Meet the connoisseurs : Henrik Schwiening from the Blancpain blog, alias @shortyshome
by Henrik Schwiening
Henrik Schwiening is a long time watch collector. He runs Blancpain’s blog and is also active on Instagram under the pseudonym of shortyshome, an account dedicated to fine timepieces and photography. He has accepted to tell us about his passion and his appreciation of the work of Maison Jean Rousseau.
“The aesthetic quality of a strap should match each fine timepiece, and the Jean Rousseau straps are delivering on that requirement.”
I have been interested in watches since I was a teenager but I waited to be in my early thirties to explore fine timepieces. At that time, a horological journey was rather easy: there were no overhyped timepieces and I had access to almost every watch I was interested in. What drives my passion for watches is mainly the aesthetics, a bit more than the technology: I believe that a fine timepiece can be a wonderful expression of one’s personality. The key to find the right watch is to know what you like, not be driven by external opinions. It is a combination of personality and individual style that influences the choice for a specific type of watch or model.
I am a perfectionist. What connects with me is attention to every detail and the overall harmony. I want to enjoy the watch to the same degree when taking only a quick glance or exploring it with a loupe. Experimenting with various straps becomes a way to emphasize different aspects of the watch but in this case, customization is sometimes necessary.
Bespoke straps are very interesting for some key timepieces
Over the years I developed a special interest in Blancpain. But Blancpain frequently chooses non-typical strap dimensions for some key timepieces that leave owners with very few off-the-shelf solutions. Bespoke straps are then very interesting.
The most important is that the quality, the look, the haptics of the strap match the aesthetic quality of the watch. Personally, I like Nato straps for multiple reasons: they offer an additional element of security, they support a casual look, they protect the lugs of the watch and they are comfortable to wear. On my quest to find high quality Nato straps I discovered Jean Rousseau. I was very intrigued by the design of the Jean Rousseau Nato straps and placed my first order.
I like the variety of materials and styles offered, the opportunity of creating bespoke straps, the very friendly and competent customer support and most of all the very high quality. I need the watch straps to have a maximum thickness, a specific size of the holes and the buckle aperture. I also like the option to choose from different lining materials and colors. I was very pleased with the result, the requirements were matched and the aesthetic quality was excellent, as is the wearing comfort.
Today, three other watchstraps are in the process of being created. The watches I ordered bespoke straps for are the core of my collection, every single one means a lot to me. They are the quintessential result of my horological journey over almost three decades. These are the watches I feel most closely attached to. I believe the aesthetic quality of a strap should match each fine timepiece, and the Jean Rousseau straps are delivering on that requirement.