Getting to Know Protek Watches

In this interview we will get to know Barry Cohen, owner of ProTek Watches. Interview by Gary Girdvainis.

Priced aggressively from $450 to $525, ProTek watches are available in stainless steel, carbon composite, and surgical grade titanium cases, and all of them feature self-illuminating tritium tubes. ProTek offers several dive watch variations that sport carbon composite or steel cases.  

Check out protekwatches.com

Country music fans already know Niko Moon is a chart-topping country singer.

His song “Good Time” went #1 on country radio, while his other hits continue to climb the charts – with brand new music on the way as he continues to tour. In the past Moon has written no fewer than eight #1 songs – and over 40 major record label cuts for artists such as Morgan Wallen, Avicii, Dierks Bentley, Pitbull, Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts and more. He has also been a SESAC country songwriter of the year.

In addition to a musical chart-topping superstar, Moon is also an avid watch fan. He wears his Rolex Daytona “Panda” on a daily basis, and has a focused collection that includes Day-Date, GMT Sprite, and a Submariner from the crowned brand. When a Rolex is not on his wrist you might see Niko sporting an IWC Big Pilot or Portugieser. Clearly a fan of the classics, Moon’s short list of favorite brands includes Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Söhne, Vacheron Constantin and IWC.

We had a chance to catch up with Niko to ask him a few questions about his own watch collecting:

iW: When did you first develop an interest in watches?
NM: I’ve always been fascinated with time. How on one hand it’s an illusion and yet it’s a very real part of life. Over time I tend to view a watch as a steadfast companion that’s always there to remind me of the preciousness of my time on earth. It’s a constant reminder to seize every moment, every second.

iW: I’ve come to understand that you really appreciate watches by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Sohne, Vacheron & IWC. What draws you to a particular watch? Is it brand recognition, function, style, size? Tell us a little bit more about what grabs your attention and how you choose the next watch to add to your collection.

NM: For me, first and foremost I’m drawn to craftsmanship. A perfect example of this is A Lange & Sohne and their time intensive double assembly. Each watch is hand crafted by masters of the watchmaking discipline. There are few things in this world that are made with such care and precision, it’s part of the allure. I prefer watches that are easily integrated into many different styles, whether relaxed or hitting the stage. Steel and yellow gold are my go-to metals as they work well with everything I wear. The longer I am a collector the more I have focused on collectible watches that will prove a wise investment over the long term.

iW: Do you ever get tired of a particular watch and re-sell, or are you keeping every watch you buy?

NM: I have never sold a watch. For me, there is an emotional connection and story to each watch. I wait to get a timepiece until I have a “big moment” I can commemorate.

iW: Your short list of watches shows a penchant for the classics, have you looked at some of the more exotic “boutique” brands that don’t necessarily carry the same name recognition?
NM: My favorite more boutique brands are Lange and F.P. Journe. Their attention to detail is something that is just on a whole other level.

iW: What’s the most complicated watch you own?

NM: I do not currently own a high complication watch although I dream of them nightly. My Rolex day date is my most complicated. My dream complication is the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph. The movement of that watch is my absolute favorite, I could look at that movement for hours.

iW: Are there certain colorways or materials that you prefer in a timepiece?

NM: For me, I enjoy all metals except for rose gold. Color wise, black and white are my go-tos. I also love blue and green, (got a left-handed GMT sprite on the way!)

iW: How do you share/feed your enthusiasm for fine timepieces? Do you attend events, head to a favorite boutique, or participate in on-line collector’s groups?
NM: I’m always popping into watch stores while I’m on tour, looking for my next addition. I’m also online at Hodinkee reading articles, looking on Chrono24 or watching the plethora of watch videos on YouTube.

iW: What are your own personal “grail” watches that you would buy the moment they became available?

NM: The Le Mans Daytona is my absolute favorite Daytona. Again, a Lange Datograph in platinum and the Patek Philippe Aquanaut with the black rubber strap. That particular Patek is so under the radar in its casualness but completely stunning.

iW: You have a very high-end collection. Do you also have any “beater” or weekend warrior type watches that get the call to the wrist for more active times or events?

NM: Honestly I wear all of my watches consistently. For me, what’s the point of having them if I can’t enjoy them by wearing them.

iW: How frequently do you like to change-up your wristwear? Do you typically wear one watch for days or weeks at a time, or do you prefer to mix it up based on apparel and situation?

NM: I do go through phases. If I just bought a new watch, I’ll probably wear that one for the next 1-2 months, then it becomes part of the rotation.

iW: Finally, what’s your favorite watch to wear while on the road touring / performing right now?

