If you are an avid Instagram user like I am you probably came across these #watchessentials images. What you see in these photos are stuff people carry around with them on a daily basis. Things like car keys, belts, wallets, sunglasses and of course, watches. You rarely see an image that does not have a phone in it and it is obvious why. Whether you like it or not, smartphones became a part of our lives. We stream music and movies on them, store our data. Also to manage our social platforms, measure our daily activities, browse the world wide web and in rare occasion actually even make calls.
While we can debate whether is it healthy how attached we are to our gadgets these days the aim of the article is not that. I thought it would be a great idea to have an overview of a few different mobile apps. Stuff I use that is watch related. I have an iPhone so every application I will talk about is available for Apple devices but will also highlight if they are downloadable for Android. So without a further ado, let’s look at the first one.
All major brands have mobile apps nowadays, well, almost. From Longines to Blancpain, Hublot to Audemars Piguet and everything in between you can find a wide selection of apps offered by watch manufacturers. These mobile apps from brands are free to download and act as a great tool for the companies to promote their watches and events as well as to showcase their watches. The very first watch brand mobile application I downloaded was Omega’s. It’s no secret that the brand has a special place in my heart so their iPhone app was my obvious choice. It’s a pretty straight forward little thing. On the main page you can select ‘Collection’ ‘Omega news’ or click ‘More’. This page also gives you the options to sing up for the newsletter as well as to search for a store near you.
If you choose ‘More’ you open a pretty sweet feature on the app. ‘Planet OceanTime’ just like ‘Ladymatic Time’ and ‘Hour Vision Time’ refers to the watch. If you open any of them, you see the model. Here you can play with the watch; operate the chronograph, turn it back to see the display case back with the moving rotor, or switch the lights off to see the lume. You can also brows among many Omega wallpapers with either watches on display or photos of the friends of the brand. There is a direct menu option to Omega’s own YouTube channel loaded with many videos. In the ‘Links’ section you can find most of the social media platforms Omega appears and a direct link to their website. It’s a neat little app and a must for any Omega fan.
My first go-to app when I need information on watches is the Chrono24 App. However, my second favorite has to be European Watch Company’s application. EWC is a great dealer from Boston, US with an insane selection of watches. I love that there is a section in the app dedicated to vintage watches that I visit the most. The app is pretty simple: you have the main page with the new arrivals, at the bottom you have further menu options. You can search by brand name, check the incoming watches, look at the vintage selection.
Tap “More” and a whole other features appear. “Recently Sold” is a great way of having some feedback on market prices but my single most preferred feature is “Favorites”. You can save any of the watches from the previous menu points regardless if they are ‘sold’, ‘incoming’ or ‘for sale’ at the moment. As long as you do not un-favorite them they will stay there forever. Use this as a great reference section to go back to whenever needed for research, watch comparison or price check.
Mobile apps can be really great from time to time. I mean, it’s cool to search for the newest models from a certain brand or save your favorite vintage piece. However, I love apps, which are not only designed to encourage you to spend or do some research. They offer something else; an offline map, a dictionary or in this case a timegrapher. Timegraphers are these funny instruments watchmakers use to measure the accuracy of your watch. Based on the result the watchmaker can decide if the watch is in need of a service or not. It also comes in handy when you want to sell a watch and provide information about the condition of the movement. Also if you just recently acquired a piece and not sure about how it performs. These are the gadgets to turn to.
There are a few similar mobile apps available but the one I like best is Watch Tuner Timegrapher. If you have seen a machine like this in the flesh you will be amazed how close the design of the application is to the original screen of a timegrapher. Obviously this is not the real deal and might not give you a 100% accurate information. Though this is the second best thing after the machine and all you need to have is your phone and a pair of headphones with a microphone on them. Sit the watch on the microphone, plug it in the phone and start the app. Ok it is a bit more complex. Play around with it about 10-15 minutes and you’ll figure it out how Watch Tuner works. I promise you it’s a fun little tool and only costs you as much as 2 coffees and a croissant.
We have an application I just downloaded recently. It’s a bit hard to clearly tell you what category it belongs to; 8past10 is a watch lover’s social media platform with some further features. This is the best way I can sum it up. It combines features of the watch forums, but similar in some aspects to the designated Facebook watch groups. If you launch the app it gets you to the main page, which like a news feed or “wall” if you want to talk in Facebook terms. At the bottom you have 5 options; ‘home’ (so the news feed), ‘discover’, ‘+’, ‘alerts’ and ‘you’. Let’s start with the latter. ‘You’ is your own page where you can edit your profile, see the discussion you are involved with, upload or edit your images.
There is even a sub menu option called ‘Collections’ where you can upload your watches for others to see. ‘Alert’ is the notifications section. Every like or new follower is displayed here. Then comes +, where you can add either your watch or open a discussion about something, like a forum. If you move to the next option ‘Discover’ all these discussions or watches that other members uploaded as highlighted there. So you can browse among other members’ watches or read interesting discussion or articles even from other users, about certain watch related topics. The 8past10 community is rapidly growing day by day. Download the application and join us, share you watches or get in touch with other like-minded people from all over the world.
Last but not least WatchRecon. What started out as a website was eventually turned into a great application. In case you are not familiar with the site; WatchRecon is a search engine for watch lovers. It connects the Sales Corners of various watch forums to the WatchRecon site. You can search for a watch brand or model then filter your results by a number of attributes. Features like search depth (how old ads should WatchRecon display) minimum and maximum price, location of the seller and so on. I use the website every day to look for a specific watch or just see what the given day’s market looks like.
The app has pretty much the same features as the site, and more. You can set up alerts for instance. This means that if a watch you are looking for appears on any of the forums the app connects to, it will send you a notification. This way it makes sure you will never miss a deal you are looking for. It’s a great application if you are in the market for a watch, or just want to see who else on the forums is selling something that you might also want to off load. As WatchRecon puts it ”Browse and find watches efficiently with WatchRecon, the most intelligent and comprehensive search engine for private watch sales”. This is the best way to sum up the aim of the application. Download it and start searching. Don’t blame me if you start spending your savings on watches. I have warned you.
Other that the above mentioned mobile apps there are of course many hundreds from various brands but also independent sources. We would like to hear from your favorite apps so please post them in the comment section below.
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more