THE ‘WATCH WATCHERS’ OF SOCIAL MEDIA
As the horological realm of watches ascends to new heights of popularity, aspiring horology enthusiasts might find themselves confronted with high barriers to entry. At the heart of this horological mania are the protagonists themselves–the timepieces. With price tags worth their weight in gold and enduring associations with fame and royalty, it is no wonder that even approaching these watches evokes a sense of awe.
And yet, this captivating allure and exclusivity seems to be veiled by an air of formidable intimidation. The barriers to entering this horological ‘commune’ may seem higher than ever, yet with the horological world moving digitally nowadays, perhaps the once imposing gates are accessible through a virtual realm. Below are three Instagram watch pages laying to rest the misconception that entry to the world of watches is daunting. Instead, you’ll find that those embedded in the horological enclave–such as the personalities behind these pages–are no more different than yourself.
DIMEPIECE – @dimepiece.co
“Your girl's a five but your mom is a dime piece (ayy)” – Lil Uzi Vert, Myron
To call something a ‘dimepiece’ is the ultimate compliment. As a play on the word ‘timepiece,’ DIMEPIECE has a 10/10 dedication to showing off the best of the watch world. If the essence of DIMEPIECE had to be captured in a sentence, DIMEPIECE would be half a mainstay media presence in the horological world and half a sh*tposting meme page.
DIMEPIECE covers everything from celebrity watches to timepieces hot off the watchmaker’s bench. On this page, diamond-studded Cartier’s take center stage alongside the humblest of Tudor’s in a satirizing take on elegance. Even amidst sizzling celebrity news and groundbreaking exposés, DIMEPIECE focuses on one thing: the watches they wear. Whether it is the first picture of Timothee Chalamet and Kylie Jenner in public or a throwback of footballer Diego Maradona on a beach, all DIMEPIECE cares about is the Kylie’s Cartier Panthere or Maradona’s “teeny tiny Patek Philippe Nautilus.” And all this news is fresh off the press, as the page unabashedly shows the Getty Images tag attached to these pictures as if it was a flex that they were there first. Ultimately, to DIMEPIECE, these watches add a little taste and flair to the tapestry of celebrity gossip.
At the heart of it all is DIMEPIECE’s founder and main personality–Brynn Wallner. The page could very well be interchangeable with her ‘finsta’ as Wallner is unafraid to take center stage when presenting her weird and wacky watch findings. Having the liberty of attending watch conventions and influencer events alike, Wallner tours these galas and gatherings like a child in a candy shop; she inspects every new or unreleased timepiece on her wrist (multiple at once, sometimes) and documents it all on DIMEPIECE as if that same child in the candy shop just bought a new phone.
It goes without saying that DIMEPIECE is a personal favorite of mine and with that, my introduction into the world of watches. The page is a masterclass on timely satire as much as it is a shared passion for those who revel in the art of horology. For such a daunting and dignified environment, DIMEPIECE manages not to take themselves too seriously. Yet overall, DIMEPIECE’s allure lies in Wallner herself, as she carries herself with an air of “f*ck ‘em if they can’t take a joke” and she pulls it off with the charm and charisma of a dimepiece. Dubbed a “Millennial Watch Connoisseur” by Vogue, Wallner is the whimsical elf of the watch ‘commune’ and DIMEPIECE is her sartorial canvas.
Eric Ku – @fumanku
Veering to a more personal side of the horological realm, collector and media personality Eric Ku curates his personal Instagram account, @fumanku, as a shrine to his vast assortment of rare timepieces. On his page, there are more faces of watches than there are of himself. Here, Ku treads the line between loving watches and flexing them.
Whether they are the rarest Cartier's you couldn’t even find pictures of to the shiniest of ceramic APs, Ku would often dangle multiple of them just for a delectable shot of his personal collection. The blasé attitude radiating off of Ku’s posts normalizes timepieces that would otherwise only be accessible to celebrities or public figures. After all, Jay-Z is notorious for owning a skeletonized version of the Cartier Crash and yet, that same model sits comfortably in the palm of someone whose face might remain unknown even to his followers (like in the picture below). More than that, Ku’s page screams authenticity and a genuine passion for watches: Jay-Z may have bought that Cartier as something to rap about in his songs, yet Ku bought his to flex how much he loves its distorted shape.
