Welcome back to an original aBlogtoWatch feature, “My First Grail Watch.” In this series, we ask prominent people in the watch industry about the first timepiece that they lusted after. Today, we’re speaking with Jeff Kuo, the founder of Xetum, known for their California-designed Swiss watches. In this interview, we reveal where his watch journey started–it’s with a brand many of us likely kicked things off with as well!

aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you and what is your relationship to the watch industry?

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Jeff Kuo (JK): I am the founder of Xetum, which offers a collection of modern automatic watches, designed in California and made in Switzerland.

ABTW: When did your fascination with watches start?

JK: My grandparents gave me a Seiko sports chronograph when I was in high school. I was immediately drawn to the instrument-style design and how all the different hands, sub-dials and markings blended together.

ABTW: A humble start. After that, what became your first grail watch?

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JK: A. Lange & Sohne, No. 1 in white gold with silver dial.

ABTW: Quite a shift from that first Seiko chrono–what drew you to this particular watch?

JK: The elegant and brilliantly executed dial. It uses proportion and placement of the key design elements in a striking, yet effortless way–in the manner that only a true artisan can achieve. The signature big date and off-centered dial are instantly recognizable, yet they do so with consummate subtlety.

ABTW: Have you had a chance to add this to your collection? Or is it still an elusive grail?

JK: This one is still on my wish list.

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