Collectors Among Us - Jason Gong

Collectors Among Us - Jason Gong

| 05.04.23

In Collectors Among Us, we highlight some of our favorite watch collectors — and friends — and hear about their collecting journeys. In this week’s episode, we welcome Jason Gong.

Founder of Complecto, a watch community and platform focused on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, Jason Gong received his first watch — a colorful Swatch — for his eighth birthday. Join us as he discusses his watch collecting origins, his changing taste, and which comes first — an outfit, or a watch.

When and how did you go down the horological rabbit hole?

On my 8th birthday, I got my first watch — a Swatch. That was the start of a journey that would eventually grow into an obsession as I grew older, went to college and entered the working world.

If my Swatch was the gateway drug, Rolex was the brand that got me addicted. I decided to splurge on a Rolex to commemorate a professional milestone and decided a green Sub was going to be the watch. I fell into the Rolex forum rabbit hole and the rest is history. Although I’ve since ventured into many other parts of the horological landscape, Rolex will always be the brand responsible for where I am today as an enthusiast and collector.

What’s your grail watch?

Patek Phillipe Nautilus 5711P — one of the most iconic watches of all time, in full platinum, with an emerald-set bezel and markers. This is the “game over” watch for me.

What’s the next purchase on your list?

It depends on who I get the call from first! But more than likely it will be something avant-garde, complicated, and rare from an independent brand.

Do you prefer vintage or modern watches, and why?

Eight times out of 10, modern. I wear most of my watches quite often, so I lean towards the reliability and robustness modern watches afford relative to vintage.

What are your top three watch brands?

At the moment, and in no particular order:

- Angelus

- Grönefeld

- Rolex

What’s more important to you — design or functionality — and why?

Generally speaking, I’m a function-over-form kinda guy. But when it comes to watches, I definitely gravitate towards designs that speak to me.

Watch purchases are inherently emotional decisions — nobody needs watches today. We wear them because they make us feel something, and I want every watch I wear to stir me in some way.

That being said, I expect my watches to perform well in a variety of environments and situations, so I definitely lean towards watches that balance aesthetics and versatility — two of my favorite examples of this balance being the Royal Oak and Octo Finissimo.

Do you build your outfits around your watch, or do you choose the watch to go with your outfits?

This is a great question, and it really depends on my mood and the occasion. If there’s a watch I really want to wear, say for a watch community event, I’ll build my outfit around the watch. If I’ve got an event that requires a certain look, like black tie, then I prioritize the outfit and pick a watch that fits the occasion. I’m spoiled for choice either way, and that privilege isn’t lost on me.

You picked a watch from Analog:Shift’s collection to wear for our photo shoot. Which did you spring for, and why?

A Royal Oak. It’s a design icon that transcends horology, and there are very few watches that bear such immense cultural significance. This particular reference checks all of the boxes: it’s exceedingly rare, perfectly proportioned, and exceptionally attractive. The combination of tantalum and rose gold is magical — the weight and warmth need to be experienced to be truly appreciated. I’m particularly drawn to the dial, which features vertical brushing as opposed to the trademark tappiserie dial seen on most Royal Oaks.