World's Most Important Watch Collector
Man's World|November 2020
Auro Montanari, who zealously guards his privacy, gained global renown in 2018 when his vintage Rolex — the only white gold Daytona known to exist — sold for $6 million
Rahul Wadhwa

Auro Montanari is clear about what he thinks of contemporary watchmaking. “I do not see any great innovations in the panorama of modern watches. We are in the third millennia, and the Swiss brands still take inspiration from the past,” he says. And then, he adds: “In the 1950s, for example, Omega and Rolex introduced the ‘Tool’ watches. These were very innovative timepieces for that period, without any influences from the 1920s or the 1930s.”

But, hold on a second. Who is this gentleman, and why are you being subjected to his views? Auro Montanari is not your usual Panerai/Rolex/AP-sporting braggart with provocative views, mostly borrowed, on horology.

According to the Foundation de la Haute Horlogerie that promotes watchmaking around the world, Montanari “is a true horological scholar and serious collector of the highest order, synonymous with expertise, quality, discretion, and taste”, and a respected US-based luxury magazine once described him as “the world’s most important watch collector”. That is, of course, a good reason for him to be on the pages of this magazine, but there is a topical reason as well.

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