When it comes to being an Everest man, we have always felt it should be someone who is exceeding the expectations of amazing. This week’s Everest Man, Mike W, doesn’t just exceed them - he sets the bar on giving back to those who need support and love. Mike’s wife was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, which was not only shocking due to her young age but also because they recently had their first child. As a caring husband and now father, he felt he had to do something to help others learn about this horrible condition that had struck his best friend and most treasured soul. Mike has been a staple in the Instagram watch society, truly part of the close knit circle of watch guys known as #watchfam. He with the watch strap manufacturer Crown and Buckle devised a wonderful pay it forward plan of releasing a custom NATO strap that brought attention to breast cancer awareness. Crown and Buckle has donated 100% of the proceeds from this special collaboration to the Breast Caner Research Foundation. #strap4acure has become a become a truly viral Instagram sensation and has brought much needed attention to this horrible disease. On a lighter note, Mike rocks the house when it comes to taking just awesome images of his ever growing watch collection and passion. He recently has acquired a Rolex Submariner (congrats man!) and also has fine collection of Tudor watches, a Rolex Datejust, an Omega Speedy, and a few other great timepieces. One thing that is consistent in all of his Insta-watch-art is that he loves to intertwine the colors and textures of the environment the watches are set in. You will see his beautiful son in a few shots and of course his devotion to his #strap4acure program.
We were able to catch up with Mike and learn a lot more about this wonderful man. Here is the Q&A:
I love the cleanliness and simplicity of the no-date sub dial. Obviously for “modern style” the 14060m is my favorite with the simple two line text. As for vintage, nothing beats an evenly patina’d 5513. To me, the epitome of dive watches. I wont lie the BLNR is a true beauty and I keep admiring them from afar. Maybe one day.
- What is your favorite Rolex/Tudor?
Honestly, my first real watch was a gift from my in-laws but it took a few years before the watch bug truly hit. I’d pick up a watch every so often, mostly when on vacation in the Caribbean to take advantage of the duty free prices, but it was about two years ago when the fever hit and its been a slippery slope since then.
- What started you on loving the watch thing?
I don’t carry too much with me on a daily basis. As a commuter to work each day, I always have my wallet, iPad mini and Bose headphones. Of course I always wear a watch. Other than my wedding band, a watch is the only jewelry I’ll wear.
- What are your daily essentials?
As I’ve mentioned before, I truly felt helpless while my wife was going through her chemotherapy treatments. I needed to do something to keep myself busy especially during the sleepless nights. My original idea was to buy a bunch of straps and sell them to friends and families to raise a few bucks and have solidarity with my wife. Through talking with the team at Crown and Buckle, it blossomed into an amazing venture that astounds me each day. Ultimately my goal was to raise funds for cancer research so another family wouldn’t have to go through what my family has dealt with the last 6 months. Seeing all the pics on Instagram of the strap in the wild and hearing others stories really is the reason why I wanted to do something. We truly are a watchfam!
- What was the incubus for the strap4acure? How has the experience changed your view on life/things/watches/people?
My wife finished chemo and is recovering from surgery and she is a true superstar! Honestly we couldn’t have gone through this without our now 7 month old son. He has been the best medicine and always puts a smile on our face.
Earlier this year I successfully completed my MBA program and graduated in June. I am currently an IT Project Manager for Canada’s leading Communications Company specializing in Broadcast Media.
- How is your wife doing? Family? You? After such a traumatic event?
With the success of Straps4ACure I would love to continue to help out and find ways to either raise money or volunteer. Cancer unfortunately effects all too many of us, so doing everything I can to help fight this terrible disease is a goal of mine. I do want to ensure that I can help those that are less fortunate.
- What are your goals for the future?
I am intrigued to get my hands on the Everest brand products specifically the rubber straps as well as the blue leather strap, I’m a sucker for blue! Additional colors would certainly be interesting to see, especially to match the versatile 14060m. As for Rolex or Tudor, I think the one off Tudor sub that is coming out for auction would be a hit amongst vintage sub fanatics. Having owned both the red and blue Black Bays, a black bezeled black bay with the guilt dial from the red version would be fantastic.
- What would you like Everest to come out with in the future? What about Rolex/Tudor?
I recently became acquainted with Thomas Lathrop, the CEO of Crown and Buckle, a few months before #strap4acure was released. In a recent phone conversation with him about life, cool watches and #strap4acure, Thomas shed more light on the whole experience and on Mike. One thing that stuck out in my mind was something Thomas said, “I knew no matter what happened this would be an incredible success.” Further, when speaking just about Mike, he seemed truly inspired from his experiences with Mike, even before they created this wonderful idea. We are excited to announce Mike as a true Everest Man and one of our latest brand ambassadors. Expect his new Submariner to occasionally rock a rubber strap from us and without a doubt a sweet NATO showing his love for his wife and family.