Three years ago, Ethan Boroian became the youngest champagne ambassador in Moët Hennessy’s history.
Not a bad gig, giving that his portfolio includes Krug, Dom Perignon and Veuve Clicquot.
But before wine, there was food. Chicago-born Boroian came top of his class at Ferrandi Paris – known as the ‘Harvard of gastronomy’.
He worked at a few bistronomie restaurants in the French capital, before coming to London to cook at a duo of two-Michelin starred restaurants – first The Greenhouse then Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
Clearly a fan of the finer things in life, his passion before the pass was actually watches. We caught up with him to find out about his personal horological history.
What’s the favourite watch that you own?
My Omega Speedmaster (First Omega In Space or “FOIS”) from 2017.
It’s a re-issue of the model CK2998, a watch made famous by American astronaut Walter Schirra who wore it during the ‘Sigma 7’ mission of the Mercury Programme in 1962.
The case measures 39.7mm so it wears far less bulky than your standard 42mm Speedmaster Professional and the alpha hands really dress it up.
It’s also the most versatile watch I own and I regularly change the strap depending on what I am wearing or how I’m feeling.
Who gave it to you?
The watch was a gift to me from my wife, and she gave it to me the night before our wedding.
She had set the time to 2pm, the exact time our ceremony was meant to begin with a little note that read, “don’t be late”!
As it turns out, I should have gifted her a watch as she arrived at the church 20 minutes late.
Is there a story behind it?
I’ve always wanted a Speedmaster. My uncle and I both share a passion for Space and I remember when he bought himself one and he told me that it was the first watch to be worn on the moon.
Since then, I was hooked and always aspired to own one. For me, the FOIS is the best version in the current line-up of Speedies and whenever I wear it, the kid in me feels like an astronaut.
What’s on your wrist today?
Today (and most days) I am wearing a Rolex Explorer (ref. 214270). I’m a big Rolex fan and I particularly love the Explorer’s simplicity and understated elegance.
The oyster bracelet is state of the art and super comfortable so it’s perfect for the warmer months where I don’t want to sweat through a leather strap.
What watch do you have in your sights next – and why?
There are two. The first is a stainless steel Daytona with a ceramic bezel and a white dial. Cliché, I know, but let me explain.
I was at Baselworld when this was released – and immediately fell in love with it. It’s iconic in its own right, but the fact that this is my generation's Daytona makes it a must-have for me.
It would also complete my chronograph trio alongside my Navitimer and Speedmaster.
The second watch I have my sights on is a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duoface. I wear a suit most days, so something dressy would get a lot of wear.
My current dress watch is an IWC Portugieser which I love, but I think there’s space for two dress watches.
What’s your ‘grail’ watch – and why?
I have a few, so I have put them into three different categories.
My grail ‘everyday’ watch would be an Aquanaut by Patek Philippe (ref. 5164a). I have a Rolex Explorer II and I love the GMT function, so the Travel Time version would be my pick.
It’s very comfortable and understated enough that unless you are into watches, you’d have no idea what it is, and that’s a good thing.
My grail dress watch would be a Lange 1 from A. Lange & Sohne in white or rose gold.
I love the history of the brand, and this for me is the most elegant dress watch on the planet.
The downside would be not getting anything done due to staring at the movement and ornate German craftsmanship on the back of the watch.
My grail sports watch would have to be a Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet (ref. 15202).
I love the Gerald Genta design and it was so disruptive to the luxury watch industry when it first came out.
You have to admire how that watch started the trend for the stainless steel craze, and never really looked back.
It’s the original and has remained unchanged. A true classic.