Dagens Samling : Talking Watches With Ronnie Fieg, Founder Of Kith

 

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https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/talking-watches-ronnie-fieg

Ronnie Fieg – and the company he founded, Kith – is likely no stranger to anyone here. He’s a longtime friend of mine, and a friend of Hodinkee. He was, in fact, featured in Volume 3 of our magazine as one of the great collectors of footwear in this world. Ronnie and Kith are, in my opinion, the kings of collaborations. He’s worked with who you might expect: Nike, Adidas, Levi’s – but also some you might not: Coca-Cola, Disney, Fruity Pebbles, BMW. Kith now has stores all over the world – 16 of them and growing – and to celebrate each of them, he has a watch. But he hasn’t stopped there – Ronnie is a serious collector of serious watches. And in this 30-minute episode, you’ll see some of his favorites.

A collection of watches in different metals, colors, and designs laid out on a wooden table

Ronnie Fieg’s collection goes from the complicated from Audemars Piguet, to NOS TAG Heuer Formula 1s in every colorway.

Ben and Ronnie look at Ronnie's watch collection laid out on a wooden coffee table

Ben and Ronnie in Kith’s Brooklyn HQ.

We visited Ronnie in his Brooklyn offices to see which watches he chose for the episode, and though there are about 20 pieces on the table, there are actually just four themes here. As you might expect, when Ronnie has an idea, and gets something, he wants to go all the way and get the full set of them.

So what you’ll see are the following: the craziest collection of new-old-stock TAG Formula 1’s on this earth, Rolex watches with green dials, a smatter of Aquanauts, the AP Double Balance Wheel in three metals, and not one but two integrated bracelet Vacherons. When I say Ronnie likes what he likes, I really mean it. In fact, after over 16 years and over 80 episodes of Talking Watches, Ronnie says something I’ve literally never heard anyone say. Let’s get into it here with the official Talking Watches with Kith founder Ronnie Fieg.


TAG Heuer Formula 1 Watches

A collection of brightly colored watches laid out on embroidered fabric

The Kith story is a great New York tale of hard work and creativity rewarded. Ronnie Fieg grew up in Queens and his mother was actually a sales associate at Tourneau. When he was 12, he remembers her coming home from work one day so excited because she had made her sales goals. To celebrate, instead of buying herself anything, she instead bought her son a TAG Heuer Formula 1. Specifically, she bought him a 28mm F1 on bracelet – a watch he still has today.

TAG Formula One watch featuring the signature of Ukyo Katayama on a background with the text "KXTH"

But that individual watch led to an incredible collection of TAG F1s – the likes of watch I simply didn’t know existed. He’s been buying NOS examples of F1s out of Japan for years now. He gives a lot of credit to the Japanese for wanting to collect these watches all the way back to the 1990s, when they were not in considered collectible at all.

A TAG Formula One watch laid out on embroidered fabric

The majority of Ronnie’s F1s are unworn – and you can tell because the straps on them are uncut for wrist size. This is just a small sampling of the F1s he has in his collection – and it is this watch that led to a forthcoming collaboration in the watch space.


A Rolex Submariner Hulk For The Opening Of Kith Soho

A green Rolex Submariner laid out on a knitted fabric

It was a big day in Ronnie’s life, and the history of Kith – the day that it took over the space that its partner in Atrium once occupied in SoHo here in NYC. To celebrate, Ronnie purchased a green-dialed Submariner – and the feeling was a good one.


The Rolex Daytona ’John Mayer’ For The Opening Of The Paris Kith Store

A Rolex Daytona laid out on blue fabric

The green dialed Rolex became a tradition – and he purchased the John Mayer Daytona for the opening of the Paris Kith location.


Rolex Day-Dates, All With Green Dials

Rolex Presidential Day Date in Yellow Gold
Rolex Presidential Day Date in Rose Gold
Rolex Presidential Day Date in Steel

Like I said, when Ronnie gets something in his mind, he sticks with it. He now has 16 Kith locations, and for each of them, a green-dialed Rolex. He calls it his version of his Masters jacket.


Patek Philippe Aquanauts

Patek Aquanaut in Rose Gold with Black Strap

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut remains the most elusive of Patek Philippes to get at retail – and Ronnie and his wife found this out years ago when he wanted to get the 5968A chronograph on orange strap. It was the watch he wanted for his 40th birthday, and it took months of work but she was able to get it – which later turned into a 5164R as well.

Patek Aquanaut in Steel with Orange Strap

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel In Three Metals

AP Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel in Gold

Not too many people can say they first saw a watch on the wrist of Maverick Carter, and got an intro to AP’s CEO (another recent Talking Watches guest) because of it – but Ronnie can. He saw arguably the hottest AP of the last few years – the Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel in ceramic, on Maverick’s wrist, and when he told Francois he’d like one, he was summarily told no.

But soon enough, he was able to buy a gold one.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel in Black Ceramic on a background that reads "KXTH"

And then a steel one.

Audemars Piguet Double Balance Wheel in Steel on a background with text on a shirt tag that reads "[en(d) 'kin]" size L

And finally, he was allocated the black ceramic double balance wheel, making a full set of this highly complex and uniquely AP watch.


Vacheron Constantin 222

Vacheron Constantin 222 in gold on an embroidered background

The 222 is quickly becoming a must have for collectors – and the moment Ronnie saw one in the Beverly Hills boutique, he knew he had to have one. After waiting for some months, he was able to get one, but not before he set down a path to complete a rare Vacheron pair.


Vacheron Constantin Chronometer Royal Reference 2215

Vacheron Constantin 2215 in Steel

While people now know the 222, and for years have considered the Overseas part of Vacheron’s integrated bracelet family – not many people know the reference 2215. Part of VC’s historic Royal Chronometer collection, this watch is quite rare, in particular with this dial – which is believed to be one of a few out there. It pairs perfectly with his yellow gold 222.

A collection of colorful watches in different styles and metals laid out on a wooden table next to some fabric and a model car

Ronnie is who he is – and who he is is someone who hates any space between a strap and a watch case.

This small sampling of Ronnie’s watch collection says a lot about who he is: a full set of items tied uniquely to his own childhood and personal history, coupled with staples from the classics, but each with a sentimental twist, and just a few beautiful things that simply make him happy. But what ties them all together? You wouldn’t guess it, but in years of recording these episodes, I’ve never heard someone say what Ronnie did about what he simply can’t stand in watches. If you pay attention to the watches above, you’ll see that not a single one has any gap between the strap and watch case – everything is perfectly integrated. It is one of those things you’d never notice until called out – but just one example of what makes Ronnie Fieg the master of the little things that he is.

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