Hanging out with Justin Kraudel

As a new brand, we've had a lot of friends help us get here. Some friends we've known longer than others, but they're all a part of our story and we love introducing you to them. Next up is our friend Justin Kraudel. 

In 2014 Justin was a financial planner for one of the world’s largest investment banks. At that time he became friends with Michael and David (of MONTA), as they shared their passion for watches. Fast forward three years and Justin became an owner of MONTA and the Senior Vice President of sales for Everest Horology Products.

He has quickly become a friend to Levi and I (Josh), a big supporter of P&T, and someone we can always count on for a virtual happy hour. 

Our path's crossed through The Grey NATO podcast when James Stacey had me on as a guest. Justin ordered some product and connected with us afterwards. We put a quick interview together to give you a glimpse into his life. Enjoy!

Whats your favorite Monta piece thats currently available?

It tends to change on a regular basis, but most often it’s the opalin silver Atlas.

Whats something that everyone new to watches or starting to collect should know? 

Remember the fun you had/are having when it starts. Someday you’ll find yourself taking it very seriously. And try to understand that a watch you didn’t care for 3 years ago might be the one you’re after right now. And that’s ok! It’s all about the journey.

Favorite restaurant you’ve ever visited? Meal of choice? 

This one is tough!  I’ve been fortunate to have some incredible meals around the world. For me it’s all about the people, so one that sticks out is Osteria Morini in New York City (SoHo). I’ve been there with my wife, colleagues, and my best friend and it never disappoints. Great food, cool atmosphere and MEMORABLE.

My meal of choice would be from any great steakhouse (in this order): Chopin on the rocks with blue cheese stuffed olives, shrimp cocktail with plenty of horseradish in the cocktail sauce, caesar salad, beef tenderloin with a hot pink center accompanied by a bottle of red wine from Bordeaux and truffle fries. I’ll skip dessert. 

Advice on navigating startup world?

Mentally prepare yourself to become a different person.  You will have to do many things you have never done before and this will change you, hopefully for the better.

Whats an accessory or two that you cannot leave the home without? 

My phone, a Goyard wallet (gift from my business partner), and a MONTA watch.

If you could spend a year living anywhere (with your family of course), where would it be? 

Hands down New York City. A year might be just enough time to do everything we want to do there.

Do you style your outfits based on your watch that day, or choose your watch based on what you’re wearing?

Usually my outfit is determined by what’s on the wrist.  I have a few weird rules I follow that I rarely break, such as: no blue dials with black clothes and no black dials with blue clothes. And no straps if I’m wearing a button-down shirt with a blazer - bracelet only.

Any recommended reading, watching, listing?

I love “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight (founder of Nike), can’t get enough of “Billions” on Showtime (former finance guy here) and I will listen to anything by Third Eye Blind.

What’s your “work from home” setup looking like these days?

My home office is a room at the front of the house with a wall of windows. I have a big desk with books, a lamp, a decanter and other interesting items for photo backdrops. My acoustic guitar is within arms reach and my piano is directly behind me. The stereo is always on unless I’m on a call and for a while there a daily happy hour around 4:00pm was commonplace. I feel very fortunate that I was able to “enjoy” this quarantine period. 

Where are you heading / traveling to post Covid (if that ever becomes a reality)?

I need a beach! Preferably The Abacos (Bahamas) but I’d settle for Seaside, FL.

Any advice on getting work done with kids at home?

Give up your need to be right.

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