Member Spotlight: Mark Fleminger
RedBar Toronto Chapter Head
What was your introduction to horology?
I inherited my Grandfather’s Omega Seamaster when I was 17 (over 30 years ago). This led to a complete Omega madness, a desire to obtain a Speedmaster as soon as I could afford one, and a lifelong love for Omega Constellations and Seamasters. My collection now consists of mainly IWC, over 20 Omegas, vintage Longines, Nivada and Tissot.
What was your first watch?
A manual wind Timex Diver now sadly lost. Most of my school friends had Seiko Pogue Chronographs, which were expensive by comparison.
What fascinates you most about watches and/or horology in general?
I just love these mechanical wonders made from springs and wheels! The technical marvel that allow watches to tick away for years and years.
The stories that vintage watches can tell fascinate me! I remember my grandfather wearing his Seamaster daily and I am honored that I can continue doing so and eventually hand it to my daughter.
I have a 1912 IWC pocket watch that was sold in Budapest and it somehow ended up in Toronto! Imagine the journey it took in over a hundred years and story it could tell!
What are the kiss, kill, and marry of your collection?
This is really hard to answer. My collection is a culmination of 30 years of accumulating models I love, and therefore there are certain family lines that contain important watches from the makers’ history.
For example, I have a series of Constellations containing the significant Omega Chronometer movements and body styles, as well as Speedmaster and Seamaster Professionals. Really iconic Omegas.
Name one watch that got away.
I have sold only a few watches and there was a good reason to do so, to get another in better condition, or to get one that suits the collection better. I do not regret a single watch that was sold as the action was very carefully considered.
I have missed a few watches at auction because they sold for too much, but generally, a few months or maybe years later, something came up and I was able to capture that one, because I had not spent the funds on the one that got away.
What watch do you wear most often?
Omega Speedmaster, IWC Ingenieurs, Aquatimers and Pilots get the most wrist time. Portuguese for dressy occasions and a Seamaster Professional for adventures, canoeing and kayaking
What is the first thing you notice about a watch?
I think a watch says a lot about a person, almost as much as their choice of shoes or suit. It shows that a person really put some thought into what they wear. I have a pet peeve - when I see businessmen on the subway and they are wearing a really expensive suit and then they cheap out on a fashion watch!!!
How were you introduced to RedBar Group?
I first met Adam Craniotes in New York at an IWC event. I was unaware that there was a Toronto Chapter as I was not on Instagram. He introduced me to the Toronto guys. I have since taken over the Toronto Chapter.
How has RedBar affected you as a collector?
I used to be a very lonely WIS! RedBar has allowed me to connect with wonderful like-minded people. The camaraderie is beyond incredible, and I have met amazing people and made many new friends. RedBar has given me an appreciation for some brands that did not interest me previously. All through these mechanical wonders we call watches.
Outside of collecting how has RedBar impacted your life?
RedBar has given me the opportunity to liaise with amazing people and incredible brands. We have arranged some fantastic events and introduced the members to brands they did not know previously. RedBar has given me the curiosity to explore, take watchmaking courses, and expand my knowledge which I pass on to my members. My life has not been the same since I became a member of RedBar.