Credit: @fumanku on Instagram
Above all, however, Ku’s page is a visual treat. Regardless of whether Ku takes his shots with his phone or with a professional camera, each picture accentuates the finest features of his timepieces. No shine is left unshown in the same way every intricate detail of his watches are laid bare. Moreover, Ku’s meticulous eye for detail is unparalleled–followers might not notice that Ku deliberately sets his watches to 10:10 position so that the minute hand and the second hand form an open V shape; not only does this create a harmonious composition, but some argue that it might even form a subtle smile. At the same time, his POV shots, where he shoots every watch from eye level looking down, almost invites followers to share the moment with him and to reinterpret the timepiece through their own perspective.
Credit: @fumanku on Instagram
On @fumanku, you’ll come for the aesthetics but stay for the love of watches. The stillness of Ku’s pictures are somehow juxtaposed with the idea that his watches are living, breathing artifacts. In that sense, Ku’s page evokes a sense of timelessness that transcends the captured moment. Yet at the end of the day, what renders Ku’s page so captivating is the reminder that Ku is just like any of us: In the horological ‘commune,’ Ku embodies the fascination shared by everyday individuals who appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship behind each tick and tock of a watch. His page, @fumanku, is simply a testament to that, bridging the gap between a renowned collector and the everyday enthusiasts who, like Ku, find joy in the intricate dance of hands on a timepiece.
Hodinkee – @hondinkee
Hodinkee is more than a platform–it is the chronological odyssey of craftsmanship, a tribute to elegance, and a symphony of ticking wonders. To call Hodinkee a staple in the watch world is a horrible simplification of its relevance to watch enthusiasts everywhere. Whether you’re a veteran of the watch world, a curious seeker, or an aspiring dreamer, Hodinkee is a passport into the horological world. In fact, for many, it was their first taste of it.
Hodinkee does more than report on watch news; they create original content and collaborate with other brands to design their own watches. From their famed ‘Talking Watches’ series with celebrities and horological figures to their G SHOCK collaborations with the likes of Online Ceramics, John Mayer, and Ed Sheeran, Hodinkee has evolved from a simple news source to an influential player in the horological ‘commune.’
In the ever-changing world of watches, Hodinkee’s tenure seamlessly blends its roles as a storyteller, a news outlet, and an influencer. Hodinkee’s philosophy and passion for watches transcends the technicalities behind every tick and tock. Instead, every watch has a rich narrative, every timepiece a storied background. Arguably, the ‘Talking Watches’ series launched Hodinkee into the limelight, as the series’ laidback and nonchalant interviewing style provided a unique platform where everyone from artists to creatives to horological figureheads could share their invested passion in watches. Their ‘Talking Watches with John Mayer’ episode, for instance, is a staple of horological content, being the catalyst for the entire series; there is something broadly wholesome about a Grammy Award-winning artist and global figurehead sitting down in a New York cafe to talk about his watch collection.
Credit: @hodinkee on Instagram
Similarly, their Instagram page is laden with a clean-cut aesthetic of professionally-taken watch shots and their accompanying wearers. There is something oddly simple and peaceful about their aesthetic as they allow the timepieces to speak for themselves. Their assemblage of watches they report on is equally impressive, as they are unafraid of delving into the niche and unknown. From relatively famous staples like Blancpain to lesser-known brands like Raymond Veil, it is clear that Hodinkee’s role as a curator of the diverse watch world is reinforced by their dedication to showcasing watches beyond the mainstream.
Credit: @hodinkee on Instagram
Within Hodinkee’s journey from news source to notable figure in the horological realm, Hodinkee has evolved into a curator of experiences, a shaper of the horological landscape, and a storyteller. For anyone beginning to embark on their horological journey, there might be no better place to start than at Hodinkee.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Having been an aspiring watch enthusiast myself, I understand the initial intimidation as you step into the world of watches. Yet what these Instagram pages did for me was emphasize the relatability of the horological figureheads I once feared. Whether you seek satire, personal connection, or a comprehensive view of the craft, these pages debunk the misconception that entering the world of watches is a daunting task. Instead, all these pages simply aim to showcase that the love for watches is a journey open to all.
The barrier of entry to the ‘commune’ might seem high and mighty, but perhaps, these pages may offer virtual stepping stools from which you’ll see that the barrier isn’t that high in the first place. The intimidating facade is merely a veneer and these pages stand as testaments to the otherwise passionate and undying ‘commune’ on the other side of the wall. Welcome to this ‘commune,’ where time is not just measured but lived and appreciated by enthusiasts from all walks of life.
By Lucas Sumartha