NM: Right now my Rolex Daytona panda. I just got it and am absolutely in love. I wear it in my sweats and on stage and it looks great in both environments. Even on a smaller wrist like mine it fits perfectly.

By Marton Radkai

As Creative Director for La Montre Hermès, Philippe Delhotal has been the driving force behind some of the marquee brand’s most creative, time-bending watches. 

As we prepare to see what the watchmaking division of this global fashion powerhouse will debut during Watches and Wonders 2023 in late March, in this interview we learn a few details about how Delhotal approaches his design duties at Hermès. Delhotal also discusses his views regarding the differences between traditional men’s and women’s watches.

Philippe Delhotal


iW: Hermès is often perceived as a quintessentially feminine brand, though you do make men’s watches. How did that come about?

Philippe Delhotal: Hermès is a feminine brand indeed. When you visit us, you’ll see watches, handbags, scarves, perfume for women. And we have watches for men, too. Until now, about 80% of our production has been in ladies’ watches. 

We have been making watches since 1928 and back then already they were already a big part of our portfolio. We would buy great movements from the likes of Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, and many others. And at the time movements were very small, and round  and this allowed us to make watches for women.

The Arceau Petite Lune Jete with diamonds and sapphires.

What, for you and Hermès, are the important elements that make up a watch conceived for women? 

The form watch (a watch other than round) has a stronger character than a round watch. The Cape Cod, for example has a real identity, a personality. But it is difficult to find the right shape. That is the strength of Hermès today. The round Arceau’s character, however, comes from its asymmetrical lugs. This gives it a lot more originality and presence.

Round watches account for eighty percent of the market, so you can see how difficult it is to give them an identity. But you have to remember is that there are not many types of ladies’ watches around. And a woman will dress in a manner that is very different from men. On the other hand, many men’s watches are quite simple, and they are good for the casual chic look.

The Galop d’Hermès in rose gold.

Finally, there’s a cultural aspect. In some cultures, wearing a man’s watch is much more common. European women tend to wear more masculine watches. In Italy for example, many women wear Panerai or Rolex. If you go to Asia, you’ll see far more feminine watches, with diamonds, and so forth.


You started focusing on men’s watches in 2011. What are the specificities from the standpoint of design and market? 

A breakthrough with men’s watches is quite complicated if you haven’t seen there right from the start. It is hard to be considered legitimate and be accepted. And then there is the mechanical connotation: Men don’t choose Hermès for a mechanical watch off the bat, they go to Audemars Piguet, Cartier, or IWC.

The Hermès H08 Madison.

From the design standpoint, a man’s watch must be original, surprising and also of very high quality. The first project that made our reputation in the world of male watches is the Temps Suspendu.

The Arceau le Temps Suspendu

It won a prize at the Grand Prix D’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), which gave us a lot of visibility. It was a surprising piece because no watchmaker had even thought of stopping time. They’d rather do the opposite.


What in your experience is the difference between male and female buyers? 

A man we’ll simply go for a male watch, a woman will choose according to what she feels at that moment. Women will change clothes, will change handbags, will change shoes, so they will have many more accessories than men depending on their choice of clothing or costume. So they will choose a watch according to the momentary function. A woman will change her watches a lot more often than we will, barring collectors of course.

The Hermès Gene Kelly.

When Yves Saint-Laurent designed his first costumes for women, it was considered a revolution. Women have so many ways of using accessories in the good sense of the word, compared to men, who have a few suits, some neckties, and maybe cufflinks, that no one wears, and watch, which is the only jewel today, though we do see occasionally rings or those little bracelets. It’s developing.


A big subject of discussion, even controversy, these days is gender fluidity. Is that having an impact on the world of watches? 

I am convinced that we are right at the start of jewelry for men. Seeing a woman with a very nice suit today doesn’t shock anyone. but if a man wears a dress, other than in Scotland, things will get complicated.

When Henry D’Origny designed the Cape Cod, he just wanted to make a watch. And it ended up becoming a part of the women’s world, perhaps because it looked like a link in a chain, it had rounded edges, a hint of jewelry. When we made the model for men, it was a little different. But I must add, women were also the buyers of the male Cape Cod.

The Cape Cod.

At any rate, the success of the house is definitely based on its products. We believe we are seducing our clients, female and male, with an object that is well made and our sincerity vis-à-vis the object. we really put our heart in our objects, we spend a lot of time pondering them, we rethink them, we try to do genuine things, we have doubts at times, a lot happens while the object is maturing, and I think people feel that. And at some point, people just appreciate this product. There is no magic formula.

Up-close on the Arceau Le Temps voyageur. Hermès worked with movement specialist Chronode to create the traveling time module, which is integrated into the Hermès’ H1837 movement.

