A Mr Zaratsu Interview With Sam Sprengelmeyer

If you've been in the watch collecting community for a while you would realise how diverse our world is. People enjoy these objects for so many reasons and for the most part, half of the fun is learning about why people gravitate towards the pieces that they do. For this interview, I'll be asking my good friend Sam (aka @samandherwatchbox on Instagram) a few questions to gain an insight on her watch collecting perspectives and why this student of theatre doesn't give a shit about what you think of her time pieces of choice. Yes, she's a total bad ass. Read on to learn more!

Hey Sam, could you let the Mr Z readers know a bit about who you are and how you got into watches?

Hey! Thank you so much for asking me to talk to you I really appreciate it! My name is Sam Sprengelmeyer and am originally from Southern California. I am currently a college student at the University of Northern Colorado studying theater. It has always been my passion and something I have always known I wanted to do as a career. It is extremely challenging but so rewarding at the same time if that makes any sense haha! It is a very similar circumstance for me when it comes to watches. I have always loved watches and rarely remember a time where I didn’t have one on. The guys in my family have really good taste in watches and that was something I saw and got interested in certain brands and made me want to own more watches. Typically, growing up, girls don’t gravitate towards watches as an accessory they need to wear all the time. Most girls liked to wear necklaces or earrings but that just wasn’t my thing. I grew up a bit of a tom boy and didn’t find any real use for jewelry. Wearing a watch was a must for me. My first watch I bought myself when I was about seven or eight was just a baby pink digital Casio. I never took that thing off and I put that watch through hell haha. But as I grew up, my style drastically changed, and I got out of my tom boy phase and became more and more interested in nicer watches. Like I said, my family has really good taste in watches from Omega to unheard of microbrands, I wanted to expand my knowledge of watches and would talk to either my uncle or my grandpa about what they were looking at or what their favorite pieces were. Some of my favorite memories growing up is when I would go visit watch shops on the weekends with my uncle and we’d try on a bunch of watches at little watch shops in Los Angeles or try on really expensive ones on Rodeo Drive and only dream of the day we could walk out of there with a new Vacheron Constantin.

Before I got into the world of horology, I used to think that these things were for old rich dudes with yachts and snobby personalities, but boy was I wrong. What I’m trying to say is that my perspective on watch collecting has changed, what are your sentiments towards the hobby?

I did have a very similar view on the hobby too! I always thought that you had to be old and have a lot of money but the more I got involved in the hobby, the more I realized that is not the case. I really love the creative freedom this hobby can give someone. You can really find a watch that specifically fits you and your personality. There are so many options for a person to choose from! Something else I found the more I got into the hobby was how much of a tight knit community it really is! I have been able to meet some of the nicest people who are watch enthusiasts and make me love this hobby more. A few years ago, I discovered what watch meetups were and thought that was the coolest thing ever! I was a bit scared to go by myself knowing I would be one of the only women there but once I got there I felt so welcomed. It’s awesome meeting more watch people like you and are genuinely nice people to just talk to about watches and not be snobby about it. On the other hand, since this is such a male dominated hobby, it can be really hard as a woman to feel included in it. There can be a lot of sexism and just unnecessary comments that are directed to us that don’t need to be said. I’ve definitely gotten plenty over direct messages or just comments on Instagram that are so rude! Things like, “oh that’s a man’s watch, you can’t wear them,” and one, it’s not a clever burn, and two, I bought it with my money I worked my ass off for so therefore it is a “Sam watch.” It doesn’t happen often but when it does it is crazy to think in this day and age there are still men like that out there. Don’t be mad I look better wearing your watch haha!

I’ve noticed that you’re also part of a cool team, could you explain what ‘Time of the week’ is all about and how it came to be?

