On Nguyen’s wrist, from left, is a Gruen gold pocket watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s stainless steel Reverso Squadra Chronograph on bracelet and an IWC rose gold Yacht Club Chronograph.
When he was a child, Ted Nguyen’s father told him something that made an impression. “You don’t get to choose your destiny,” he said. “You get what you are destined for.” It took Nguyen some years to figure out what his dad’s words meant to him. He’d had a lifelong passion for cars, but didn’t believe he could parlay that hobby into his career. After various successful undertakings in other arenas, the longtime Houston resident stopped stifling his dream. He began to work in the automobile industry, first with a stint at West Houston Porsche. “It was time for me to turn my passion into my life’s work,” says Nguyen, the now-40-something owner of EVS Motors (evsmotors.com).
But cars weren’t the only luxury item important to Nguyen’s destiny. As it turns out, the automobile entrepreneur harbors a penchant for fine watches. Nguyen began shopping at Zadok Jewelers (zadok.com) in 2003, while seeking an engagement ring for his now-wife. “To this day, I buy most of my jewelry and watches from Zadok,” he says. He recommends them for their personalized service and inventory selection. “Timepieces are, at the highest level, human masterpieces,” he explains. “Most people don’t realize the level of detail that master horologists put into premium watches. The combination of gears, jewels, springs and rotors creates one of the most accurate devices—one that can tell time, day, date, moon phase, chronograph and more. Premium mechanical watches are timeless technologies,” he opines enthusiastically.
With a collection that ranges from $600 to priceless, Nguyen finds it difficult to pick a favorite. He extols the virtues of his IWC rose gold Yacht Club Chronograph, his classic art deco-style Jaeger-LeCoultre and his dad’s hand-me-down—a gold Gruen pocket watch. “And if I want to keep things casual, I’ll rock my gold Apple Watch,” he says. Nguyen’s advice for novice watch collectors? “Set your goals to obtain the watch you want, not the watch you can afford at the moment. Setting goals creates habits of success. Sacrificing what you want only teaches you to settle for less than you deserve.”