I think there is a genuine transformation on the social landscape that is happening around us, so that today it’s very difficult to say this is a watch for women that is a watch for men. You just must look at catwalks nowadays, the male ones and the female ones are getting closer and closer. This mix is as much from the female towards the male as it is from the male to the female. I find this extremely interesting, and why not? 

By Gary Girdvainis

iW recently interviewed Delma Managing Director Andreas Leibundgut about the independent Swiss watchmaking company he oversees. With fairly new distribution in the United States, Delma has heightened its profile among enthusiasts and has introduced an impressive collection of new dive watches, notably the Blue Shark III.

In our wide-ranging interview, Leibundgut reviews Delma’s history as a Swiss watchmaker and describes the brand’s current collections and marketing philosophy.

Delma headquarters in Lengnau, Switzerland.

iW: Can you give us a quick overview of Delma’s history through to today? 

Andreas Leibundgut: Delma was founded in 1924 in Lengnau, Switzerland, by the Gilomen brothers as A & A Gilomen SA with the four brands: Delma, Gil, Midland, and Thuya. In 1966 the Gilomen’s were seeking a successor as there was none within the family. They found Ulrich Wüthrich, my grandfather, who acquired the company with a partner.

Following the takeover, they renamed the company after the Delma brand and started building on its sports collection. In 1969 Delma’s first divers’ watch, the Periscope, was launched and with it started our commitment to creating great performance watches that stand the test of time.

Delma owners Andreas (left) and Fred Leibundgut.

In 1996 Fred Leibundgut, my father, joined the company and started shifting the focus of Delma back to its core, the sports timepieces, that Delma had deviated from in the 1980s and early 1990s. Since then, we have successfully rebuilt our Diver and Racing collections with some outstanding performance timepieces. Delma has weathered the stormy past two years quite well and today we are looking forward to celebrating our upcoming centennial anniversary in 2024 in a way that’s worthy of that milestone.

Inside the Delma Atelier.

What are some of the unique selling points that make Delma stand out?

As one of the few independent and family-owned Swiss watch manufacturers, established nearly a century ago, we offer exceptional products at very competitive prices for modern day adventurers.

The Delma Shell Star from 1975 (right) and from 2016

In a competitive market, how do you position Delma with regard to other existing watch brands?

Delma develops timepieces for aspirational ladies and gentlemen with a connection to the water, whether that’s below the surface with our Diver collection, above the surface with our Racing collection or on the coast with our Dress and Elegance collections.

What price range does Delma cultivate and do you see this evolving in either direction in the future? 

Delma’s core segment is between $1,000 and $4,000 with our most popular divers’ watches starting at around $1,100 – $1,200. Over the past few years, we have seen a strong increase in demand for our mechanical models and as such we will continue to focus on mechanical performance timepieces that push boundaries of strength and functionality.

What is the demographic/psychographic profile of a “Delma” customer?

We target modern day adventurers with a connection to the water who seek a timepiece that reflects their spirit and/or lifestyle and can be relied upon when it’s time to perform. Our commitment to craftsmanship and functional design attracts a more mature consumer profile, primarily people between 35 and 65 who value quality and have the willingness and means to spend on a Swiss Made timepiece.

What strategies will you employ to enhance Delma’s visibility in the North American market? 

We plan to continue to engage in partnerships with digital and traditional media outlets with a focus on specialist outreach. In areas where we have a partner, we will also run co-op advertising and create out of home campaigns. Increasing our retail presence and awareness in North America is a key part of our 2022 strategy.

The Delma Blue Shark III Azores.

What are the biggest challenges for a brand like Delma to capture market share and expand? 

The biggest challenge is gaining access to high quality point of sale locations. We see an ongoing trend of consolidation with larger players acquiring great independents to expand their network. These players tend to focus on brands from larger houses and have less interest in smaller independent brands like us. In turn the number of quality independent jewelers and watch retailers which we feel are the best physical platform for our products have been significantly reduced.

What is your plan to balance the direct-to-consumer sales with the traditional brick and mortar sales channels?

For Delma, direct-to-consumer and brick and mortar channels are complementary. Both are needed and both channels rely upon each other to do well. We have a well running DTC sales channel and continue to expand our presence in targeted brick and mortar locations in Europe, North America and beyond.

The Delma Blue Shark III Azores, on a wetsuit.

What is the Delma Design process? Would you consider your designs to be proactive or reactive with regard to current trends?

The development of a new model starts with an idea or a new concept, which is then sketched out before we move on to technical drawings, 3D modeling and prototyping. While we have a clear strategy and direction for the brand and the products we are developing, we do consider consumer demands and trends in the design process, particularly with finishes and color choices. Most important however is that we remain true to our identity, more so now than ever before.

