Collectors Among Us: Elias Marte

Collectors Among Us: Elias Marte

| 10.26.23

Collectors Among Us is an ongoing series featuring some of our favorite watch collectors — and friends. In addition to finding out what makes their watch collection tick, we better understand their collecting philosophy as a whole, as well as uncover their other interests and how they intersect the world of horology. We all have a story that encapsulates our collecting journey — this one belongs to Elias Marte. 

It only takes a fleeting moment to learn that Elias Marte is a man of refined taste. If you’ve been part of the New York watch scene, then there’s no doubt you’ve spotted Marte at any one of these events. Sartorially inclined no matter the occasion, his wardrobe choices are always an eccentric combination of vintage silhouettes and a jewelry game that is unmatched. Really, there’s no better way of describing Marte’s style other than it’s effortlessly cool. 

Marte is a busy man these days. Real estate agent in the Big Apple by day and co-partner of Alfargos Marketplace, a thriving vintage clothing pop-up, by night, Marte still manages to make time for the things he’s truly enthusiastic about — art, jewelry, vintage clothing and of course, watches. Some know him as Elias Marte, but most know him for his appropriate Instagram alias @staycrispymyfriendscrispy being the operative word to describe Marte’s pursuits.



Like all the things that Elias Marte curates, his watch collection is free spirited, straying away from the conventional profile. A childhood memory of his aunt wearing a Pulsar Tank is what spawned Marte’s interest in the non-traditional aesthetic. “You know when you’re a kid, it’s the first image that you see, well it was that square watch and I became attracted to square watches.” His entire collecting philosophy leans into the irregular case shape, time-only theme, ranging from an Audemars Piguet Ellipse to a bevy of Cartier’s, as well as a particular atelier that has become Marte’s signature — Dali.

Marte’s particular taste in art and jewelry are a reflection of his watch collection. “I collect jewelry so design comes first .. and I’m an art enthusiast … it all comes together with watches, especially when you go for different case shapes and for me, it’s like art collecting.” The case architecture and precious metals present throughout his collection harken back to a time where great design was revolutionary, and found in everything from buildings and household appliances, to clothing and art. But when it comes to choosing his favorites within his collection, he picks a solid trio — a Rolex Midas, a Cartier Paris Ellipse and an Exaequo Salvador Dali — all of which are yellow gold, of course.

Marte does own a couple of circular watches and to our pleasant surprise, one of them is a Seiko SKX diver. Despite the fact, the trusty diver is solely relegated to monsoon duty, it remains as a part of Marte’s quiver. “I like to throw that out there that I have a dive watch. It shocks people.” Aside from the dive watch outlier, but still left-of-center, Marte shared his two-tone Rolex Datejust. It interestingly takes the place as his largest watch in his collection (excluding the SKX) and makes for an intriguing precedent as to what any collection would look like if 36mm would be the largest caze size you can go, and Marte’s collection is evidence of that.

Trends come and go in the watch industry, but Elias Marte doesn’t strike us as someone that follows the crowd. In fact, we expect him to fully do the opposite — zigging when everyone else zags. So when we asked Marte which direction he would take his watch collecting in, we weren't really surprised by his answer. “It’s not really going to change, honestly, because I don’t sell watches. For me it’s like a marriage. We’re not going to break up.”