WORDS BY LUCY HARDY
From hype and desirability to the story behind each design, watches and sneakers — and indeed their collectors, have a lot in common. Collecting the two has gone hand in hand in recent years, with both sneaker and watch enthusiasts willing to pay premium prices for the rarest and most sought-after designs.
In fact, collectors have a real knack for scoping out future classics, so we’ve teamed up with the staff at Stadium Goods to get their picks of the best — and rarest — sneaker and watch combinations for 2021.
‘I became interested in sneakers in the mid to late ‘90s watching my older brother and his friends wearing Jordans and playing basketball in the early Nike Basketball era. Sneakers were something ingrained in me at a very young age,’ says Brendan Lacap (@Hola_Bizito), who works for Stadium Goods in the marketing team. Similarly, ‘Growing up immersed in hip-hop culture, you would look up to the rappers that would rap about having a Rolex, as I got older I realised it was more than just a watch, it was a symbol of accomplishment.’
‘My first pair of sneakers I treated as a commodity were the Reebok Allen Iverson Questions. Jordans were all the craze and Iverson wore the Jordan 11 in college, but as soon as he got his own shoe in his rookie year in the NBA, it just felt like being a part of a new movement and I will always cherish that shoe.’
‘When buying a watch — just like sneakers, I look for something that can hold its value long term. Something timeless that even after being worn is sought-after and most of all classy. These two pieces are like fine wine, they only get better with age. MF Doom Dunks are a shoe that you don’t see too often but when you do, you know that the person wearing them isn’t a poser and is really into sneaker culture, as can be said about the Daytona, where only watch enthusiasts understand the magnitude of owning one. You can wear a plain T-shirt and regular blue jeans, but with the right sneakers and watch you can appear as dapper and debonair as someone with a suit on.’
‘Sneakers are the first thing people notice when they look down, and watches are the first thing people notice when they shake your hand,’ notes Aimee Lane (@gucci.lane) — a Private Client Stylist at Stadium Goods. ‘I first became interested in sneakers when I got into college. I had to wear a school uniform in high school, so there was no way I was convincing my parents to buy me sneakers. In college when I started working, I was finally able to buy and wear the sneakers I wanted, so my collection started to grow.’ Her first pair were classic white Air Force 1s.
‘I started working at Barneys New York in college and fell in love with the vintage refinished Rolexs on display. I remember one with an orange dial that first started my obsession. I personally like watches with a nice shine to them (they have to catch the light) and they have to be waterproof. I always have a nice watch tan line in summer because I never take mine off.’
‘One of my all-time favourite movies is ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’, so naturally I’m obsessed with these Dunks and they are at the very top of my sneaker Wishlist. These pieces are both extremely classic in their silhouettes, but have a flashy twist — the cheetah tongue, the patent swoosh on the Dunks and the white diamonds enveloping the entire Patek. I love the idea of them together.’
Charlie Franco (@charliefranco) — a Marketing Coordinator at Stadium Goods, became interested in sneakers at a young age. ‘When I was in middle school, one of my friends had a huge Retro Jordan collection. He taught me all the silhouettes and important colourways, and when I was finally able to afford sneakers, I bought a pair of the Flyknit Racers in Oreo.
In terms of fine watches, ‘One of my first bosses and mentors in New York had a nice watch that his dad gave him, and it made me want to find a timepiece that was significant to me. I love a timeless classic. I love vintage watches and gravitate towards anything with a story.’
‘I typically try to go for subtle stylistic choices. I think this particular colourway and timepiece both go with just about everything else I wear. I look for versatility in everything. I love something I can beat around and wear every day, something that takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. I think that can be said for both of these pieces.’
‘I grew up wearing sneakers, so I’ve always worn them and always had them,’ says Yasnaya Peña (@_yasnaya) a Senior Customer Service Manager at Stadium Goods. ‘The first pair of sneakers that I can remember having and being so happy about were my 2008 Carmine 6s. I got them in middle school and they were my absolute favourite shoe. They released again not too long ago and I’m really excited to have them back in my collection.’
‘My mum gave me a watch when I was much younger and it was fancy to me at the time because I’d never had one before. It was a small-face gold Invicta watch and after she gave it to me, I’d never take it off. I like watches that can be versatile, something I can wear to dinner but also something I can wear to go out shopping or run errands. Versatility is key.’
‘I love the colour combination of the dark green and the yellow gold with these pieces, it’s very very sophisticated. It can be dressed up or dressed down. I think anything that you wear is an expression of who you are. I like being comfortable and there’s no better way to do that but to wear sneakers. Along with comfortability, I still like to make a statement so having a watch that can do that is perfect.’
Yuming Wu (@mryumingwu) — CMO of Stadium Goods, was browsing magazines in the early ‘00s and discovered The Alife Rivington Club, an early pioneer of the sneaker scene. ‘I visited the store looking for a pair of sneakers I saw on display in the magazine and was completely drawn into the world of collectable sneakers. The pair of sneakers I visited the Alife Rivington Club for was the Nike Air Max 1 Atmos Safari but they were sold out. I went on a month-long hunt for them, luckily a friend of mine had them in my size and she sold them to me.’
‘I’ve only discovered fine watches in the past few years after seeing many of my professional friends talking about them, but I consider both sneakers and watches to be fashion accessories. Both the Travis Scott Nike Air Force 1 and the MAD Paris customised Patek Philippe Nautilus are both classic and timeless, I personally like how they share a similar primary colour.’
‘I like accessories that relate to each other in some way, colour is one of the easier ways to style them together. What was once an unliked palette of muted brown tones, is now one of the trendiest thanks to Travis Scott. He applied that theme perfectly to the classic Air Force 1 and created a great looking remix. MAD Paris does amazing customisation work, I really like how they’ve turned the Nautilus dark and muted but still classy.’