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In the male-dominated world we still live in (here I’m talking about humankind as a whole and not just our niche community of horological enthusiasts,) women continue to be expected to act, talk, and look in certain ways. Those who dress in manly manner or do “men sports” are still regarded as being Tomboyish or un-lady-like. And I would confidently say that this is still true in most contemporary cultures regardless of how progressive they like to present themselves. When I first came across Meg Tocci a.k.a. @minutemeg on Instagram, she reminded me of two of my childhood female TV heroes: Jane Seymour’s Dr. Michaela Quinn in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and Laura Dern’s Ellie Sattler in the first Jurassic Park movie. The former haunted men for being a female doctor and wearing pants in 1860s’ Colorado Springs, while the latter was more badass and fearless than Sam Neill’s Alan Grant character. 


And this is the initial impression I got of Meg when I first came across her Instagram posts. In them, she appeared to me as being a modern-day Dr. Quinn or Ellie Slatter, as many of her photos place her in the contexts of traveling and exploration, sporting a good field watch and being equipped with the proper camping gear. And at the same time I could tell that Meg had a particular story to tell which I’m honored to be attempting to relate to you today. As we will see, Meg studied a particular field of human history and everyday works alongside men and women whose exemplary courage and selflessness translate into who I believe Meg to be herself. And all of this further translates into the kind of watches she’s drawn to. 

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Let's Again Begin with a Quote


I can’t help myself but to want to connect the person I’m writing about to a quote I’ve recently come across. This time the quote comes from Erling Kagge in his book Philosophy for Polar Explorers. In it he says: “It can feel both unpleasant and somewhat risky to change our own world. But perhaps it’s even more risky to do nothing, and to not try to discover how good life can be.” As we will see below, Meg got an invitation one day to attend a brand launch and she took a calculated risk in showing up to the event even though she didn’t know anyone there. This bold decision paved the way for her entry into horology and writing about timepieces for two prominent watch magazines within a short period of six months. 


I know, comparing Meg to two fictional characters may be strange, but I stand by it. One of the goals of writing these articles is, after all, to provide female watch enthusiasts and content creators with a safe space to relate their passion for horology and what watches mean to them. In the recent articles I published on and @watchmissgmt, it became immediately clear that the female voice is rarely desired, respected, and taken with the same degree of respect as the male voice. And what drew me to Dr. Quinn and Ellie Slatter showed their unapologetic authenticity, courage, and dedication to proving—yet once again—that women are as capable as men, if not more, to do anything.

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A Friend to Thank (Or To Blame)


So far in all of the how-did-I-get-into-horology stories I’ve heard, I had yet to hear of one involving a friend professing his deepest affection for horology to his best friend who could not have cared less about it. (At the beginning, that is.) The latter being Meg here and whose closest friend was an avid watch enthusiast. She wasn’t (an enthusiast) until one day her friend made a connection between her field of study—military history—and watches and how intertwined both have been since the dawn of the 19th century. As a historian and researcher, Meg naturally started reading about that connection and that is how she first found her own path into the hobby. Her research led her into Seiko which led her to her first purchase: a SNK803 which she quickly paired with a quality Barton leather strap. 


This purchase propelled her to develop a special affinity for the Japanese brand and to have another shared interest with her friend. At the same time she created an Instagram account fully dedicated to horology and by the luck of the draw, as a native from Colorado, she got contacted by Vortic (a watch brand based in Colorado that converts vintage pocket watches into wrist worn timekeeping devices) and invited to the launch of their new brand, the Colorado Watch Company. There, amongst the crowd of unfamiliar voices, she heard a familiar one, that of Zach Kazan who she virtually got acquainted with by way of podcasts. They launched into a long conversation about horology and he suggested that she partakes in their “Three Watches for $5K” series. She did, they loved it, and so she started writing as a contributor.

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Her Inevitable Path Into Horology


As we know, Meg studied military history (she got a Master’s degree) and I have a tiny feeling that she would have eventually found her way into horology (sooner or later) regardless of her friend’s own passion. Her Monday to Friday job is at a Colorado state university where she liaises with Veteran Affairs to ensure that the veterans who go back to school have registered for their credits and that they are provided with adequate housing and medical care. I felt compelled to ask how she got into studying this particular field and she told me the truth: she has no real idea. What she does know is that she’s always loved reading and researching, connecting the “why” to the “how” and all of this led her, serendipitously into military history. 


To dig a little more into her specialty, her Master’s thesis was about the disconnect between what soldiers are expected to do in the field and what they are trained to do. As she explained, soldiers in the 21st century are trained to kill but once deployed, they are expected to become nation builders. Instead of neutralizing the enemy (or once it’s done) soldiers have to re-establish basic utilities, provide security for the people, and help organize temporary governments. It’s akin to a math teacher being expected to police students, counsel them on personal matters, help resolve complex family situations, and now act as their bodyguards. (Which is the reality of the teachers in the United States.)  


Why am I talking about all of this? Well, because I believe that it helps understand who Meg is and what follows. After all, I’m a firm believer that what we do and how we do it correlates to—eventually for some of us—what kind of watches we are into and what type of collector we are. But I don’t want to give you too many spoilers for now.

