It’s been about five odd years since I first entered the world of horology, and almost two years since I decided to create the Watchrant to host my passion. In that time, I’ve experienced numerous different aspects of the horology world, with various highs and lows to speak of. There’s been moments which I’ve absolutely loved and moments which cause me to grimace – yet in the long run – I’ve enjoyed the journey so far. Everything I’ve achieved up to now has been an amalgamation of false starts, experiments, flukes and lucky breaks. I’ve talked about how this blog started off as a result of failure. It was an instance where things didn’t go my way and instead of keeping an idea dormant, I was encouraged by those around me to turn it into something I would feel proud to have my name against. Looking back, I strongly feel that if I started off wanting to build something like the Watchrant, I would never have ended up with what I have today. At best, I probably would have veered into a direction which would have desperately tried to imitate the existing works of other publications – trying to fit in the saturated crowd – instead of writing about things I genuinely had an interest in; the way I wanted to.
My constant experimenting and making mistakes has taught me a load of things both about the world of watches but also about myself. This blog started off being dedicated to documenting my ventures in a seemingly closed industry as well as provide a platform to put forward my opinions regarding current affairs. Yet I’ve found that a lot of my inspiration comes from those around me, and the stories I have to tell have been influenced by the stories of people I’ve stumbled into by chance. My approach has pretty much been me enthusiastically knocking on people’s doors and asking if they have a bit of time for me. Whilst my method may not be of taste to some, there have been the odd gems of occasions where I’ve been able to sit down with someone and talk. I find that as I lose my interest towards material and tangible elements, there’s one thing that never seems to bore me: the human side of horology.
The main driving force of this blog has evolved from a boy simply fascinated by the mechanics involved in timekeeping, to someone who gets their energy from sharing their passion with other people and learning new things. That’s what I’ve come to love about the watch community. It’s a place where you will always find someone to accept you, regardless of how wild your interests seem. Whilst your friends and family may look at you as a bit of a weirdo, you realise that there are other weirdos for you to sit down with and have conversations with – childish grins and all. After every encounter with a fellow horologist, I feel a sense of wanderlust towards my journey of horology.
I’ve come to understand that given the current state of affairs, visuals are very important when it comes to watches. The design elements and fine finishes on a timepiece can be captured and put on display through platforms such as Instagram, enabling otherwise niche content to be appreciated by the masses. It’s cultivated a whole new tier of priorities from independent watchmakers and mega conglomerates alike. There’s an almost inorganic, mass-produced feeling to it all; as new marketing categories are created to fill in any untouched space. I feel that there is a bit of a shortfall in addressing the human side of horology that I speak of.
I’ve come up with this project as a result: Watchfam around the world. The elusive ‘watchfam’ was a term I first stumbled across when I entered the online world of horology. It was used by others when I asked for support with this blog, and I see it in use when talking about anything to do with watches. I’ve come to take the meaning of the term to mean ‘watch family’ which I think is quite apt. What better way to capture humanity than through the idea of family? I want to share the stories which have driven my passion to new heights with you, the reader.