Not so long ago, the watch forum was king. But increasingly, watch enthusiasts are gathering on Facebook for their daily horological fix. We take a look at some of the best Facebook watch groups.
Facebook Watch Groups – the WRUK Guide
Facebook is a great place for watch enthusiasts. The fast-pace and visual nature of the platform ideally suits “Watch of the Day” type posts, which were once a staple of the internet’s watch fora. The Facebook scene has more than just photos of wristwear, though – whatever your niche you’ll find a group for you. It would be impossible to list all of the Facebook watch groups, so here are just some of our favourites.
A Bit of Everything
One of the fastest growing Facebook watch groups is WATCHA. It’s creator, Shane Snider explains that “WATCHA is meant to be like the TV show Cheers: A friendly interactive tavern where everyone feels welcome and can show off their watches without fear of judgement. If we had an official motto, it would be, ‘scroll, don’t troll.'”
WATCHA is one of the most all-encompassing wristwatch groups on Facebook, featuring everything from high-end brands to one-off custom projects. One of its distinctive features is the ability to subscribe to a sub-group with a dedicated chat channel and regular discounts from the group’s numerous sponsors.
Another distinctive feature of Watcha is that they regularly link with brands to produce special-edition timepieces, often bearing the WATCHA logo. One recent highlight was the WATCHA version of the Jubileon Superellipse Chrono which sadly never made it to production but featured a cool spinning disc instead of a second hand. All of this makes WATCHA a Facebook watch group worth joining!
Microbrand Watches is a group dedicated to smaller watch brands. Struggling like the rest of us to define exactly what is and is not a “microbrand”, this group has come up with a series of rules that defines the term:
● They have a small number of full-time employees.
● Most of the production is outsourced.
● The movements used are not produced in-house.
● Sales are done primarily online with limited or no brick and mortar presence
Within those constraints, almost anything goes and you’ll find a good mixture of daily wrist-checks, brands promoting new projects and reviews from buyers.
Group Admin Adam Sofineti told WRUK: “The group was created as an online space where microbrands and their fans can interact and share their passion for watches. Since we don’t charge brand owners to promote their projects, we are proud to have many of them as our active members, giving the rest of us a great way to be up to date with the latest in the industry, furthermore many of them are also very generous in sharing their knowledge when it comes to technical questions.”
If you enjoy backing crowd-funding campaigns then Kickstarter Watches and Horology Microbrands is the group for you. Unlike most other Facebook watch groups, this one does not allow any advertising at all. That means that as a potential backer of a Kickstarter watch you can be sure that no commercial interests are at play when you hear a rave review about a forthcoming timepiece. Another unique rule for this group is that wrist-shots are encouraged to be posted within a dedicated thread – which makes it easier to pick out the information about watches you want to learn about compared to other groups where you’ll have to scroll through a sea of photographs first.
A spin-off group from Kickstarter Watches and Horology Microbrands exists for Microbrand Watch Creators – a safe space for producers (and budding producers) of small runs of wristwatches to get together and share ideas, hints and tips. You can only join if you are a microbrand owner (or aspire to be one) so don’t be offended if your request to join is denied or you are asked to back up your reasons for asking to enter the community. The main Kickstarter watches group is for everyone, though.
The Single Brand Group
Some groups are dedicated to just one brand – for example, Christopher Ward Enthusiasts (or “CWE”) which is, as you might have guessed, dedicated to the British brand. The group was created just over two years ago by Chris Skivington and although it is about Christopher Ward watches, the team don’t discriminate and are happy for members to show off any watches they own from any brand. It’s not unusal to see anything from up and coming micro brands to Seikos to Tudor/Omega and even a few Rolex.
An example of the growing importance of Facebook groups is that this group were recently given a sneak preview of the latest Christopher Ward Trident model and ran a competition to give it away to one of its members. Before that, the group created their own limited edition watch model in collaboration with Christopher Ward – a now highly collectable white-faced timepiece.
Daniel Doogan, one of the team behind the page told us: “We pride ourselves on maintaining a friendly environment. It is so important to us. If you are looking for heated debates, slagging off each others watches/other brands or just generally trolling then it’s not the place for that. We’ve just always wanted to have a little space on Facebook where guys can look at all the different CW watches in real life scenarios without any hassle whatsoever. So it’s a 99% positive place and I think our members really like it that way.”
The Smaller Group
WatchChat describes themselves as “a relaxed and laid back group of watch enthusiasts from around the world chatting about watches and whatever else happens to come up.” As Group Administrator Phil Ormsby explains: “Straying off topic is not only tolerated, it’s encouraged. Think of it as a watch enthusiasts night at the pub. Watches will be discussed but so will a lot of other things. Good natured banter is expected!”
A much smaller community than the other groups on this page, WatchChat has a far more irreverent feel. It is the kind of group that could only exist on Facebook and one suspects that it would be moderated out of existence on the bigger watch forums, such is its tendency to stray off topic! If like us, you don’t take watches too seriously then this is the Facebook watch group for you!
How do I join a Facebook Watch Group?
It’s simple: as long as you have a Facebook account you can click on one of the links in this article and you’ll be taken directly to the group page. From there, you need to request to join the group and abide by its rules. After a day or two, a member of the group’s staff will accept (or decline) your request and you’ll be notified within Facebook. From there, simply join in!
Here are the links to the groups we’ve covered:
- Microbrand Watches
- Kickstarter Watches and Horology Microbrands
- Microbrand Watch Creators
- Christopher Ward Enthusiasts
Please remember if you do join any groups to always abide by the basic rules of internet etiquette: stay on topic; don’t be rude; scroll on if you don’t like something you see; and if you have a connection to a watch brand or website then don’t spam the groups with links without at least asking the admin politely first. Before long, your Facebook feed will be filled with pictures and chat about your horological hobby!