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What Watches Mean to Her


As it is often the case, a watch is a connector between like-minded people. Before she caught the bug, Meg would wear an Apple Watch. And although it was a practical and pragmatic piece of EDC (Every Day Carry) to have, she didn’t like how 1) she was reachable anywhere at any time and 2) that he didn’t say anything about her. Like many watch enthusiasts, Meg was immediately drawn to the capacity that watches have to tell a story about us to a perfect stranger without having to strike a conversation. I do know for a fact that, should I have ran into Meg on a street and seen her sport a Seiko SNK803, I would have known that she was one of us. (Yes, it’s a “us” community kind of thing, akin riding a Harley Davidson or driving a Jeep Wrangler.) 


As she further indicated, wearing a watch opens numerous opportunities to strike impromptu conversations with perfect strangers whilst walking on the street or sitting on a bus. And more often than not, fellow watch enthusiasts are indeed like-minded people. Besides the Seiko SNK803, Meg owns a few field watches like the Hamilton Khaki Murph and I couldn’t help myself, therefore, to draw a correlation between the type of watches she wears and her expertise in military history. War is not a topic that is easy to bring about at a party but she has a passion for it—I do too. Perhaps naturally, then, Meg likes watches that are tools and which can be taken on all of her adventures. And there is not an easier type of watch to wear for that than a field. 


Once she came out as being a watch enthusiast, Meg’s father told her about his humble collection and, in particular, of a Timex Expedition which wasn’t running. He gifted the watch to Meg who promptly restored it and brought it back to life. Knowing that his daughter was into watches—something that might not be evident for many fathers—he felt sorry to not have kept more watches to show her. Interestingly enough, once Meg’s father discovered that her first purchase was an SNK803, he admitted that he has had the same one (with the black dial) in his Amazon cart for the better part of the past decade but that he never pulled the trigger. It’s quite interesting how Meg and her father had similar tastes in watches even though they had never talked about it until then.

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Her Current Favorite Watch


We are able to better understand what watches mean to her by discussing the favorite timepiece in her collection: the aforementioned Hamilton Khaki Murph in 38mm. She described it as being the watch which best represents who she is: it’s classic and elegant, purposeful and robust, and it comes with its own story and historical background. (The Khaki line has been around since the 1940s if I’m correct.) The Murph harkens back—somewhat—to a time when people needed watches to go about their daily lives, not that they wanted to have one. And being inspired by iconic 1940s field watches, the Hamilton Murph is the epitome of the timeless purpose-driven timepiece. 


Moreover, as a military history buff, Meg was inextricably attracted to the simple beauty that emanates from purposeful objects such as field watches. In a recent post on Instagram, she explained why she chose a particular brand and model of boots for a trip she took on Route 66, on which she brought an Oris Diver 65 Bronze to photograph and review. And I noticed Meg’s purposefulness in the way she expressed herself during our interview: to the point, detailed, researched and humble. And the way she expresses herself orally matches the way in which she writes about watches and how she photographs them. (You need to take a look at her articles on Worn & Wound and A Blog to Watch to better understand what I mean.)

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Her Creative Process


While she does a lot of writing for work, as she did during her studies, writing about watches is a whole different animal. As she explained, the watch muse doesn’t come on demand—something that I and all writers can relate to—and you should know that she wrote her first article for Worn & Wound in November of 2023, so this is a recent venture and every month she learns more about her own process of writing. She’s also diving into photography to combine her own style of capturing a watch through an image with finding the right words to describe it. As indicated above, she took Oris Diver 65 Bronze on a road trip on the historical Route 66 to place herself into a certain mood to write a hands-on review. (A dedication I profoundly admire.) 


Working a Monday through Friday job, Meg mostly writes in the evenings and week-ends when she’s not going on a new adventure. And more and more of her adventures are now orbiting around meeting like-minded people through the wonderful community that is that of watch collectors. A sentiment we can relate to and which makes horology such a neat niche to fall into. And as she’s learning about her own writing process, she doesn’t stop from ceasing new opportunities that are presented to her. That’s why she is now also a contributor for A Blog to Watch. 

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Conclusion: Seizing the Momentum


Sophie, Meg, and Erika have a lot in common: they all started creating content about watches within the past year. When they started, there were few women on Instagram sharing photos of their watch collections, and even fewer writing about them. I did know of a few female watch collectors before, but again, they “simply” shared photos of their collections. Writing about horology for male-dominated online publications and for a man’s world is a whole different ball game. Meg pointed out that now is a good time for women to get into horology given the current (and hopefully long-lasting) trend for smaller watches as this means better-sized proper tool watches for women instead of being only offered “ladies” watches that are very small, colorful, or too fancy. 


Although she doesn’t know what the future holds, Meg would love to one day make writing about watches a full time career. Going back to the quote mentioned earlier, she clearly is the type of woman who wants to experience life, try out new things, to see how better life can be on the other side. As someone who loves traveling and camping, who listens to watch-related podcasts, a lot of what she does and how she does it relates to horology. She has a particular connection with that world and I wish for her to continue thriving and sharing her unique and beautiful opinion about horology with all of us. 


Thanks for reading. 

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