Editor’s note: A few months back, we announced that former Editor of GQ Australia, Mike Christensen, was to be our first European Editor. In this series ’11 Days of Londoners’, Mike will be sharing the stories of a few notable local collectors, starting on Day 1 with King Nerd, and with a stellar lineup still to come. Lastly, you might ask, why 11 days? That, friends, will become clearer over time …
David de Rothschild is an adventurer and environmentalist, who has a laundry list of feats to his name. Born into the English banking dynasty, he was a top-ranked horse rider as a child, trekked to both geographical poles before the age of 30, and sailed across the Pacific Ocean on a boat made from recycled plastic bottles only a few years later. He hasn’t slowed down in recent years, though, continuing to work on different environmental conservation projects around the world, aimed at protecting different ecosystems and building awareness about climate change.
What’s your watch of choice on any given day, David?
I’ve always been drawn to the ocean [understatement — he’s sailed from San Fran to Sydney on a boat made of plastic bottles], so for me it’s Breitling’s Superocean Heritage 44mm with black dial and rubber strap.
If you were to describe your personal style it would be …
I am all about natural organic materials that are comfortable and practical. Beyond that, any “style” I attribute to my wife.
I love watches because …
I love the concept of time as it’s always been such a mystery. We love to think everything revolves around those 24 hours in a day but, really, nothing is linear, so time is really what you make of it. I love watches for many reasons — from their movement to their style — but really as a tool that keeps me moving in the right direction and, more importantly, as a reminder to be on time.
Tell us an entertaining watch-related anecdote
I once had a watch stolen by a street magician. Only an hour later did I look down and find he had taken my watch and replaced it with a perfectly made fake! It was a great trick, I just wasn’t expecting to leave a tip.
David’s favourite watch from 2020 is …
The limited edition Superocean Heritage ’57. Not only does it pays tribute to the original 1957 Superocean and the cool, laidback surfing lifestyle of the ’60s, but proceeds from the watch are being donated to leading charities supporting the frontline healthcare workers in the global fight against COVID-19 in some of the most affected countries.
Someone you know who has an admirable watch collection?
Georges Kern, he certainly knows his timepieces.