Ah, Instagram. That platform that sucks, according to my phone’s digital wellbeing section; well over an hour a day of my life into its colourful void. It’s a social media platform that might as well be made for watches — highly visual, and the wristshot is perfectly framed in that square crop. I’ve made some great watch buddies through Instagram — the #watchfam is real. But it’s not all peachy; it’s also the worst platform out there for mental health, thanks to its impossibly filtered lifestyles and the intense FOMO-factor. That’s a bigger fish than I’m capable of frying RN, but I can have a crack at five overdone, overwrought and just old tropes of the watch Instagram world. And I will. Starting with …
The watch/car shot
Urgh. You know this shot, it’s the guy (it’s always a guy) with the *insert mainstream luxury brand here* casually resting on the wheel of their *insert mainstream European luxury sedan here*, in a flex that’s as fresh as it is subtle. We get it, you can tell the time AND drive. Oh, and you’ve got money. Bravo.
The fistful of dollars
Sometimes it’s not enough to let your followers know you’ve got a watch. Sometimes you need them to know you have a fat fistful (or in more dorky versions, a wristful) of watches. Bonus points for being versions of the same watch in different metals. This serves no point beyond conspicuous consumption. In the bin. The one *possible* exception is when you’re serving to highlight the differences between watches, and even then it’s line ball.
The boob/babe shot
This one’s a great one-two punch. The requisite shot involves a watch shot in front of someone’s cleavage/legs/swimwear/pick-your-eroticised-object-of-choice. Typically that someone isn’t the wearer of the watch. Not only is this usually an A-grade lesson in objectification of watches AND people, it also results in that worst of IG watch comments, the “what watch, huh huh huh”. Double in the bin. The above, quickly removed, ad campaign for Mariner Watches is a great example of what not to do. To be fair though, I see this more on Facebook groups than IG these days. So that’s … progress?
Full disclosure. I personally (and Time+Tide more generally) am pretty guilty on this count. And while the wristroll was kinda novel back whenever it was novel, it’s getting pretty tired. In its defence, though, it is a good way of showing what a watch is like on the wrist, albeit in a super-contrived way. I don’t love it, but it serves a purpose. Let me know if you can find a better version. In the bin?
The obnoxious travel shot
OK, so the obnoxious travel shot is hardly unique to watch people, but our own spicy twist on this humblebrag is to pop a watch (typically a GMT) into the default passport/business class boarding pass ticket. Again, we get it: you’ve got money and you need to tell the time in two places at once. Well done. In the overhead bin with the rest of your hand luggage.