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It might be too early to draw this kind of conclusion but so far, it appears that women get into horology by way of someone else, mostly a male partner or friend who has caught the horological bug. As in: the male character in question has been talking about watches for a while, perhaps in excess, to the point where the heroine becomes curious and watches a few YouTube videos to see what his obsession is all about. (Is it a sane hobby to have? What draws him to spending hours learning about it?) This is in contrast to men watch enthusiasts and collectors who got into the hobby themselves or because they inherited a watch from their own father or grandfather or, as it also happens, their best buddy was already into watches. 


This prompted the following self inquiry: Are men more prone to collecting non-essential stuff like watches, cars, pens, cigars, than women? I don’t know, but this is a question we can store in a little corner of our mind for a while. As we will see below, Anna Kubasik a.k.a. on Instagram, got introduced to the watch world thanks to her partner. She picks which watches to add to her collection in a way that is different from how my male counterparts do, including myself. As it was the case with SophieErika, and Meg, Anna promptly forged her own horological path by exploring the type of watches she likes, not what he likes, what they could eventually mean to her and what they could bring to her life—which is more than the watches themselves. 


In my narrow experience in the hobby thus far, I observed that many men buy watches because they saw other men wearing them. (Hey, we’re animals after all!) Just like they buy the same type of boots, coffee mugs, shirts and pocket knives they friend has. (Again, I wonder what all of my bros need knives for on a daily basis? But I’m digressing.) 

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How It All Started


As we already know, Anna got into watches because of her partner who has been into this hobby since he was a small kid. He inherited watches from his family and decorated their home with catalogs and books about watches, and he got into the habit of subliminally letting Anna know what kind of watches he was into and which one he would like to purchase next. (Is it a guy thing? Because I definitely did the same.) As a watch nerd, her partner eventually exposed her to popular reviewers such as Teddy Baldassare and she found a few of them to be particularly informative and non-nerdy. As in, actual humans who seem to be comfortable in their own moccasins and who can talk about watches without looking like dorks lurking from the basement staircase. 


This led Anna to purchase her very first watch six years ago, a Daniel Wellington. However, being with who she was, it was kindly suggested to her that she had to own a Swiss Made watch even though it would be powered by a quartz caliber. So she got an Adriatica (yet another brand I nowI need to Google) and then got an open-heart Orient Bambino. The latter event switched her perspective on watches as she became hooked learning about all of what goes into making watches. Not only the mechanics but also the technology, the design, and the heritage. The more she continued to learn about watches the more she started buying them and she is now the proud owner of 35 watches at the time of writing this article. (Or perhaps by the time this article is published, 36?)

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A Switch In Perspective


As we’ve established, buying watches and watching horology-related videos changed her perspective on these small hunks of metal, cogs, and wheels we strap on our wrists everyday. Before she joined our secret society, she was already wearing watches. But back then—before the “happening”—a watch was just an accessory and she had several of them to match her various outfits. And she indicated that this must have been the same (and still is) for many women. But now that she’s part of the watch fam, she’s gotten much more interested in the significance of watches and certain models in particular, more than their design. For example, wearing a Cartier Tank, a model which harkens back to the early 20th century history of horology, is much more than wearing a rectangular watch on the wrist. And learning more about what fascinates humans about watches therefore changed the perception she had of them. Now, what she decides to wear depends on how she feels and in which mindset she wants to put herself in. 


For example, if she wants to project a confident version of herself, she wears an Oris Aquis which doubles as an elegant, purpose-driven, and unique-looking timepiece. (The Aquis is the watch in her collection which prompts the most impromptu—and often unfortunate—conversations*) If she wants to feel more sophisticated, her go-to is an Oris Pointer Date which, to me, clearly indicates that she is indeed a watch nerd. (Who in their right mind would otherwise wear such a watch just to accessorize an outfit?) One of the watches she would like to wear the most is the Omega Speedmaster. Not only because of the inherent and fascinating history this model is endowed with, but also because the Speedmaster is typically a men’s watch and she wants to prove that women can wear it too, if not better than men, at least as well as them. 


*The typical comment she gets when wearing the Aquis is “How nice it is when women wear men’s watches.” 


Furthermore, as her knowledge and passion for watches has developed over the years, she started collecting microbrands as well. From Polish brands (an area of this market I now need to investigate) and popular ones such as Traska to lesser known brands such as Medini based in Dubai. I really appreciated the fact that Anna knows of the latter brand as it shows the open-mindedness of her watch collecting habits.

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Her Road to Social Media


Outside of watches, Anna has extensive experience in IT and cyber security and currently works for a Swiss Bank’s IT department. From what I gathered, she manages teams of engineers on various projects. Based on this information and seeing how active she is on Instagram, I felt compelled to ask how the heck she manages to balance being a full-time professional, a mother, a watch enthusiast, as well as a talented content creator?—because she is nothing short of being talented. As she simply told me: she doesn’t (yet) balance things and works organically to find time to photograph watches. Anna also indicated that her partner helps with some of the photoshoots and that she can only set aside time for proper shoots thanks to her mother who watches over her child. (I remember that Sophie indicated that her husband takes the kids away for a few hours once in a while so that she can create her full-length videos for YouTube.) 


