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It’s fascinating how often one can be wrong about another person. Especially when one looks at what the other does without digging even one inch below the surface. As someone I knew once said: “Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups.” And so I assumed that the person behind has been in the watch industry for many years and doing Instagram posts and reels for a long time. I thought so because of how natural Sophie is in front of the camera and how unique she is. Here I mean “unique” in the most positive of ways. As she put it herself, the world of horology needed someone like her and I agree that it desperately did. Someone who’s energetic, light-hearted, and who doesn’t give a rats ass about what you might think of her, her ideas, or what she strapped on her wrist that morning. Sophie is unapologetically raw and marvelous in that way.


So I assumed many things about her and my assumptions were indeed far from the truth. Sophie Cassaro (that’s her human name) has been creating watch-related content only since October of 2023 (this article is being published in April of 2024,) a fact that has left me flabbergasted. My jaw literally virtually dropped as I had assumed that she had been doing this for a very, very long time. And there is a reason for why I assumed so which we’ll talk about in a bit and which will make many things crystal clear. But in the meantime, let’s talk about who Sophie is, how she fell into the abysmal world that is watch collecting, and what the secret to her success is. (The latter is simple but difficult to achieve for most of us.)


It Always Starts With a Watch, But Not This One


I’ve written quite a few of these profile stories before, although not many as of late. One thing that most interviewees have in common is that they had been wearing watches for a long time. “Long” as in since they were little kids, as their parents bought them their very first watch. Sophie did receive a watch from her parents when she was five years old—of the Little Mermaid on a white strap—but this first watch didn’t leave as strong of an impression on her as your first childhood timekeeping device might have*. What left a greater impression on her was her husband’s “coming out of the closet as being a watch collector” (her words, not mine) and announcing, on the eve of his 40th birthday, that he’s a watch person and wanted to get a nice watch to commemorate the happy milestone. 


*Though she mentioned that the Little Mermaid watch was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen and owned at the time and she loved it even though she didn’t know how to read the time. 


As the most wonderful and rarest of spouses do, Sophie decided to learn about watches by watching YouTube videos from popular channels such as “About Effing Time” (with no other than Adrian Barker, Andrew MacUtchen, and Georges Bamford) and to listen to various podcasts. (I know that all of you, male watch collectors, wish their partners would do the same!) As she also put it, “something clicked” whilst doing her research and she got hooked. Not long after, Sophie and her husband were in a Swatch shop in Interlaken (a mountain resort town in Central Switzerland) to celebrate her birthday, and at the same time to buy a timekeeping device for their daughter. Out-of-the-blue, her husband suggested to Sophie that she should get one of these “MoonSwatch things.” Again, her wonderful words which dutifully indicate how, not that long ago, she knew little about watches.


She chose the Pluto version. 


Then, as one usually does when acquiring a new watch, Sophie started reading about the brand (Omega,) the collaboration with Swatch, and the model the MoonSwatch is based on—the Moonwatch Professional. Sophie was doubly hooked as she became fascinated by the story of this iconic model and its connection to NASA and space exploration. It was at that time that she was “in” to the point of no-return. Then, still during that same time period, a friend of hers suggested doing something relating to social media and Sophie thought “Yes, I should”, although at that time she didn’t know that her Instagram account and YouTube channels would be about watches. And remember, she got started in October of 2023 which is a fact that won’t cease to astonish me and which speaks volume about her inner storytelling talent.  


As we will see below, there is a reason why Sophie has become popular very quickly. At the time of writing this article, she has a little over 3,000 followers on Instagram and 900 on YouTube, which is quite a feat to have accomplished in just a few months.


Sophie Before Watches: The Actress and Mother


As you watch the first five seconds of any of her videos, you’ll notice Sophie’s unmistakable British accent. Indeed, she’s from the country which my ancestors used to fight against for decades without end or reason (I’m French from across the pond,) and it is where she met her husband. As mentioned above, Sophie has a secret recipe which explains her rapidly growing success on social media. Actually, it’s a two-part recipe, the first of which we’re going to discuss now. Back in England, she trained as a professional actress and for several years she was in front of the camera doing physical comedy, a genre in which she always felt the most comfortable. This kind of work didn’t pay her bills, unfortunately, so she did a lot of commercials where she luckily could also express her “cookie-clown” side. As she said, being in front of the camera for was therefore not her first rodeo. 


