Beads By Gonzo - Game Changer
Updated: Feb 18
It was about 3 years ago, when I decided to finally click on one of the wrist-wear ads that had been constantly bombarding my social media feed. The social media ad was for a beaded bracelet, which I had always previously said I would never wear, because back then, I couldn't conceive of wearing anything on my wrist that could possibly take away from my timepiece.
I took the leap and purchased the bracelet. Not only did I find that I liked the look of the wrist combo, but realized that by accessorizing bracelets with my rarely worn timepieces, I could breath new life into my watches that lacked quality wrist-time.
Soon after, I came across a gentleman through a watch forum, that not only was wearing a killer, beaded bracelet, but it matched his watch perfectly. After engaging the gentleman in conversation, I soon found out that the matching bracelet was no coincidence, as designing custom bracelet wear was sort of his thing; that gentleman was Mark F. Lindell. And since that interaction, Mark, or Gonzo as he is affectionately known in the watch collecting community, has been my go to, custom bracelet designer; and his designs do not disappoint.
Beads By Gonzo was officially established in 2014, with the goal of creating custom, quality, genuine gemstone, watch matching bracelets, for fellow watch enthusiasts, sports teams, and various fund raising efforts. You can contact Mark F. Lindell, and Beads By Gonzo directly, by clicking on the photo of the Bead Master himself below.
Below, is my Game Changer, Q&A with Mark F. Lindell, a/k/a Beads By Gonzo:
Wrist Game: What first sparked your interest in watches?
Gonzo: I have always had a fascination with timepieces and their movements. I later started to use watches as part of my “wardrobe” and wore different watches for different occasions.
Wrist Game: What was your first watch?
Gonzo: Oh boy . . . . I don’t recall my first timepiece, but it was probably one that I wish I still had! My first “nice” watch was a Fossil. I also won a real nice Ducks Unlimited Limited Edition watch that I still have.
Wrist Game: What’s the one that got away, the one timepiece you regret letting go?
Gonzo: I really don’t regret “letting go” of any of the watches that I once had. I am not a collector that trades or sells my watches. In the past 5 years, I have ran several fund raisers, in which I have given away a large number of watches, but I don’t regret letting those go at all, as it was all for good and worthy causes, and helped people that needed help at the time.
Wrist Game: So, what got you into the wrist-wear accessorizing game?
Gonzo: As far back as I can remember, I have worn some sort of wrist wear accessory with my watches. I recently came across a family portrait from 1992, in which I was wearing a matching leather bracelet next to my watch. I got the idea to match up some of my watches with bead bracelets because at the time, there was nothing to match up with some of the watches I had acquired; predominately Invicta timepieces, which come in many styles and colors.
Wrist Game: How long have you been designing your custom bead-wear?
Gonzo: I made my first bead bracelet to match my golden yellow dial on my Invicta Excursion. I used some 10mm Tiger Eye stones. That was the bracelet that started it all. I still have that bracelet, and will probably end up framing it! That was in 2011.
Wrist Game: What’s the most complicated, outrageous, or unique bracelet request you’ve designed?
Gonzo: Ufdah! I have had countless outrageous, or unique requests for bracelets. I think of every bracelet as a challenge, yet some are more challenging than others.
Wrist Game: Give me your top-five watch brands, in no particular order.
Gonzo: This is a very tough question, as I enjoy so many. There are some that I would love to own that I most likely never will, due to the price tag associated with them. However, without question, my favorite watch brand is Invicta. I know that will be met with some critique, but I am basing that off my own personal dealings with the watch brand. I currently own around 125 watches, and roughly 100 of those are Invicta. I love all of the different models, styles, colors, and movements available. It is also a bracelet makers dream watch, in terms of creating matching bead bracelets for them. I also have a huge fondness of Aragon, Android, Deep Blue and Vostok.
Wrist Game: Money being no object, what timepiece is on your wrist?
Gonzo: If I could design a watch, it would be in the case style of a silvertone Subaqua Noma II or V, with an SW500. It would have a purple bezel, which is encrusted with pave diamonds. The dial would be meteorite, with diamonds as hour markers. I actually just made all of this up right now, but I can picture it already, and I want it! The logical answer would be some sort of fancy schmancy Rolex, but that’s really not my style. I like the larger case size of 47-50mm. I have larger, but I am starting to get back to the 47-50mm sweet spot.