Power List: Prominent Watch Communities

Power List: Prominent Watch Communities

Start your year off right with the leaders, the wonders, the visionaries and all the people in watchmaking who have made it such an incredible, fascinating industry. These are Power Lists.

Watches have the power to move people and stir their emotions enough to buy them and, very often, enough for them to share their love and knowledge of their watches with others. While some collectors are very private, many others want to enjoy a sense of community when they acquire timepieces. Besides events organized by brands, some collectors have endeavored to hold meetups of their own. Like-minded enthusiasts who enjoy sharing their collections and passion for horology, certain groups and their founders have gone above and beyond to curate memorable experiences for club members and even collaborate with brands to create unconventional limited editions.

Among the many watch collector communities of the world, RedBar has grown at an unparalleled rate, setting up chapters in many countries around the world. Communities like RedBar and NYC Watch Crew have held countless events where members get to experience new timepieces first hand and talk with the brilliant minds that created these timepieces. When Covid-19 prevented in-person meetings, community leaders like NYC Watch Crew’s Robert Corbett was unperturbed and held virtual chats with prominent industry titans like MB&F founder Max Büsser and auction expert Aurel Bacs. In Asia, Singapore Watch Club too has been holding intimate gatherings that indulge members in unique horological experiences. Most notably, this seven-year-old club celebrated its sixth anniversary by creating a set of 18 one-of-a-kind timepieces together with Cartier.

NYC Watch Crew

Robert Corbett, founder of NYC Watch Crew
Robert Corbett, founder of NYC Watch Crew

“The motivation behind starting NYC Watch Crew was, unfortunately, a bad breakup,” shares Robert Corbett, who founded this club in September 2018. “I had been with my fiancé at the time for over eight years, who always had a disdain for my appreciation for watches and the time and money that I was putting into the hobby. I found out a month before the wedding that she had been cheating on me. The first thing I did was sell her engagement ring and put the money toward a ‘Panda’ Daytona. The second thing I did was start a group, as it allowed me to connect with others who share my passion. It was these new friends that got me through some of the most difficult days of my life.”

NYC Watch Crew talking horology over Brazilian steaks at Fogo de Chão in Garden City, New York
NYC Watch Crew talking horology over Brazilian steaks at Fogo de Chão in Garden City, New York

NYC Watch Crew has organized many intimate presentations of brands and their new timepieces, including an ‘F.P. Journe Bootcamp,’ where Pierre Halimi [general manager] of F.P. Journe hosted the group in F.P. Journe’s NYC boutique for a morning to learn about the brand.

“We like to keep our activities under wraps, but we have some very exciting partnerships coming up in 2023 that will both continue the relationships that we have already established and bring new brands and collector experiences to the table.”

Redbar

Adam Craniotes, co-founder of RedBar and Revolution USA's editor at large
Adam Craniotes, co-founder of RedBar and Revolution USA's editor at large

Founded by Kathleen McGivney and Revolution USA’s editor-at-large Adam Craniotes, RedBar is a watch enthusiast community that has since established chapters around the world, which are all united by the hashtag #redbarcrew. RedBar started as meetups between Adam and his friend Dr. Jeffrey Jacques. They met at a lunch held by Michael Kobold of Kobold Watches and later realized that they worked a block away from each other.

The RedBar Singapore chapter discussing watches over libations
The RedBar Singapore chapter discussing watches over libations

“(Dr. Jacques and I) never had this experience of really being able to talk to someone face-to-face – up to this point, everything was just online,” Crianotes shared. “Here was a way take that conversation offline, and the bar that we found which is in Koreatown was called RedBar.”

Their monthly meets gradually grew in scale. Now the world’s largest collectors’ group, its goals are to foster the growth of existing collector communities around the globe, help fellow enthusiasts start new meetups in their local areas and encourage collectors to give back to the local communities where their gatherings take place.

Singapore Watch Club

Tom Chng, founder of Singapore Watch Club
Tom Chng, founder of Singapore Watch Club

Tom Chng founded the club in 2015 to establish a community for watch collectors to share their passion and stories. Today, Singapore Watch Club is behind some of the most popular wrist shots on Instagram, and the club most recently created 18 unique Cartier special editions in collaboration with the 175-year-old Parisian brand.

A group wrist shot of Singapore Watch Club members, taken by Watch Anish
A group wrist shot of Singapore Watch Club members, taken by Watch Anish

Says Chng, “We also strive to make horology a more approachable hobby for like-minded friends to join. We’ve worked with brands to curate private experiences for our members and even collaborate on special edition watches for SWC. The most recent one was with Cartier, celebrating our club’s sixth anniversary with six of the brand’s iconic shapes. In the near future, we are aiming to put out more in-depth educational content to engage with our audience and members on a deeper and more meaningful level.”

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