Power List: The Rise Of Watch InfluencersBy Andre Frois
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.
In the old days, we could only preview new watches and learn about our favorite brands from magazines. Today, brands and their new offerings are grabbing our attention on a myriad of online platforms — and it’s not just brands who are posting about themselves. Stylish, well-heeled social media influencers are the new conduit of relaying the latest information about new timepieces and that horological lifestyle that they rock so well.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but if you’re craving more wrist swag content, check out these social media movers and shakers we are following.
Andrew Morgan chose to remain anonymous at first. As his moniker suggests, he let his hands do the talking when reviewing watches on the Watchfinder & Co. YouTube channel. As people were cooped up at home during the pandemic’s lockdowns, Watchfinder & Co.’s YouTube viewership grew exponentially, thanks to the quirky presentation and honest opinions of Andrew’s videos. When Andrew started his own eponymous platforms, he decided to begin his YouTube channel by posting a face review. He now hosts camera-facing videos on a channel that amassed 11,000 subscribers within its first two months.
Dillon Bhatt has been interested in watches since he was young. His father would bring home QP magazines and Dillon would flick through them as a young boy. This sparked his interest in horology but he shares that it was not until the advent of Instagram and when his uncle Anish Bhatt, aka Watch Anish, began posting watch photos on the social media platform, that he realized Instagram could be his way of conveying his love of timepieces to the next generation of watch collectors. He recalls being 16 around this time and began collecting around the time of his birthday.
“My favorite post was when I had posted my New Watch Alert of what at the time was my recently acquired Rolex Daytona 116515LN with a meteorite dial. The post shows when I collected and saw my watch for the first time,” Dillon says. “I also love the time I posted from a shoot with a Mansory Ferrari and a Richard Mille RM 055. The creative direction was incredible and that post made me feel like Batman!”
Dimepiece zooms in on the latest accessories that celebrities are rocking on their wrists, with a special interest in female celebrities. The ladies behind Dimepiece post Instagram Reels once in a while, and we won’t forget the reel they made together with the notoriously funny @gstaadguy. Founder Brynn Wallner is a former Sotheby’s producer in her early 30s, who learned about watches while creating editorial content about iconic timepieces.
One of the founders of Shanghai Watch Gang, Austen Chu loves his Audemars Piguets. The 25-year-old is the first key opinion leader to create a special edition Royal Oak timepiece in collaboration with the Le Brassus manufacture. He has since started an online trading platform for luxury watches called Wristcheck, which has opened a physical shop in Landmark Atrium in Hong Kong.
Horomariobro wants to keep his real identity a secret. He shares that he fell in love with mechanical watches at a tender age, because of their craftsmanship and micro-engineering.
“I got sucked into watch collecting when I got my Zenith El Primero as my first serious watch. I told myself at the time that I finally got a serious watch and this is it. I won’t get another one. I was too naïve, to say the least,” he admits with a laugh. “My most memorable post was the Lange underhand post I did back in April 2020. It went a bit viral on Instagram, which I totally did not expect. I think most people did not expect [that] the underhand is not finished for Lange watches because they are known for great finishing. It caused quite some discussion about it.”
Kristian Haagen first discovered the world of watches when he opened his father’s and grandfather’s National Geographic magazines and saw watch advertisements on their front few pages. Kristian takes great photos that capture the intricate details of luxury watches and is the resident watch expert of Vogue Scandinavia. He is a knowledgeable watch connoisseur, and has published eight books on the subject. He is also the co-founder of DailyWatch, a social media channel where he expounds on the merits of the latest watch releases with fellow collector and DailyWatch CEO Nick Meijer.
Satorialist Mark Cho got into collecting watches in 2006 when he was working at his first job, in London. “I used to pass by a second hand watch store every day on the way to work,” he discloses. “An Omega Chronostop with a gray dial caught my eye and I spent my first paycheck on it. I have been collecting ever since. At first, I got into it because it was cheap! Second hand watches were great value and there was an amazing variety of designs available, too.”
When Mark posts about his watches, he shares that it is usually to show them in the context of clothing, as he enjoys styling his photos. He also enjoys writing longer form posts on the technical details of how each watch is made. Among the deluge of recent watch releases, he enjoys the Vacheron Constantin 222 and Naoya Hida watches very much.
Mr. Enthusiast, aka Phillip Toledano, is a Manhattanite who grew up in London. His voracious appetite for historical timepieces has been well documented by just about every prominent watch publication. Beyond watches, he collects cars, furniture, and even quirky memorabilia like space suits. When not posting on Instagram, he spends his time creating books and photographic art.
Nick is a watch writer who contributes to publications like Time+Tide, Quill & Pad, and Monochrome. He enjoys researching lesser-known stories about historical timepieces, and his Instagram account focuses on rare pieces spotted on celebrities, along with what famous collectors have been wearing recently.
Ali, the man behind the popular Santa Laura Instagram account, is known for posting bold and unabashed photos of his fashionable outfits and expensive watches. His first watches were an IWC Big Pilot and a Hublot Big Bang, and his first big purchase was the first iteration of the Ulysse Nardin Freak. Today, his expansive collection includes timepieces by Rolex, Richard Mille, Greubel Forsey, Urwerk and more. If you like fancy cars, the Singapore-based collector posts about cars on @cars_of_santa.
Comprising video and marketing experts who also love haute horlogerie, Swiss Watch Gang posts well-made, entertaining and informative videos about new and iconic watches on Instagram and YouTube. Its host is Marko Koncina, an affable gent in his early 30s who founded Swiss Watch Gang in 2016.
Tom Holland doppelganger Teddy Baldassarre is one of the most popular horological content creators on YouTube. He has over 600,000 subscribers on YouTube and he hasn’t even turned 30 yet. Armed with just a camera and laptop and with no crew, he filmed and released his first YouTube video entitled “My Watch Collection Fall 2017” in September 2017. Since then, he’s gone on to surpass the viewership of big dogs like aBlogtoWatch and Hodinkee, and now retails watches of several brands on his website, teddybaldassarre.com.
Tom Exton, aka TGE, is the embodiment of the luxe life. His social posts are mostly of his incredible collection of high-end cars and reviews of new cars. However, if you look closely at his photos of souped-up cars and videos of his motor racing adventures, you’ll spot iconic timepieces on his wrist that complement his chic automobiles.
WatchBox is quite possibly the most important player in the pre-owned luxury watch retail industry. Its YouTube host Tim Mosso is a naturally charismatic and personable gent whose subtle humor and immense watch knowledge rack him up five-figure views per YouTube video.
Waitlisted is a collector with an interest in photography. A talented shutterbug, James strove to improve his watch photography skills and now photographs many watches for Hodinkee. He posts photos of his own watches daily and is a member of Watch Club Society, a collectors community based in the NYC tri-state area.
We cannot discuss the topic of Instagram watch content, without mentioning Anish Bhatt, the O.G. who made Instagramming watches a thing. Anish Bhatt first garnered global netizens’ interest with his desirous watch photos. The Brit left his corporate job in 2012 to concentrate on Watch Anish, which grew into a full-scale luxury lifestyle publication, and is followed by celebrities like footballer Radamel Falcao and comedian Kevin Hart. Today, Anish creates fast-paced, to-the-point Instagram Reels about the newest and coolest watch releases.