Delma tests every watch twice by a separate team of specialists ensuring each element is checked at least twice before it leaves its facility.

I personally recall Delma’s attempt to enter the American market in the early 1990s and even have one of your two-tone quartz watches (my very first Swiss watch) still in my collection. How has Delma changed as a company since then with regard to style, ethos and leadership? 

In the late 1980s and early 1990s Delma deviated a bit from its core and produced a number of dress watches in gold, platinum, and other elaborate finishes. While they were well received at the time, we have regained focus on our foundation with invigorated commitment to sports and divers’ watches reflected in our new releases and promotional materials.

It’s hard for me to accurately judge the leadership and ethos of the early 1990s given my age, but I would argue that today, given the available tools at hand, we are much more directly involved in each market, and we are more brand focused.

In the past, distributors were met potentially twice a year, once in Basel and once during a personal visit. Now, there is a constant exchange between the people in the market and our team in Switzerland. This allows us to be much closer to all extensions of the brand including retail partners, media outlets and clients.

The Blue Shark III Azores is Delma’s ultimate divers’ watch with water resistant to 4,000 meters. Sales support the Megalodon Project in the Azores.

Will Delma embrace the growing move towards environmental stewardship, conservation, or any other philanthropic causes? 

With a strong focus on divers and sports watches, we have sincere interest in preserving the oceans and the wildlife that depends on them. Hence, Delma supports a variety of organizations and programs centered around ocean conservation. Most recently, Delma, together with ocean conservationist and Delma ambassador Magnus Lundborg supported the Megalodon Project. A research endeavor to understand and protect Blue Sharks among other endangered animals that live in the waters surrounding the Azores archipelago.

In 2020, we also released a limited-edition timepiece in celebration of the 200 years since the discovery of Antarctica, which supported the Antarctic and Southern Ocean coalition in its mission to protect this great wilderness and the fascinating wildlife that relies on it. We intend to continue our philanthropic efforts and serve as stewards of global preservation.

Currently Delma has no fewer than fifteen different lines in the collection. That’s a lot for any brand and I wonder if there are any thoughts to consolidate and distill the collections to develop a tighter image of what a “Delma” watch represents?

Several years ago, the company took the decision to focus more strongly on its core, the diver, and sports watches. This has proven to be a successful path, but we are not yet where we want to be. As such you can expect that there will be new products coming in that segment with a certain clean up in other areas.

Are all collections available in North America? 

Yes! We provide all our new retail partners with a recommendation for their collection selected from our complete collection based on bespoke factors and will do the same in North America as we continue to grow there.

We understand the retailer knows his clients best and are proud to be able to offer this flexibility and customizability to suit their unique demands, something that sets us as an independent, family-owned company apart from other brands and companies.




International Watch recently spoke with Omega CEO Raynald Aeschlimann, a watch industry veteran who first joined Omega in 1996 and who has led the watchmaking giant as CEO since 2016. He discussed Omega’s focus on innovation and precision, especially regarding the Master Chronometer certification process. In addition, we learn more about Omega’s celebrity sponsorships as well as its development of pre-owned Omega sales.

Read the full interview below.


By Vasken Chokarian


iW Magazine: Having been at Omega for more than two decades, how do you see your brand’s evolution to date?

Raynald Aeschlimann: When I first joined Omega in 1996, the brand was beginning to really make some important moves. It was around that time that we signed our first ambassador, Cindy Crawford, as well as forming new partnerships such as James Bond and Team New Zealand. It was a really critical era for growing our brand around the world.

Since then, I have been a part of so many fantastic changes and evolutions within the company. Especially in terms of Master Chronometer precision and the development of new materials and digital sales, we are constantly seeking to improve and lead the industry. I am very proud of the company we are today.

The new Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Black Black.

Omega invested quite heavily on in-house movement production and creativity. How important is that for the future direction of the product development and the Omega philosophy?

Precision has always been at the heart of Omega. It has always been our ambition to research, innovative and invest in better accuracy. To me, it shows the customer how much we care.  It proves that we give everything possible to improve even the smallest margins of quality. For that reason, exceptional movements are a symbol of Omega’s identity and we will continue to maintain that philosophy into the future.

Tell us about the essence of the Master Chronometer certification at Omega.

To gain a chronometer rating, most watches in the Swiss industry are certified once by COSC (The Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute). They have specific criteria that a watch must pass. At Omega, we believed that our standards of precision, performance and magnetic resistance were even better than the COSC criteria.

