Before the outbreak of the Covid-19, we held three test events with friends and family to refine our format. Whilst there were restrictions on holding in-person events in the UK, we held regular virtual events, which were a great way for us to connect with our members and a forum for them to learn a little about watches and share their passion.
Last night, after a two-year delay, The Watch Collectors Club held its first in-person event. It was a fantastic evening in Central London. It was filled with interesting conversation, lots of learning, and one or two surprises. Thank you to all our members who joined us – we had a lot of fun, and we hope you did too. If you couldn’t make this event, don’t worry, we are holding another in-person event on November 18th, in Central London.
What We Learnt:
At each in-person event, we do two short educational talks. At this event, Hamish our CEO ran two talks. The first covered how to appraise and appreciate a watch. The second covered how to collect watches. Below we have included a short overview of the first talk, which we encourage you to try out whilst reading this blog.
How to Appraise and Appreciate a Watch
Firstly, have a look at the face of the watch. This is called the dial. What colour is it, does it have a pattern? Is the text printed, or does it stick out from the dial? What about the indices, or hour markers? What shape and colour are these? Are they easy to read? What colour and shape are the hands? Are they solid, or skeletonised?
Now have a look at the case of the watch. How big is it? What material is it made of? Many watches are steel, but yours could be gold, platinum, titanium, or plastic. Is it heavy or light? What shape is? Round watch cases are the most common; however, watches can be a variety of shapes. Hamish wore a watch with a rectangular case whilst giving this talk. Turning the watch over in your hands – study the finishing of the case. Is it shiny, or matte? How many edges does the case have, and are they rounded or sharp?
Finally, what bracelet does the watch have? Is it metal, leather, rubber or plastic? How does the watch feel when you wear it?
The attendees then launched into lively discussions with the people closest to them. They talked about what their favourite features were, and what they had just noticed for the first time. Try this at home and see if you notice anything new about the watch you are wearing.
Some Of The Watches That We Saw
One of our favourite things about in-person events is being able to compare the same watches from different years. The Rolex Submariner was introduced in 1953 and is seen by many as the quintessential diving watch. Rolex focus on continuous improvement to their watches, so there are scores of different iterations of the Submariner dating from the 1950’s up to the current catalogue. Two of our members wore submariners, with a 20-year age gap. It was fascinating to see the subtle differences between the two. The smaller model dates from 1999, whilst the larger model is from 2018. Despite both being Rolex Submariners, they felt and wore very differently. If you want to find out more about the different varieties of Submariners, Hodinkee have written a comprehensive guide here.
Vintage Rolex (top), modern Rolex (bottom)
One of our members brought a Grand Seiko watch with him. Grand Seiko is the high-end brand of the Seiko group. You can learn more about it here. The case and the movement are finished to an incredibly high standard, which lots of facets to the case, and beautiful engraving on the movement, as you can see in the pictures below.
Front of the Grand Seiko
Back of the Grand Seiko
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was that one of our members had a new Casio Pacman watch delivered to the event. This was a very cool watch, with vintage styling and an amazing laser-etched Pacman case-back.
In-person events are a great way for our members to get together and learn about their watches, and those of other members.
In-person events are a core part of what we offer our members. They are a great way to have a look at a wide variety of watches, share your passion with others, and learn a little. The next in-person event is on November 18th, in Central London. The Watch Collectors Club aims to make the watch world accessible, and we know that many of our members can’t get to Central London. Until we offer events in other cities, we will continue to run virtual events. The next virtual event is on Sunday 7th November. Remember to check your emails for the invite.
If you know anyone who might be interested in learning more, or has some great watches to share, please let them know about us. Communities are always better when they have lots of members.