She eventually quit acting and worked in luxury retail for Agent Provocateur, a luxury lingerie retailer, where she managed a team of women. It was a different yet life-changing experience as she was able to do something relating to women empowerment and work with products that were heavily design-led. Perfect for someone like Sophie who’s visual, bold, and a fervent proponent for self-expression. (Her acting career truly shines in all of her content, whether it be photographs, short reels, or in-depth videos.) Then, she and her husband moved to Geneva for his job and she became a full-time mother for about five years. In the summer of 2023, a light bulb clicked and she decided that she had to do something for herself. As she put it, once she started creating social media content, her life went from being projected in black and white to full color. 


What Watches Mean to Sophie and Which Ones She Likes


As I do in all of these articles, I like to ask our protagonists what watches mean to them, and what this could be many things. For example, watches are a way for self-expression, a talisman which endows the wearer with new and special powers, a keepsake for times long gone, an object with which to go on adventures and to remember these adventures by, and even a heirloom to pass on to our children. However, Sophie answered the question “What do watches mean to you?” in the most surprising and beautiful of ways. Indeed, she indicated that to her, watches are poetic, art, engineering, stories, all encapsulated into a single object we can strap to our wrist. In a nutshell, watches represent all of what is good and beautiful about humankind. She loves that and I can understand why. 


Unless you dig very, very deep into history books and are somewhat of a hypocrite, you’ll agree that watches are objects that bring us joy and which do not cause conflict, pain, or sorrow. (Hint: I’m referring to brands in the time of war.) Just like I agree that we desperately needed a Sophie in the watch world, we humans need to enjoy something as simple and direct as collecting and geeking out about watches. As these are objects that not only bring us happiness but which also brings us together. As Sophie proves it: in only six months, she has already brought 3,000 strangers together to delight in her daily posts and reels. And her personality which shines so brightly on screen brings joy to as many people on a daily basis.


In regards to what types of watches she likes, she gravitates more towards simple and legible watches that have beautiful dials as she does use watches to keep track of time on a daily basis (like yours truly.) She also admires great complications although she doesn’t wear or own them. During our virtual conversation, Sophie was wearing a Laarvee collaboration which looked as if a Rolex Submariner had been squished inside a vise, abstract and colorful, perhaps not the type of watches she wears everyday but certainly one that matches who she is—again, she’s bold, visual, and hilariously comical in front and behind the camera. (When I told her that she was the first actress I had ever talked to, she kindly suggested I go out more.) 


Furthermore, and whichever watch she wears or buys, Sophie has always been attracted to watches that can do it all. Here I mean from the perspective of specification and construction. The first mechanical watch she actually owned was a Rolex Oyster Perpetual (her husband had gotten himself a Milgauss) and she absolutely loved the fact that she didn’t have to worry about it regardless of what she did. Whether going about her daily responsibilities, sleeping, swimming, or playing with her kids, the Oyster Perpetual (“OP” for the cool kids) can do it all. Since she wore this watch all the time, it was always fully wound and she knew it was accurate and that, naturally, she didn’t have to worry about a battery running out of juice at the wrong time. 


A Watch Collection that Naturally Grows


Although she initially got the horological bug through her husband, now that she has it and creates incredible content on both Instagram and YouTube, Sophie’s collection has naturally expanded. From a Cartier Must 21, several Ebel watches (a brand I need to dig more into,) to a few microbrand watches such as Laarvee. As she admitted, she’s always been a collector and not only of watches. So it was only natural for Sophie to acquire more watches as she started to create horology-oriented content, and at the time of writing this article, her 12-slot watch box is full. (It seems to be a good time to acquire a new watch box, just sayin’) 


Very recently, Sophie became the public face of UK-based Chrono Hunter, a unique platform through which collectors receive multiple offers to buy or sell watches thanks to an exclusive network of luxury retailers. This gig came at an opportune time as she was commissioned by the retailer to shoot a series of videos at Watches and Wonders to introduce brands and their new collections. (I highly suggest that you take a look at her Instagram and that of Chrono Hunter to see Sophie in her element.) And although she often creates content on higher-end watches, she has a passion for micro and independent brands and it appears that her collection of this type of watches is growing rapidly. 

