A Timeless Specialist
Posted on September 15 2018
Kristian Haagen, the Danish watch specialist, author, lecturer and entrepreneur, has had a great interest in watches since he was six years old, and as an adult he made his passion into his career. Now Kristian is the best-known watch specialist in Scandinavia.
- Kristian Haagen
- 48 years old
- Watch specialist, author, lecturer and entrepreneur
- Author of seven books
- Co-Founder of TIMEGEEKS and 8past10
Most young boys dream about growing up to be a policeman, a firefighter, or a football star, but not Kristian Haagen. At six years old, the amazing watches that his favorite childhood heroes were wearing had already captivated him. At nine years old he got his first watch, a Certina. But before the dream came true, where Kristian could make a living from his passion, he instead went into the advertising business, where he worked for CHIAT DAY in Venice Beach. During this time, he found out that there was a whole community of people who shared his passion for watches and decided that this was the way of living he wanted to chase.
“I see the world while working with and taking pictures of my greatest interest: wrist watches. I even got the opportunity to make my own watch – the Linde Werdelin 3 Timer - Haagen Edition, which is limited to 33 pieces. Imagine having a watch named after you! It's a huge honor!”
In 2002, Kristian Haagen’s first book on watches was named ‘Best of Schweiziske Ure’. The book received good reviews and gave Kristian the confidence to proceed with his career. Since the first book was released another six have been written and published, most recently the second edition of Hashtags & Watches, called Hashtags & Watches II, which includes new pictures and captions – and even more pages. Kristian Haagen longed for the return of hardcover books, but he has quietly developed a love affair with Instagram as well and this, his seventh book on watches, contains his own horological photography that looks much better in print than on your handheld device.
For Kristian, when he talks about a favourite watch the focus isn’t only on design; it’s about the story. One of the most beloved watches in his personal collection is a Rolex GMT Master from 1968, previously owned by the Danish author and war correspondent Jan Stage. Stage wore his GMT in 1968 during his time in Cuba, where he was a part of the Cuban Intelligence Service. He was a fervent communist and naturally wanted to own the same watch as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.
Another watch in Kristian’s personal collection with a beautiful story is the Breitling Navitimer Co-Pilot from 1970, the year of his birth, which was purchased by King Constantine II of Greece. Constantine II was a huge fan of sailing, and he bought the watch the same year to donate it to the winner of a local regatta. For Kristian, it’s not about the appearance of the watch, but the story behind it made him buy it. After all, it’s not just an ordinary Breitling Navitimer Co-Pilot, it’s a Breitling Navitimer Co-Pilot pre-owned by King Constantine II of Greece.
“Mechanical watches have evolved from a dying breed to a good alternative to the over-automated community, where everything is controlled through apps on our smartphone.”
When Kristian isn't travelling, he’s writing books, contributing articles to numerous international publications, hosting watch events and publishing his own online monthly magazine, TIMEGEEKS, which he founded in 2009. By sharing his knowledge of the history and trends of the watch industry, the magazine has earned many loyal readers. The publication’s ethos is to inspire the modern man through new watches on the market and the stories behind them. The specifications of each watch are also explained and made accessible for all readers, both new to watches and experienced collectors.
“I’m a flying consultant. I travel 60 to 80 days a year. The big companies want to shoot pictures in exotic places like the Maldives, Japan or the USA as a part of the storytelling that is essential for selling a luxury mechanical watch today.”
Kristian is also the co-founder of 8past10, a social network for watch lovers. It’s where you go to discover, develop and share your passion for watches with like-minded people. The universe is created to unite watch lovers from all over the world to inspire, be inspired and create a community of people who shares the same zeal for watches.
8past10 features watches in all price ranges, sizes, and variations, including both mechanical or quartz. Very few people have the financial capability to purchase a watch from the prestigious and expensive watch brands, such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Breitling, so when it comes to buying a watch on a budget, Kristian Haagen isn’t in any doubt. Instead of looking at new cheap watches from unknown brands, you should go vintage. If you have a budget of 5000 kr., you should spend your money on an Omega Seamaster from the 1960s. You can wear it now, and continue to do so for the next 40 years. The classic design will never be outdated, and you’ll get a watch that’ll last forever. Omega made some of the best watches you could get on the market in the 60s.
“When I’m purchasing a watch, it’s the storytelling that’s the most important part for me.”
It all started somewhere. Once Kristian Haagen was inspired by his predecessors, but now he’s inspiring thousands of people around the world. It’s not about money and showing off – it’s about a true passion and the story behind a watch that made Kristian Haagen what he is today.