The Collectors: Jack Carlson
The founder of clothing label Rowing Blazers has a passion for watches, collecting examples from a wide range of brands, from Rolex and TAG Heuer to Seiko
Jack Carlson, founder of cult clothing brand Rowing Blazers, got hooked on watches early on. The fashion entrepreneur and rowing champion, who hails from Waltham, Massachusetts, known as “Watch City” due to its association with the Waltham Watch Company, explains that his father would come back from China or Turkey with timepieces that might not even work—he just liked them. “That’s shaped how I go about my own collecting; I don’t need the latest or hottest or most collectible,” Carlson says. “It’s a lot more personal.”
Treasure trove: Carlson’s 60-odd-piece cache includes a Rolex GMT and Submariner. “Those are quintessential,” he says. There are also editions by TAG Heuer and Bremont, which created a commemorative watch after Carlson’s rowing team placed in the 2013 Henley Royal Regatta in England, as well as a classic Seiko SKX with a red-and-blue Pepsi bezel. “That’s in a genre unto itself because it’s so classic and timeless.”
“I don’t need the latest or hottest or most collectible. It’s a lot more personal”Jack Carlson
Dream teams: At Rowing Blazers, Carlson spearheaded collaborations with Seiko, Tudor, and Zodiac, often consulting with vintage watch expert Eric Wind, who was also his classmate at Georgetown University.
Special delivery: One particular favorite is an unlikely edition that Rolex made for Domino’s Pizza, which would gift top-performing managers with an Air-King featuring the logo above the six. “For years the watch community considered them among the least desirable,” says Carlson. “I love a high-low moment. It’s Pop Art in a way.”
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2023 Late Fall Issue under the headline “The Collectors.” Subscribe to the magazine.