he passion and art of collecting is certainly as old as the Promethean attempt to measure, quantify and reverse the passing of time. Who knows if there were not clepsydra collectors in ancient times? There have always been clock enthusiasts. But they have never been as powerful as they are today. Nor have they displayed such diverse profiles.
Whether we’re talking about 100-franc or 100,000-franc watches, a true democratisation of watch collecting has taken place, thanks to the cultural and commercial fluidity of the digital age. Anyone can now own a share of the dream, claim a brand, an expertise, a certain “angle”. A vibrant community debates on Clubhouse, but also buys and sells daily on e-commerce platforms.
Anyone can now own a share of the dream, claim a brand, an expertise, a certain “angle”. A vibrant community debates on Clubhouse, but also buys and sells daily on e-commerce platforms.
Collecting is no longer reserved for the elite. People accumulate vintage Casios or F.P. Journe watches with the same pride. Carried away by their passion, some people even proclaim themselves “guardians of the temple”, to the point of strongly criticising any brand that strays from its historical path. Digital bashing, as well as the speculation that has arisen around certain grail watches with an almost mythological status, are excesses that highlight the dynamism of this new and vocal watchmaking constituency.
Brands are unsure how to approach this community of enthusiasts, who often know more than their own employees. They are customers, yes, but they also have the freedom to criticise and resell. The dialogue of the “old world”, which essentially took place between the brands and their sales representatives, was certainly more controlled. A new voice has entered the conversation. This promises debate and controversy, but above all it ensures that the industry maintains its social and cultural relevance. A very good sign, then, to discover in our latest issue.