Joel McHale Fetes Traditional Timepieces at L.A. Event
"I knew it was a brand for me the moment I saw their watches," says the former 'Soup' host of luxury watchmaker Glashutte Original's designs.
Joel McHale admits that he considers himself very lucky to be part of Chris Carter’s revived X-Files television series. A reported 21.4 million people watched the recently aired first episode of its 10th season, a full 14 years after the sci-fi mystery drama ended its run in 2002.
McHale does, however, lament the fact his character Tad O’Malley isn’t wearing a particularly interesting timepiece in the show. "It was just a dummy watch," says McHale. The comedian and actor is a watch lover, as well as a fan of the luxury timepiece brand Glashutte Original.
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McHale, who was the guest of honor at a party on Wednesday evening for a new tome about the brand, quite organically happened upon the German-based watchmaker while browsing at neighborhood-favorite Los Angeles watch retailer Feldmar just a few years back. He points to the brand’s design as a traditional maker of timepieces meant for function and reliability versus flashiness or prestige as the impetus for his immediate attraction."I knew it was a brand for me the moment I saw their watches," says McHale.
His love began with a particular model known as the Senator Seventies, which bears a "TV-screen" style case inspired by timepieces from the 1970s, he says. A survey of the other watch brands — including Bell & Ross and Ritmo Mundo — McHale has been seen donning on programs such as The Soup and Community quickly reveal his interest in distinctive, outspoken designs with a character to match his own. He’s also worn Glashutte Original at high-profile hosting gigs, such as the maker's blue-dial PanoReserve when he emceed last year’s ESPY awards and its Senator Panorama Date Moon Phase at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in 2014.
At the Glashutte Original party, McHale performed a live reading of sections of the brand’s new book dedicated to a discussion of their history and craftsmanship. At another point in the evening, Glashutte Original’s CEO Yann Gamard discussed intricacies of the brand, such as their focus on durability and utility, which he feels separates high-end German timepieces from the typically more well-known watches produced in Switzerland.
Some interesting trivia is that Glashutte Original is owned by the mega watchmaking conglomerate Swatch Group and is their own German brand. Glashutte Original is actually comprised of a series of formerly independent watch-component companies from the horological hub town of Glashutte, home to around a dozen separate brands which together have been continuously been making timepieces since the mid-19th century.
In answering the question of why other people might follow his own interest in timepieces, McHale simply sums up that "watches are art, and many of us don’t have enough of that in our lives."
Ariel Adams is a timepiece expert and founder of aBlogtoWatch.com.