasing addition.