Łukasz Doskocz is co-founder and editor in chief of CH24.PL a highly informative Polish horological website launched in 2009.
1. Describe briefly your childhood.
I was born in Warsaw, pretty much on the verge of communism here in Poland – of which I thankfully not remember much. My mum always worked in the office, my dad was an engineer, working on big heavy machinery and engines (meaning he traveled a lot, bringing me all sorts of good stuff we didn’t have back home). Although I did not follow in their footsteps, I was luckily born in a time, that made my childhood fun… opposite to what kids have nowadays. I had many real friends, played outside most of the time, spent a lot of time in a nearby little park etc. some kids stuff I miss, some good times. And boy, was it easy to socialize back then.
As my dad was always the first one back home, he was the home cook, and that is what I inherited from him, from the young age already. Oh, and I broke my arm and both front teeth age 11, playing Tag with some boys. It was fun too!
2. As a child did you have any driving ambition?
As most of the boys my age – wanted to be a football (or call it soccer) player. Played a lot myself, even “pro” at a local club. Loved it, watched every game, played every position possible, dreamed big. Unfortunately never had a commitment in me to be a true professional, but yes… I wanted to be like Lineker, van Basten, Maradona, Boniek. I still kinda wish it was possible.
3. What is your first significant memory as a child?
Many, but first must be when my grandma passed away. I was 6 and I remember learning about it from my dad. I was very close with her, as she took care of me and my little brother. She was great, as much as I can remember. And I do remember it felt kind of unreal to not have her around anymore.
4. Have you ever had another profession?
Indeed. Before doing what I do now, I was many things, including computer serviceman and web developer, creating websites and visual image. And to be perfectly honest, didn’t like both, at all. I also run a small movies website on the side, focusing on home cinema, and the DVD age.
5. What made you decide to go in the direction you are currently in?
Mostly chance. I run into some post on some watch forum saying, that there is an idea to start a watch portal. I messaged the guy (now my business partner Tomasz) and so it began. One thing is I always knew was I don’t want to work for a boss, for a big company, from 8 to 16. I wanted to do something creative, something on my own, and since I always liked watches…
6. What’s the worst job you’ve had to do?
There was this one time I had a “job” at my Collage – being a cloakroom manager. I had to sit there all weekends, from morning till late evening, serving weekend students. It was winter, so the clothes were plenty, and the people were moody. And it didn’t pay at all, as I had to do it in order to finance exam corrections… many of them.
7. What’s been the hardest moment in your life so far, and how did you overcome it?
Many, as we all have our ups and downs. I went through a depression, my grandparents are all gone now, close member of my family had some serious mental issues, best friend of mine dealt with cancer (another one died of it). Life kicks ass hard from time to time, but I always try to act and think, that it will eventually pass.
8. Who has had the strongest influence on you?
As cliché as it may sound – valuable people. Good people I try to surround myself with. They motivate me, make me happy, drive me forward, inspire.
Professional wise, there are a few great individuals I met. Max Büsser, J.C. Biver, Kristian Haagen. They all inspired and influenced me in a way, and shaped what I know and think about watches and watchmaking. For that I am indebted.
9. What are you most proud of?
I find it hard to be proud of myself, but I sort of am proud of what has been achieved with CH24.PL (thus far). I am also proud of being an honest man. I was recently told by someone I value highly (someone already portrayed here at the Naked Watchmaker) that I have a high BS detector – and that is a great compliment. Like to think I’m a good person.
10. What advice would you give to a 20 something someone thinking of taking a similar path as you?
Always, always be happy with what you do with your life. We only have one, so why waste it on doing something mediocre, if we can do so much better than that. Following dreams must be one of the ultimate goals in life. And when it is scary (and it will be), don’t be afraid to take the risk. As long as you believe in what you do, it hardly can go wrong.
11. Name three things on your bucket list.
Travel more, and finally see New York would be the first one, simplest one too.
Open my own small restaurant/bar with a seasonal cuisine, crafted beer and some chilled wine. Where I can host all my friends and spend quality time – that’s also high up there.
And – probably the biggest one – have a family that will by my rock, kids that I could pass all I know and believe in. And my watches.
12. Where do you think the industry is going to be in 10 years time.
I think we are quite safe with watches… at least as long as there is time. Times change, but people do and will appreciate craftsmanship, quality, timelessness. Sure communication will change, online is here to stay and we all have to adept. But watchmaking, in its true substance, will prevail as one of the last true hand-made and non-electronic things we can buy and use daily. 10 years is not far away – I think we’re safe and sound, and it’s up to creativity of the industry to determine which way we’ll go. I hope for the best.
To learn more about Łukasz Doskocz CH24.PL