I’ll just come clean straight from the get-go: my watch-collecting journey was heavily affected by Instagram’s influencing power. I most definitely bought a few watches because they looked so pleasing in pictures on the social media platform. I’ll also quickly add that I’ve already sold most of those watches because they didn’t fulfill the high expectations that all those perfect pictures led me to have.

I already wrote a story on how I think Instagram influenced my watch-collecting behavior. But the fact that I’m posting pictures of my watches also means I’m influencing others into buying their next watch. And this isn’t something that I’m just assuming. Every day, I get questions in my DMs about my Cartier Santos Galbée XL. People even proudly send me pictures of the Santos they just bought. However, I also get messages from people who eventually regret having bought that watch. Of course, they don’t blame me for that, but I did play a role in the fact that they bought it in the first place. To prevent others from making that same “mistake,” I thought it would be a good idea to write somewhat of a disclaimer on Instagram’s influencing power.

Instagram's influencing power A Collected Man

Image: A Collected Man

The Instagram trap

Collecting watches is an exercise of trial and error. Therefore, buying a watch and quickly selling it isn’t necessarily a mistake. It can simply be another stepping stone in your watch-collecting journey. Now, I do feel that we can avoid most unsatisfactory watch purchases, but if you use Instagram, it may not be easy. After all, it seems that the whole purpose of Instagram is to influence your decisions. It’s like the whole thing is one big trap. As soon as you double-tap on a few pictures of a watch, the app will probably show you more and more pictures of that very same one.

But it’s not just the algorithm playing tricks on you. No, the meticulously edited pictures also lure you in. With the perfect composition, color grading, texture, and lighting, any watch can look like something you want to buy immediately. Look, for example, at A Collected Man’s Instagram account. Yes, this UK watch dealer has some fantastic watches on offer. But the beautiful way in which the watches are presented most certainly adds to their desirability. Before you fall for beautiful pictures, always try to imagine what those watches would look like on your wrist or in your watch box.


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A post shared by Daan (aka Tulipan) (@fliptheparrot)

Seductive watches: The Santos and its beauty mark

It’s worth mentioning a few examples of watches that I think are total seducers. First of all, of course, is my very own Cartier Santos Galbée XL ref. 2823. With its curvy flanks, nonchalant screws, square dial, Roman numerals, and blue cabochon, it completely takes you in. The contrast between the brushed case and bracelet and the polished bezel accentuates the square case shape. And finally, the awkward date window is just like that beauty mark above Cindy Crawford’s upper lip. I know, I’m a bit biased, but it’s a beauty of a watch. However, that doesn’t mean that it will look or feel good on your wrist.


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A post shared by Morgan (@morgansaignes)

The irresistibility of the diver’s dial

Another one that I should mention here is the irresistible layout of the diver’s dial. There’s a personal story here because I, too, fell for it. It all started with the Tudor Black Bay 36. I know some people can’t stand Tudor’s snowflake hands, but to me, the combination of the triangles, squares, and circles on the dial looks incredibly attractive. The fact that the Black Bay 36 doesn’t have a rotating bezel makes it seem a bit like a watch with an identity crisis. However, it also makes the dial stand out more than it would on a Black Bay diver or GMT.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that watches with a dive or 24-hour bezels aren’t attractive. Just take a look at the Rolex Submariner or the brand’s white-dial Explorer II. They’re not only good-looking watches, but they’re also some of the most photographed watches out there. That means if you want to stand out on people’s timelines, you’ll have to produce an outstanding picture. And that’s exactly what people do, making these watches look even more attractive than they already are by themselves.

Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 "Ice Blue" Instagram's influencing power

The quick fixes

Then, there are the watches that slowly, or sometimes even very quickly, take over your Instagram feed. Examples of these are the Tissot PRX with its trendy integrated bracelet and, very recently, the D1 Milano Black Sketch. Both of these watches have very pleasing appearances. What also helps is that they’re both quite affordable and that many people won’t have to think long and hard about buying one (or both, for that matter). In no time, all those new owners will be posting their new watches, and they’ll be all over your feed.

Instagram's influencing power Studio Underd0g

Don’t underestimate the marketing masters

But it’s not just watches and pictures of them that can get to us. It’s also important to remember the smart people “behind the scenes.” Indeed, some brands seem to have a natural talent for successfully launching new watches. A few examples of these marketing masters are Studio Underd0g, Baltic, and Furlan Marri. Typically, they’ll send out their watches to the most influential accounts out there. They’ll tell them to post about it at a particular date and time, and then it suddenly looks like everybody is talking about the same thing. The weird thing is that I know exactly how this works, but I’m still susceptible to it.

Our team in Milan at the end of a #SpeedyTuesday event.

Our team in Milan at the end of a #SpeedyTuesday event.

Community-building hashtags

Finally, there are also multiple popular hashtags out there that connect people who own the same watch to each other. Hashtags like #SpeedyTuesday, #ElPrimeroDay, #TudorThursday, #FortisFriday, and, of course, #SantosSunday all see very active use. The strength of these hashtags is that the push comes more from the community and less from the brands. That makes them a lot more convincing than sponsored content since we, as humans, long for community by nature.

Final words

In conclusion, there’s nothing inherently wrong with being influenced. I just thought it would be a good idea to make the various strategies and ways in which we are being influenced a bit clearer. Perhaps by knowing what we’re facing, we can, at the very least, avoid some unsatisfactory purchases.

Has Instagram’s influencing power ever pushed you to buy a particular watch? Or are you one of the influencers that makes others long for one of your watches? Let me know in the comments below. In the end, it’s always easier to talk about it with fellow sufferers, isn’t it?