While the vast majority of watch content on Instagram is predictable and repetitive – hello Nautilus with baguette gemstone bezel and Submariner “Hulk” – there are a couple of collectors with interesting watches who share their collections on the picture-sharing app.
The most interesting for me are the independent-watchmaking enthusiasts. Most own watches that well known and regarded as landmarks in the genre – Philippe Dufour Simplicity, F.P. Journe tourbillon, Akrivia Chronometre Contemporain, and the like – but many also have watches further off the beaten track, like Keaton Myrick’s 1 in 30 or the Bexei grande sonnerie.
Here are a few independent-watchmaking collectors who are worth a follow.
Amongst the watches that can be found on his account is the unique and elaborate Voutilainen Starry Night Vine, and the Vox Vinum grande sonnerie by Aaron Becsei, and the one-off, regulator-dial minute repeater by Voutilainen.
And he also features a good number of notable complicated watches from the 1990s, which are overlooked today but often just as interesting as the latest creations.
@horoptimist – A longtime collector who only started his Instagram account recently, Horoptimist is based in Asia but has managed to visit several independent watchmakers in their home countries, including Habring² in Austria and J.N. Shapiro in the United States.
Importantly, his collection includes not only the big-ticket watches, but also several affordable timepieces, most notably from Habring² (including a tourbillon), which proves that good independent watchmaking can also be accessible.
@burymewithmywatches – A European collector who has been posting more vintage watches of late – and was one of the first in the world to acquire the Audemars Piguet [Re]master01 – Burymewithmywatches is an accomplished collector of independent watchmaking who owns a Dufour Simplicity, lots of F.P. Journe, a few Akrivia, and several examples of Voutilianen including the rare Chronometre 27.
@mywatchdrawer – The collection of Mywatchdrawer is exceptional, with one of the most recent additions being The Blue tourbillon by George Daniels. And the collector, who is located in the United States, also owns a Franck Muller chronograph with perpetual calendar and retrograde equation of time, a indication he is a veteran collector who can appreciate brands for what they once were.
@shani.watch – Also located in the United States, Shani.watch has a collection that includes a good number of notable F.P. Journe watches – including a pair of tourbillons with stone dials – but also a Roger W. Smith Series 2 with uncommon applied numerals, and a Dufour Simplicity.
@santa_laura – With an aesthetic more extravagant than the average collector of independent watchmaking, Santa_laura has a collection that includes a diamond-set Harry Winston Opus 3, a unique, fully-engraved Urwerk UR-111C, and the more elegant, extra-large Voutailien Vingt-8 “Moon Pearl”.
Amongst his more unorthodox watches is the Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe with telescopic hands that’s inspired by an extremely important, 19th century English pocket watches, and the Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious.
@limsanity8 – A varied collection is depicted on Limsanity8‘s account, ranging from an all-black Greubel Forsey to an unusual J.N. Shapiro with applied numerals. Based in California not far from guilloche specialist J.N. Shapiro, the collector also owns something elegant from Atelier de Chronometrie in Spain, and might be getting another according to some teasers he posted.
@o.husek – A European collector, O.husek‘s collection includes a salmon-dial Greubel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon and, in contrast, the elegant Haldimann H1 central tourbillon, which really tells you all you need to know.
@fumanku – One of the world’s leading dealers of vintage Rolex, Eric Ku is an industry insider, but one with a surprising and strong interest in independent watchmaking (and vintage Cartier).
Amongst his recent acquisitions are two watches I rate highly, the Akrivia Chronometre Contemporain and the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Chronograph. And more interesting from a historical perspective is a 1950s Breguet wristwatch with the Peseux 260 chronometer movement, but in white gold instead of the common yellow gold.
@alangejourney – And the last account is not about independent watchmaking, but still focused on serious, technical watchmaking. As the name indicates, it’s all about A. Lange & Söhne and includes some of the rarest watches made by the German watchmaker.
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From May 9 to 12, 2019.