How did you get into it? This is a question that is asked of many watch lovers, including myself, by people who can’t quite comprehend the fascination with these archaic devices, especially when you consider the world of technology we currently live in. For that matter, how does one become so passionate about wristwatches and watches in general? While each individual has a personal story of how his or her love affair started, more often than not it began with a single watch, either bought or gifted at some point. However, there are several other routes, but we’ll get to that later.
As mentioned, it usually starts with one watch you’ve either bought yourself, or were lucky enough to have received as a gift. In my case it was the latter. The timepiece itself is not of so much importance, because, somehow, they all lead down the same road. The initial joy felt when receiving your first watch is an emotion that is never forgotten, and one that will likely lead you to explore not only what lies within the piece, but also what else is available. This process makes you even more inquisitive about how these timepieces are made, what sort of complications exist, and the minute details and differences that exist between each piece. This is the path that many of us may have traveled over the years; leading us to accumulate information, travel, and meet with like-minded people.
However, I believe this journey into the world of watches is one that doesn’t happen so often nowadays. Things tend to change with every generation and today I come across more and more people whose love of all things horological has grown by way of social media. Instagram is perhaps at the forefront of this growth and the fact that collectors and enthusiasts can come together on a single platform to converse and share information is irreplaceable. This has led to novices, who at one time would “like” the odd watch image, to become true watch enthusiasts. Does the pull of celebrity wearers also still have an impact? For sure. I’ve spoken to many watch guys who’ve become more in-tune with the world of watches after seeing celebrities wear certain pieces. But to be honest, I still think this has less of an impact, simply because there is a bit of a disconnect between the layman and celebrity wearer.
While social media is indeed a massive catalyst for newly found watch lovers, I don’t believe there are bigger enablers than friends, family, and interest in other complicated, handmade machinery. I’ve personally experienced this, as friends and family slowly start to immerse themselves into the world of watches. The same goes for fans of cars and motorbikes, who somehow learn to appreciate the fine machinery also found in timepieces. This leads individuals to start seeking out more knowledge about a certain timepiece, or certain watch brand, and before they know it, they’ve become completely obsessed with these antiquated devices that we fix to our wrists. That being said, this new zeal for watches can lead back to social media platforms, and far beyond to social gatherings, new encounters and friendships, and mostly, a host of new information.
Why do watches become such fascinating and captivating objects to those of us who didn’t initially appreciate them? The answer to this question is perhaps easier than one might initially think. They are magnificent achievements displaying man’s creative ability. They are complex pieces of machinery that measure time as well as track the planets orbit, and all this via tiny cogs, gears, and levers. The more you learn, the more you marvel. Inevitably, this becomes a cycle, drawing you to learn more, meet like-minded people, and possibly own some of these timepieces along the way. Though we’ve all had our own personal journeys that fuel our passion for watches, once ignited, they are rarely doused.