Social media now gives brands a unique opportunity to connect with their consumers on a personal level without even meeting them. However, it has also created communities of passionate photographers and brand lovers who can display their favourite products to their friends or fans; an important new channel which leverages word-of-mouth on a potentially global scale.
Through the use of hashtags and tagging people, you can now search specific brands and subjects and share their mutual appreciation. A great example of these online communities becoming something more is the Vintage Rolex Asylum, a group of true enthusiasts that has created a community and even arranged meet-ups due to ownership of a certain brand.
Fine Watchmaking on Instagram is more popular than ever with hashtags which have gained hundreds of thousands – and sometimes – millions of uses. In this article, we will scour the most used hashtag for watch lovers, #watchesofinstagram, to find out which timepieces are the most popular.
To keep things simple, we won’t be differentiating between newer/older versions of timepieces, so for example any Rolex Submariner will simply be classed as that, irrespective of their dial colour, material or type of strap. As the hashtag has been used 1.7 million times, we used a small sample size of around 2,500 images, to decide which is the most popular.
Without any further ado, in ascending order, here are the most popular #watchesofinstagram:
1) Rolex Submariner
History: Launched in 1953, The Rolex Submariner was the first divers’ watch, waterproof up to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet). Its rotatable bezel was used to allow divers to read their immersion time.
Why: The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner is arguably the most famous luxury watch ever. It used to be the go-to watch for James Bond as well as a diver’s tool – it is the ultimate timepiece. The Submariner is a true modern classic in both design and build. One of the most famous watches ever, but also one of the most famous watch brands ever.
2) Rolex Date Just
History: Launched in 1945, the Date Just was the first self-winding wrist chronometer to indicate the date in a window on the dial. It is equipped with a jubilee bracelet created specially for it and a fluted bezel.
Why: Streamlined, sleek, easy to read and truly beautiful, the Date Just is the classic dress watch. It’s by far the most popular women’s Rolex, but is also very popular among men – which is the reason it’s so high up on the list. It also helps that it is available in many different finishes, colours and materials, so there is something for everyone.
3) Panerai Luminor Marina
History: Luminor, a self-luminous substance, was created and trademarked by Panerai in 1949. It wasn’t until 1993 that the Marina was created. It draws inspiration from the historical models created for WWII commandos.
Why: Panerai fans have got their own name for themselves, Paneristis, and the hashtag alone has got 170,000 uses on Instagram. That’s enough to show how popular these watches have become, especially online. Their fans online cite the love of the PAM down to subtle variations that make each watch so unique.
4) Omega Speedmaster
History: Designed as part of a project between OMEGA and Lemania, the brief was to create a sturdy high precision waterproof watch that was easy to read, reliable and easy to use. The Speedmaster was originally shown to the public in 1957.
Why: Not overly dissimilar from the Rolex Daytona in its face design, this watch is steeped in history which definitely helps with its collectability. It’s a reminder that men were meant to explore (let’s not forget it is the watch US astronauts wear to the moon), a truly iconic watch. It is great conversation starter at parties and clearly a great watch to be photographed time and time again on social media.
5) Omega Seamaster
History: Coinciding with the brand’s 100th anniversary, the Omega Seamaster was launched in 1948 and is now the oldest in the brand’s current collection. Based on the waterproof wristwatches for British military in WWII, the Seamaster was created as a robust and elegant watch for active individuals who want a watch for “town, sea and country”.
Why: In a world of new travellers, people are hunting for watches that can be used in all terrains and situations. Pair that with the fact that these new travellers are usually the younger potential consumers that brands are trying to access on social media. So, it comes as no surprise that the Omega Seamaster is one of the most popular timepieces on Instagram.
6) Rolex Daytona
History: Automobile legend Malcolm Campbell, a regular on the Daytona racecar circuit wrote to Rolex in 1931 to compliment the durability of his Oyster. Rolex first served as the official timekeeper of the course in 1962 and the next year released their Cosmograph Reference 6239, nicknamed the Daytona.
Why: Hailed the most collectable luxury timepiece in the world and the most comfortable watch in the world. Its popularity cannot simply be attributed to its aesthetics, however. The Daytona, like so many on this list is a tool watch. It’s made to last the test of time and be worn in any condition. It looks as great paired with a three piece suit, as it does with a racing suit. A classic made by the most sought after brand in Fine Watchmaking.