Skip to main content

It is a mark of his enthusiasm for watches that career banker Rene Pyszko relishes that his date of birth coincides with that of one of his favorite watches, the famous Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.

But if the iconic watch celebrates its golden anniversary this year with retrospectives and reminiscences, Pyszko celebrates its own by looking to the future. After years at Commonwealth Bank advising on investments, he transitioned from high caliber clients to rare mechanical type calibers. “I decided to follow my passion”, he says End Magazine from his new workplace, Vintage Watch Co, at The Strand Arcade in Sydney.

René Pyszko admits he is a “picky” collector: “Some of the vintage pieces I had were almost flawless, but they still annoyed me, so I let them go.” Nathalie Boug

Swiss-born Pyszko – he came to Australia with his Czech parents in the 1980s – thinks his long-standing interest in the team watches in unique ways for career change. The used watch market is growing at a faster rate than the new market and is heading towards US$30 billion ($46.2 billion) in annual sales, so it may have the right timing.

“Through my collection, I bring a different level of experience that cannot be formally taught. The difference is that you own a lot of watches yourself. You can read the books, but nothing beats looking at hundreds of watches, talking to other collectors, networking, looking at who the trusted dealers are, seeing things from their point of view It’s hard to find watch enthusiasts who have that history and understand the market vintage.

Not that Pyszko’s own collection numbers an assortment of hundreds; rather, it is the work of a disciplined connoisseur who buys with thought and determination – as you would expect from an investment banker. “I have 20 watches, and I’ve always had 20. I find that after that [number] I lose contact with my collection. There are watches I buy to keep, others to try something new, a balance that reflects my personality, I think. I’ve owned pretty much everything – all of the icons – and some watches that I’ve owned multiple times.

This rarity from independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen is a real favorite. Nathalie Boug

He mentions a Paul Newman Daytona that he gave up because it didn’t quite live up to his expectations. After that he began a long and ultimately successful search for a blank version of the watch worn by Newman himself. “It took nine years before I found another one and had the funds.”

As for the origin of his horological obsession: “I’ve always been fascinated by things mechanical and [by] time…and then, because I was in finance, my salary started to go up. The first one I seriously collected was Panerai.
I thought they were the ugliest thing in the world, but they had this big endearing face and the dial is mesmerizing. I had six or seven, then I realized I could trade some in and buy a Patek Philippe. So I bought two Pateks, but I still got a Fiddy [Panerai 1950 PAM 00127 model].”

Other watches that meet his criteria – “design icons” – include the aforementioned Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Rolex Daytona and Submariner, Patek Philippe Nautilus and Richard Mille, the latter a favorite for what he describes as its construction. of unique case and its meticulous mechanics. “With the watches of the independents [Kari Voutilainen, for one]these are the pieces that attract me.