The Omega De Ville Trésor Power Reserve, new in 2021.

To prove it, we developed “Master Chronometer” certification with the help of METAS (The Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology). Today, after passing the COSC tests, our Omega watches also face an additional eight METAS tests, which are much more stringent and with even finer criteria.

For the customer, this adds trust and confidence. They can buy an Omega Master Chronometer knowing that it has been double certified and proven at the very highest level of excellence.

After twenty-two years of the Co-Axial, what have you learned from both a technical and consumer perspective about this movement?

From a technical perspective, Co-Axial has been a massive success. It has showed that Omega is able to revolutionize the watch movement, not only in terms of quality, but also doing it on an industrial scale. That was the challenge that other brands couldn’t overcome. For our customers, it’s yet another improvement on quality.

The Co-Axial system produces less friction, and therefore less wear, so you don’t need to have the watch serviced as often. But it has also been the gateway to achieving more movement innovation, such as the silicon balance spring and other non-magnetic materials. All of these improvements are the main reason that our Omega watches are given a full and impressive five-year warranty.

Back view of the new Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Black Black, showing Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 8806.

There seems to be a migration of brands to the sustainable and/or carbon neutral approach. How will Omega engage if at all on these causes?

The environment is an important consideration for our brand. In recent years, we’ve partnered with organizations such as the GoodPlanet Foundation and NEKTON to raise awareness about the planet’s needs.

At a watchmaking level, we’ve also been making changes to the way we work. Our newest factory is perhaps the most impressive example. The sustainable development was built with an ingenious indoor climate and renewable energy concept, along with other beneficial systems. I think it’s important to adapt to this modern way of working.

Omega’s newest Constellation, with small seconds subdial.

Do you believe in the perception of investing in R&D is the way forward for a Swiss watch manufacturing brand? How challenging would that be with the business aspects of the industry?

I believe innovation is the key to any progressive business. Watchmaking is a traditional industry, but we still need to find ways of pushing ourselves forward and keeping our products relevant to the modern consumer. Investment is a big part of that, and the Swiss industry needs to maintain its position as the leader of global watchmaking. Every brand does it differently, but I know that Omega is always seeking to innovate. Having the support and expertise of the Swatch Group is a big part of helping us to do that.

How bad has it been at Omega with the global pandemic?

I wouldn’t use the word “bad”. Certainly, it’s been a challenging time and we’ve all ensured some unexpected months. But Omega is a company that has been going since 1848. We’ve witnessed massive global and economic upheaval during our lifetime, but we’ve always found a way to adapt and progress.

Right now, we’re adapting our strategy to what is going on, but I’m confident we’ll see more positive times ahead.

The Omega Bronze Gold Seamaster 300 is cased in a new Bronze Gold alloy with a brown ceramic bezel ring and a diving scale in vintage SuperLumiNova.

Are there plans for Omega to be involved in the pre-owned sphere of their own brand? If so, how?

Absolutely. In fact, we are already underway in this area. The interest in the pre-owned and vintage market is increasing rapidly around the world, and we feel we have a duty to help and support its growth.

Just recently, we launched the Certificate of Authenticity, which enables pre-owned Omegas to be checked and verified by our experts in Switzerland. It helps to create trust and confidence for those buying and selling, and provides a bit more transparency in the market.

The new Omega Seamaster 300.

Omega celebrity-ambassadors and sponsorships are a huge segment of Omega commitments. Do they add a lot of pressure to constantly perform year in and year out?

It’s not pressure, it’s enjoyment! The heritage and passions of Omega are unlike any other brand and they give us so much to celebrate every year. We have teams and experts dedicated to every area, so we’re always on top of each project. And with so much diversity, comes a lot of creativity. Things like James Bond, the Olympic Games and golf allow us to craft some very special timepieces that people around the world really love. If you plan well and use your time wisely, there shouldn’t be any pressure.

How committed is Omega to Swiss Made?

Omega is proudly Swiss Made, and it’s an important part of our identity. We see it as a mark of quality and a world-renowned symbol of excellence. Omega goes beyond the required Swiss Made standard, with almost every single part of our watches being made and assembled right here in Switzerland.

Inside the Omega Museum in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland.

What challenges await the Swiss watchmaking industry and its future development?

Perhaps the most obvious challenge is keeping watches attractive to a new and younger generation of wearers. They have access to so much information, videos, blogs, reviews and opinions, so you have to be able to cut through. A big part of that is being authentic and having quality products they can believe in. It’s also important to build a digital presence, not only through social media and websites, but also the development of online sales and communication. I’m pleased to say that Omega is already well ahead in this regard.

Vasken Chokarian is director of iW Middle East.