With pseudonyms like The Broker, The Bastard and The Vampire, they’ve joined together deep inside the world of Soviet-era watch collecting.
This cabal of watch collectors spans the world, though in cyberspace, bringing history to the hands of millions with watches dating back to the days of Stalin.
Dashiell Oatman-Stanford calls himself “The Catalog.” His friends call him “a Soviet watch nerd.”
His website reveals why. It brings together highlights from his comprehensive archive of around 3,000 pieces. Many come, and many go, as he revises and refines his collection. The name of the website is Watches of the USSR. But despite only starting his hobby six years ago, Oatman Stanford is the only king of historic Soviet watches.
He asks on his website, “Why Soviet watches? I am not a collector of watches, but I am a collector of culture and history — fragments of a life that once existed. And obviously, these watches have an incredible tale to tell.”
“Soviet watches are utilitarian and functional but dig further, and you reveal a world of intrigue and mystery, colour and pizzazz,” writes Dashiell Oatman-Stanford.
Ulices Rosa said membership of this secretive collectors group comes by invitation. She founded the bureau three years back by connecting people asking questions about Soviet watches on Instagram. If you’ve been inquiring about Soviet watches, he may just find you.
Rosa might have come from casting for an old Film-noir to head up a shadowy bureau with his Jersey accent. The Lansing residents calls himself The Broker, and you can picture him selling watches stashed in his coat.
“I’m the man who’s continuously connecting the others to the sale,” he said in an interview.