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Column: What made watches cool?


Collecting watches is cool. No longer is it exclusive to geeky forums and dusty fairs – it is now certified hip and happening.

Think about it; watch-focused Instagram accounts like Hodinkee, Watchmania and WatchAnish have hundreds of thousands of followers – well into the million even for the latter.

Watches are also a regular subject on trend-setting pages like Hypebeast and Highsnobiety. A vintage Paul Newman Daytona in 18k? They’ll feature it without blinking an eye. And perhaps without us realizing just how far we’ve come.

The popularity of watches new and vintage is a far cry from not-that-long ago, when the passion for watches was much more niche and private, best enjoyed on obscure fora and on dusty fairs. Watch collecting has finally arrived to the main stage. We made it!

But how did this come about? Below I’ll explore a few factors that I think played role in this. Fully personal and unsubstantiated, connecting dots where there are none, and leaving out substantial bits. Poor yourself a drink – it’s a long one.

Are you sure you’re ready for this?