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Why We So Badly Needed Sophie in the Watch World


Let’s face it, the watch world is mostly a man’s world. And with it comes certain limitations and narrow-mindedness. Although there are many light-hearted and warm people in the watch community (and I would say this is true, more often than not, when looking at the micro and independent watch sphere,) there are too many watch enthusiasts and collectors who take themselves too seriously and who are, in some cases, straight up dicks. So we needed a Sophie in our niche world to lighten things up, to add the “fun” part to watch collecting and remove the “serious” element from it. And, more importantly, we desperately needed a woman’s perspective. 


To be fair, Sophie is not the only female watch collector and content creator I know of in the industry, but I can easily count how many there are (at least, prominent ones) on the fingers of just one hand, which means there are far too few of them. As she explained, the fact that there aren’t many female watch enthusiasts and content creators doesn’t mean that her voice should count for less, or that her opinions are less relevant. Quite the contrary. Being the bubbly, light-hearted person that she is, Sophie contributes to creating a safe space for women who are into watches to express their thoughts and talk about their collections.


One thing that is different about Sophie from the other women I’ve interviewed (thus far) is the fact that she’s fully open talking about her experience of being a woman creating content about watches. Most women either do not openly talk about the fact that they, too, have been contaminated by the watch collecting bug (and can often be seen “tagging along” their male partner at watch fairs,) or if they do, they talk about why they like watches and which ones they prefer to buy and wear. As if going beyond and deeper is only reserved for men. Ugh. And I loved how easy it was to talk to Sophie and how direct she’s been discussing all aspects of journey (so far) in this niche world. 


Ideally, it would have been herself or another woman who should be telling her story. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, misogyny is pervasive in all aspects of human life and watch collecting is not immune to it. Sophie often faces prejudice and plain misogyny from insecure men when she publishes content. She’s often told that this watch looks idiotic on her or that she shouldn’t be “sexy” on camera when talking about watches. (And this criticism can come from other women too.) As recently as a week ago at Watches and Wonders in Geneva, she experienced the ultimate levels of chauvinism from representatives of luxury brands who said “It’s an automatic movement” when she asked “What movement is inside this watch?” and who turned around and left when she said “I know that, but I would like to know which movement is inside.” 


That’s the fucking ugly truth. 


Conclusion: Looking at the Beauty, Always


I first encountered Sophie on Instagram somewhere around March of 2024. I was immediately hooked by her openness, authenticity, and radiating positive energy. I loved how she had her own way of talking about brands and watches, and that at all price ranges. And more than once in this article I’ve mentioned that she does so in a unique way and that is something important to highlight. Indeed, globally-speaking, I find that most content creators lack creativity and authenticity. They mimic what someone else does well and try to sell it as being their authentic self. They follow endless trends that eventually disappear because they’ve been repurposed one too many times, until one person creates something new and everybody rushes to follow in that person’s footsteps. 


More importantly, male content creators tend to either be serious, stuck-up, or extremely goofy and bizarre which is pretty much accepted for the most part. While female content creators tend to be pleasant and neutral which is what the male-dominated world of horology expects them to be. A “bubbly” female content creator comes across as being naive or stupid, while an elegant and confident woman is seen as being “too sexy to talk about watches.” In other words, being who she is, Sophie is both sexy and stupid and should have no legitimacy talking about horology. And all of that is the reason why we desperately needed her in the watch world: to take down the antiquated stereotypes and to lay down a safe path for all female watch enthusiasts to feel comfortable in their own shoes.


And while during our interview Sophie mentioned multiple times that most people she talks to in the world of horology on a daily basis are welcoming and supportive, it is important to note that not all are this way. Two weeks after our interview I was honored to spend time with Sophie in Geneva, and I myself witnessed the inherent and natural misogyny of male watch enthusiasts and brand owners—big and small—she talked to. Their body language and/or choice of words were indicative that they didn’t see her as being their equal, while I believe they were not hers. More than anything else, Sophie is a force of nature who doesn’t shy away from being her authentic self. 


As you now understand, we desperately needed her and I for one I’m so glad she’s amongst us watch nerds.

Thanks for reading. 

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