Gathering Time

by Amanda Jean Harris

What's on your wrist is so much more than a timepiece.

Cole LeBlanc with his watch collection and his wife's dog Molly
Photo by Robin May

There’s something mystical about a quality watch. Passed from father to son, it’s a timeless heirloom that’s about far more than keeping the hour.

“I loved a watch my grandfather had growing up,” says watch connoisseur Cole LeBlanc. “It was something that let me know he had made it. As a kid that watch was as symbol ... it was a mark of what he accomplished.”

It was a Rolex, and while the style wasn’t necessarily appealing to LeBlanc, the watch was the first taste of what would become a lifelong passion for time pieces.

“I have around 10 watches and only a few I would say are quality mechanical true craftsman watches. One I inherited,” LeBlanc says. “A 1960 Omega Constellation watch.”

At the birth of his own son, Harrison, just months ago, LeBlanc’s wife, Heather, bought him a watch that he will later pass down to their child — an Omega Speed Master. He has a particular fondness for vintage pieces and for the intricate process from start to finish that produces a fine watch.

“Watches have a story,” LeBlanc says. “A good watch is a machine on your wrist.” LeBlanc’s love for watches is blossoming into more than just a personal collection.

He is in the process of launching a newsletter for watch lovers that he envisions as the first step of a bigger plan for a watch marketplace.

“I really love vintage watches, but you have to buy them in a secondary market and then you’re sending someone a few thousand dollars based on pictures and limited information. We would be creating a trustful place to do business and gain as much knowledge,” LeBlanc says.

His hope is for those interested to gain a greater understanding of what makes a watch tick.

“Why does a watch cost that much? It’s not just a brand. There’s a reason a Rolex has been around so long ... these watches last generations,” he says. “You’re not buying something that will perish.” — AJH