What makes Eric Singer, drummer for the quirky and world renowned band KISS, good at what he does? Measuring beats. In order for a song to be spectacular it is essential to have a drummer who has mastered this technique. For Eric Singer, he sees an elemental bond between his passion and watches. That is why he loves to collect wrist watches – from antique wrist watches to high tech – as he travels the world. He loves the idea of having time easily accessible to him as he drums, saying: “What I do for a living is I keep time playing music, and a watch keeps time on my wrist.”
Playing with Black Sabbath and alongside Queen’s Brian May, Eric Singer is renowned for his breath-taking performances. He is also known for his theatrical performances with KISS, doubled with the recognisable and outstanding band make-up, with Eric sporting the “Catman” make-up.
Singer’s love of watches started from an early age. His father returned home from his work as a band leader on a cruise ship with a German manual-winding mechanical watch, fixed to a Speidel Twist-O-Flex band for the then five-year-old Eric. A gift that had travelled across the Atlantic to sit on Singer’s wrist. That was the beginning.
As a child Eric would often play with his father’s watches including his 1951 Jaeger-LeCoultre triple calendar moonphase, now considered a beautiful and highly collectible antique wrist watch. Eric noted that what intrigued him at a young age was the complications a watch could have and what specifically drew him, and a lot of other people, to the Jaeger-LeCoultre piece was “the man in the moon”. The watch was passed down to his brother, and then later onto Singer, highlighting the sentimental nature of antique watches.
This love grew as Eric became older. Inspired by his father’s love for antiques, Eric began seeking out vintage pieces. He would often go to a small watch repair shop in L.A. where he would “hang out and talk shop” with the owner and they would examine the latest antique pieces the owner had bought. He now has a wide collection of wrist watches, spanning from no-name stainless steel chronographs to watches by Audemars Piguet. The collection grows as he travels on tour.
But Singer is not the only rock-star who has a passion for watches. When on tour with Alice Cooper in the early 2000’s Singer remarked on Coopers love of wrist watches. “He bought about 45 watches on that tour,” Singer noted. “I’m not exaggerating, it was crazy. Every day he’s come on the bus and go, ‘Hey Eric, watch of the day,’”.
Singer’s love of watches earnt him a place on the jury for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève watchmaking award in 2015. Singer looks at watches “like pieces of art, just like somebody goes to a museum and loves looking at paintings or sculptures”. A universal thought we have here at Pieces of Time about antique wrist watches.
Image credit:Alberto Cabello, Flickr. Available Under Creative Commons.