From horological designs to watch auctions, 2021 has left quite the impression. Afterall, it was a record-breaking year on so many fronts. But we aspire to more — so here are some of our resolutions for 2022.
Champion Different Voices
The demographics of the watch buyer are now a lot more diverse and inclusive. For one, watches are no longer just a men’s hobby. Last year, we were inspired to see and hear from more women as watch collectors, industry leaders and insiders. We were also greatly inspired by independent watchmakers such as Etienne Malec, micro brands the likes of Furlan Marri, collaborations (think media-retailer collab launches and the incredible customisations by George Bamford), co-existing and thriving with the big watch companies. For 2022, we resolve to continue to shine the spotlight on this great diversity, and to drive and encourage it.
Above all, we appreciate how watch collecting communities around the world embraced collectors from all paths, giving everyone an equal voice to admire these tiny mechanical instruments. Let’s see more of this in 2022.
Change the Narrative
Should we change the narrative? Every day, every week, every month…the same question: “Will I make money on this?” Fair enough, nobody likes to lose money. But is the watch market now just an investment vehicle and safe haven for investors? Has the passion gone?
For 2022, we’d love to see a return to people buying what they like. What floats your boat? What do you look at and imagine being unable to live a meaningful life without it on your wrist? Because one thing I am completely certain, is that if you buy what you genuinely love, you’re never going to lose out and can enjoy it every day Change the narrative — watches as art, first loves, beyond mere investments…
And the fact that retail price is not reality. This is a bitter pill to swallow and one we’ve been putting off for a long time. In our head, the Rolex Submariner is a watch with a $4,000 to 5,000 market value. Clearly, this has not been the case for some time, and we need to accept that reality. It does no one any favors.
On a related note, we all need to realize that the retail price is not the value of the watch for certain in-demand models. We’ve seen rapid change on this front over the last few years, and while prices might go up and down, they’re here to stay. For consumers and brands, recognizing this is an important first step in navigating this new normal.
Do Better at Sharing Knowledge
It’s easy to bemoan the sudden influx of cashed-up hype beasts entering our sacred horological space and making it increasingly less likely we’re ever going to get a Daytona at retail. And we get it; this sort of generational gatekeeping can make us feel special in a time when any of the traditional entry points into this passion have been effectively removed. But really, lording your knowledge over someone or criticizing someone for desperately wanting an integrated steel sports watch isn’t cool. What is cool is helping to open these people’s eyes to the diversity and wonders of the watch world.
Here at Revolution, we go out of our way to talk about up-and-coming and left-of-centre brands as part of our ongoing celebration of the machine with a heartbeat, and you can too. Next time someone asks you if you know where they can get whatever hype watch they’re after, show them what else is out there, show them that watches are about so much more than the name on the dial.
Make It Count on Instagram
Sure the watch community fell hard for Instagram. It met most of the community functions we wanted, and the visual element was great for exploring and sharing a passion for watches. Today it feels different; excruciatingly curated and filtered, with hype watches and new watch alerts falling into the narrative of an increasingly commodified hobby. Also, its saturation and back end changes have made discovery and genuine engagement a slog. So the resolution for the year is to consciously make our time on social media count — in celebrating genuine innovation and creativity, and in supporting fellow watch lovers and talented underrated watchmakers.
Don’t Follow the Herd
In the early days of 2021, our Australian editor-in-chief Felix Scholz spoke to NY-based artist Phil Toledano, better known as @minsterenthusiast. He’s got a very distinctive visual style and a watch collection that is thrillingly devoid of the usual suspects. Toledano was asked why he felt drawn to odd Beta 21 movements and weird ’80s dive watches. His response was that he looks where other people aren’t. It’s a tricky skill to manage and requires more work and knowledge than buying what everyone else is buying, but Phil thinks (and Scholz agrees), that the thrill is in the hunt.
We’re not saying that you have to go full contrarian and think that the Nautilus is the most over-rated watch the Swiss has ever exported, but you can find some real gems in the less explored cracks of watchmaking. So, maybe, when everyone else is zigging, it doesn’t hurt to zag. It seems to work for Phil.
Cut Back on the Empty Calories
Nothing says New Year’s Resolution quite like the promise of a new diet. And this applies as much to watch-related content as much as, you know, actual food. We won’t shame you about those sassy-salty meme accounts throwing shade at Swiss executives and yet another snappy listicle about Kevin Hart’s watch collection.
But honestly, we can do better. That stuff might be tasty clickbait, but it doesn’t nourish you as much as learning something new, reading something written with passion or even something that’s been — you know — fact-checked and subbed. We’re not saying go cold turkey on the popcorn content. Just balance it with something more substantial.
Here’s wishing one and all a fantastic year ahead in 2022!