Tom B, who founded GungaDin Watches in 2015.

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1 How did you get your start?

I had been struggling to nail down a job for around two to three years, as I am severely hard of hearing, when an advert popped up one day for an antiques dealer apprenticeship at the Goods Yard in Portsmouth with an excellent dealer called Colin Macleod.

I remember the day when my passion really reignited. We were stalled out at Sunbury Antiques one Tuesday when Colin told me to go and have a look around. Armed with about £20 in my pocket, I found an Ingersoll Triumph pocket watch for £5 that I went on to sell for £25 about 24 hours later.

2 Have you noticed any collecting trends in the last 6-12 months?

Vintage watches just keep rising in price. They represent a fantastic investment for the future, especially vintage Omega, Rolex and smaller brands like Enicar and Smiths.

Military watches are another. It is getting harder and harder to source excellent examples as they are mainly now within serious collections.

3 What is one great discovery you’ve made?

I have had a fair few, but my favourite discovery has to be a 1915 Rolex trench watch with a military engraving to the back.


The 1915 Rolex trench watch with military engraving on the back.

I discovered it had originally belonged to an Australian corporal (later lieutenant) who was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1916 at Pozières during the Battle of the Somme. It is highly likely he was wearing the watch during his remarkable act of bravery and now sits proudly in a very good collector’s collection.

4 What is one item you couldn’t do without?

It pains me to say but definitely Instagram. It acts as a huge storefront and gets my watches in front of a great number of customers throughout the world.

5 Who do you admire from the art and antiques world?

I really admire antiques dealer Ian Parmiter. His stock is always superb, and he is one of the friendliest guys you’ll meet. Ian was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease some years ago and continues to fight it daily and is still trading. He is a real inspiration.

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