Jack Carlson is ending 2023 how he started it: With a Zodiac collaboration.*
The new Rowing Blazers x Zodiac “Rouchefoucauld” Super Sea Wolf World Timer follows January’s Rowing Blazers x Zodiac Harry’s Bar Super Sea Wolf, and is just the latest in a line of playful watch collaborations from Carlson’s clothing brand—this one with a subtle nod to Trading Places, the the 1983 classic comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd.

In the film, Akroyd’s WASPy Louis Winthorpe III tries to pawn his (fictional) watch, the Rochefoucauld, which he describes as “the sports watch of the 80s,” with the notable detail that it tells time in Monte Carlo, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Rome, and Gstaad.
“It’s not a real watch of course—but for a long time, I’ve thought: this should exist,” said Carlson.
The Rouchefoucauld nod is peak Rowing Blazers: preppy and fun, with a touch of whimsy. It’s a sensibility that is found not just in RB’s watches, but in Carlson’s personal watch collection as well. He owns some of the classics, of course, like a Seiko SKX, and a no-date Rolex Submariner and Rolex GMT-Master from the 1980s, but Carlson has a taste for the colorful and unique.

Take, for example, the digital Pac-Man watch, Mickey Mouse Timex, and Tin-Tin watch that can be found in his watch box. Or the Domino’s-branded Rolexes, which the pizza brand used to give to franchisees who hit certain sales goals and which Carlson now collects. Carlson called the watches, which feature the Domino’s logo on the dial, “exactly the perfect type of high-low, kitschy, weird, subversive thing I love.”
Carlson also cites his Heuer Yacht-Timer as being “very on-brand” for him, thanks to its bright colors “rendered in a way that is reminiscent of the ‘Ben-Day dots’ of comic book illustrations and Lichtenstein’s Pop Art.”
Photo courtesy Jack Carlson

“I look for watches that have some kind of meaning to me; or that are archetypes, classics; or that are visually, aesthetically interesting to me from a design perspective,” said Carlson. “What I like about watches are the same things I like about clothes: the stories, the history, the meaning—as well as the design.”
Carlson started collecting watches in earnest after meeting Eric Wind, the collector and dealer behind Wind Vintage and an old college friend of Carlson’s from his days at Georgetown University.
“My collection when I was a kid consisted of a solitary G-Shock. I think I got a Seiko when I was in college, and then a Waltham watch from World War I with a shrapnel guard,” Carlson recalled. “Then I won [a] Bremont when I won the Henley [Royal Regatta] when I was in grad school at Oxford. I got a very nice Ralph Lauren watch with a [Jaeger-LeCoultre] movement when I launched my book with Ralph in 2014. And then with Eric’s help initially, I started to get a little more serious.”
Photo courtesy Jack Carlson

In designing new watches, Carlson often draws inspiration from his own watches—most recently with the limited edition Tag Heuer Rowing Blazers x Bamford Carrera, which pulled from Carlson’s Heuer Yacht-Timer. Of those in his collection he’d most like to base a watch off of: “It would be cool to do something inspired by that Waltham trench watch. People always ask about the shrapnel guard.”
Carlson already has quite the portfolio of watch partnerships, for which Wind has served as a frequent collaborator. Rowing Blazers has created watches with Beams, Zodiac, Tudor—for a limited edition not available to the public—Tag Heuer, and, perhaps most prominently, Seiko, with whom Rowing Blazers has now done three watch collaborations.

“I love working with these storied brands,” said Carlson. “I love that my own brand, Rowing Blazers, can work across all these different markets and on all these different levels. It’s very much a reflection of who I am. One day I can be in St Moritz, the next day I am shopping in Target.”
There are some additional partnerships in the works, both with partners old and new, though mum’s the word from Carlson right now on what those will be. Rowing Blazers has made a reputation as a collaboration powerhouse, but might we one day see Rowing Blazers produce a line of watches on its own?

“Never say never, but I enjoy working with these other brands,” said Carlson. “The watch brands we work with—they are the experts in their craft, and I like that.” Rowing Blazers x Zodiac

The post A Conversation with Jack Carlson About His Latest Rowing Blazers Collaboration with Zodiac, and His Watch Collecting Evolution appeared first on Worn & Wound.