Yes so Time of the Week is a weekly show that me, @time.on.her.hands and @thewatchboxdiaries all do every Wednesday 7pm UK time where we drink wine and talk about all the latest watch news! It is on the Scottish watches Live channel on Youtube and is so much fun. We usually have a topic that we focus on but we just have fun talking about watches and bringing up personal stories of our watch collection. How it came to be was last year we were asked to come on for the weekly Scottish Watches Live chats on their Youtube channel with other members and talk about a bunch of watch news and play games over zoom. The guys at Scottish Watches wanted to give us an opportunity to have our voices heard as women watch collectors and since we have good chemistry and love watches, it was match made in heaven!

So what does the @samandherwatchbox collection look like? What are your current favourites and why?

My collection is a bit all over the place, but it definitely shows my personality. I don’t only have one specific brand or only have women’s watches. It just depends on what speaks to me and what I feel looks best on me. I literally have watches 28mm to 42mm, Timex to a Tudor and love them all! I definitely do gravitate toward color am not afraid of making a statement like that. I don’t necessarily love diamonds in my watches and do like more of men’s watches rather than women’s. One of my first watches I bought myself was a Timex weekender which I gave to my brother to start his collection but do occasionally wear when I visit home. I have a few Seikos, Tudor, Doxa, Bulova, and Nomos. Some of my favorites are my red Seiko, Tudor Black Bay, and my new Nomos. These are actually all my favorite colors so that’ s why I gravitate towards them so much but each mean a lot to me. The red Seiko was one I had had my eye on for a while, I previously had the white 40mm Seiko Presage and loved it but wanted something a bit smaller and that red kept calling my name. Seiko makes some stunning dials and this specific sun burst red dial is so amazing I’ll never get over it. My Tudor Black Bay 32 has a special meaning behind it for me and that’s why its my favorite. It was the watch that I got myself to signify that I finished my first full year of college by myself here in Colorado. I was super nervous moving to a new state by myself and was proud that I made it through and kept pushing myself forward to graduation. That’s what this watch signifies for me; start to a new beginning that will lead me to a great future.

What’s next on your watch purchasing list?

Oof I try to be good and not blow all my money on watches but we all know how that goes haha! I definitely have my eyes on the new Longines Dolce Vita with the aventurine dial. Its absolutely stunning and I love the case shape. I always have to justify with my boyfriend why I need another blue watch and he actually agreed on this one! Another one I would love is an Omega Constellation. They are such classy looking watches and really love the design of them I honestly don’t have on specific on that I have in mind which is frustrating! I just need to got to my boutique and spend a day trying on a bunch. Last one I would really like is the Grand Seiko sbgv205. That dial is quite amazing as you know and that zaratsu polishing is so damn good I’ll never be able to stop looking at it.

Which female watch enthusiasts or collectors do you recommend we should be following on Instagram right now?

Oh yea I definitely do! I love @wifeyswatches and her awesome Oris Aquis. It makes me want to get one! has some really great shots and such an eclectic collection. I also love looking at @natwatchgirl collection! She also like a lot of color and love all her Oris pieces!

This next question is kind of a dorky one, but if you could be a watch stylist and pair a timepiece for any celebrity, who would it be and what would you have them wear?

Ok so the celebrity I would want to style is Neil Patrick Harris. Kind of basing this off of knowing he is a theater person and we’d have a bunch to talk about and he could help me with auditions and stuff haha but he also has great style and I feel like if I came to him with a Cartier Tank Solo he’d be like, “ I know absolutely nothing about what I am wearing, tell me everything you know about this watch and why,” then we’d eventually become best friends and I’d be able to do a movie with him and I’ll be happy forever.

What’s your idea of unwinding from a busy day?

I am a server so coming home from a very long day on my feet, unwinding very is important to do. I like to put some music on to distract from whatever happened that day. I’ll wash my face and do my nightly routine and light a candle and just relax with a good book. I like to switch whatever watch I decided to wear that day and swap it out to another and plan on what I’ll wear the next day so I can then decide what watch I’ll wear with it. It is quite a process haha!

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