Honestly, I have yet to have met a male watch enthusiast, content creator, or brand owner who has to do the same thing. Most of the ones I know of—many of my male counterparts— just do what they want to do, and luckily, have “supportive” wives/partners who watch over the household and kids while they go out to photograph their precious mechanical timepieces. This is not to say that all men function this way, but I’ve heard many of them telling me how they went camping for a weekend to photograph a watch or travel to watch-related events. while their spouse is home with the kids. (The only women I know to travel with their hubbies are those who don’t have children.) Or miraculously, they happen to have free time in the mornings or evenings to attend to their hobby. 

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Going back to our heroine, Anna started creating content for Instagram around February of 2023 because she noticed that there weren’t many women on social media talking about watches. The few female watch collectors and content creators she knew of are, as she described them, “powerful women” and she felt there was a need to add another female perspective to the mix. And to especially encourage potential Polish female watch enthusiasts to get into the hobby and to talk about it. So far she’s met the spouses of male Polish watch enthusiasts through male-dominated—and sometimes toxic—Facebook groups. But she hopes that more women will soon join. 


The word she used when describing the ambiance of the Facebook groups is indeed “toxic.” Not all the time but often enough that she eventually felt compelled to point it out. Unsurprisingly to me and hopefully to you as well, Anna gets the ultra classic and misogynistic remarks such as: “You are a woman and you cannot wear this watch;” or “Your husband probably bought you this watch;” or “With nails like yours you should probably wear Diesel, not a Sinn.” And perhaps the most emblematic of them being: “You have other things to be interested in so you should leave watches to men.” 


To be fair, Anna was initially reluctant to talk about the negative aspects of the male-dominated Polish watch enthusiasts scene, and although she has more positive interactions than she has negative ones, it nevertheless had to be said. However, Anna indicated that things are slowly improving for the better which is due, she believes, to the fact that more men wear smaller watches and that the quality of her content, which she also reposts on the aforementioned Facebook groups, is helping change the overall perspective men have of female watch collectors. Because as soon as you take a look at her Instagram feed, you immediately notice how much work she puts into creating the content which means—in male terms—that she means business. 

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Being a Watch Enthusiast in Poland


What has been utterly fascinating to me in the past two years is to learn about the great number of watch related events that take place all around the world. At first I thought that there were only a handful of them and that mostly in the United States. But no, how wrong I was. I therefore asked Anna about how things are in Poland. In Wroclaw, there is a Wroclaw Watch Group (Facebook) which meets every month or so and which has created a tight-knit watch community. Anna also indicated that there are vintage watch trade shows to which a few microbrands partake in to showcase their collections and where enthusiasts can trade watches. There are therefore opportunities for larger events to take place in Poland, events in the likes of WindUp or Time to Watches. 


Recently, Anna went to Watches and Wonders and like all people I know who went too, she found the experience to be quite overwhelming. She only saw one third of the brands she had intended to see and, as many watch enthusiasts and collectors have related before, seeing the brands and their collections in the metal deeply changed her perspective of them. She found herself surprisingly comfortable at certain booths where she thought she would not. But the best part of her trip to Geneva was meeting people from the watch community and especially other content creators she has known for a long time—and some of her favorites which are also ours: and @watchmissgmt


Regardless of your gender, your culture, or the state of your horological collection, being a watch enthusiast is, first and foremost, about being a member of the “watch fam” or “watch community.” We only need to do more work to make it more welcoming to female watch enthusiasts, collectors, and brand owners. 

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Conclusion: What's Next?


I like to ask interviewees if they were to consider, one day in the near or distant future, to do something watch-related that would have more of a professional component. And each time the answer is: why not? So one day we could see Anna delve even deeper into the world of horology, not just as a collector and hobbyist, but as an independent content creator. Just like her knowledge and tastes in horology evolve each day, so does her photography technique. When she first started shooting watches a few years back, she would simply use her smartphone and focus more on the setup and the story she wanted to tell. Now she uses an actual camera to complement her unique storytelling capabilities. Currently, Anna is thinking of doing videos and perhaps eventually making it to YouTube. 


What fascinates me about Anna—and so it did when interviewing Sophie, Erika, and Meg—is that she’s more deliberate in her watch collecting than most men I know are. She doesn’t only buy a genre of watches (i.e. divers) but has eclectic tastes, sometimes being more attracted by the design of a watch and some other times by its history. And what she wears on a daily basis depends on what she’s up to. For example, she wears a robust watch when walking the dog and playing with her child. And, as we know, she found in micro/independent brands an ideal balance between everyday wearing capabilities and robustness. For example her Traska Commuter that can be dressed up and down and which she’s not afraid of scratching thanks to having a scratch-resistant coating. (Something more expensive watches still don’t offer.) 

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Although she entered the world of horology because of her male partner, she has clearly forged her own path into it. She collects what interests her, photograph watches in a way that is uniquely hers, and she’s more about telling compelling stories than many men are. Being the strong woman that she is, she doesn’t waste her energy arguing with the misogynistic assholes the world is, unfortunately, filled with. Rather, she focuses all of her energy creating outstanding content and inspiring other female watch enthusiasts and collectors to join in on the conversation.


Thanks for reading. 

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