We’ve teamed up with Fratello, Monochrome and Revolution to bring you the least official Watches & Wonders wrap possible We’ve teamed up with Fratello, Monochrome and Revolution to bring you the least official Watches & Wonders wrap possible

We’ve teamed up with Fratello, Monochrome and Revolution to bring you the least official Watches & Wonders wrap possible

Andrew McUtchen

Entertainment is an imperfect art, Zoom is no place to do a Watch Fair debrief, and the integrity of official awards in the watch industry is as eyebrow raising as ever. 

So in the spirit of breaking apart as many of the above rules and issues as possible we bring you something that hopefully falls somewhere between the three – a video series over Zoom that has the founders of four watch media groups (Time+Tide, Monochrome, Revolution and Fratello) picking their favourite watches of the first major fair of the year. To get ready for it, hit our YouTube channel, and hit the bell icon for notifications of when the first one drops. Which is in 13 hours, to be exact! See the schedule below.

Best of all, it has the kind of low-production values you can trust. As for its entertainment value, that depends on your tolerance for unscripted opinions and poor audio quality. We had a pretty good time, which must count for something.  

Consider this sketchy experiment what ‘Drunk History’ is to actual history. What the MTV Music Awards is in comparison to the Grammys. 

It’s the four of us presenting a category each – Under $10k, Dark Horse, Batshit Crazy and Future Forward – and then picking winners. There are many more disagreements than agreements. More bloopers than highlights. In an industry that strives for perfection these are four videos that would be quite happy to settle for mediocrity. 

How can you get involved and what can you win?

As far as we’re concerned, the job is only half done thus far. We’ve chosen our winners, but which among them is the most worthy? Please tell us what you think in the comments of the videos across all our platforms. The deal was that each category host had to offer up a prize to encourage involvement. If you choose your pick from the four options, you go in the running to win the prize.

The prizes range in nature and in desirability. From the watch roll pictured above (sans watches) by Monochrome, to a Cuban cigar (God help Wei getting this out to the winner) pictured below, to our deluxe two-watch slider box, to a Limited Edition Speedmaster Fountain Pen from guess who.

It’s one prize per category, not per channel. So the four of us will be scouring all the comments for the best, the funniest, the most sincere. We’ll also be doing a bunch of polls on social media to see which pick is getting the most traction. No single watch will be declared a winner – covering a watch in glory is not the point at this stage. 

Wei Koh will give away one single cigar. Not the brand pictured, possibly even better.

What are the categories, when are they running and who is hosting what?

Thursday 6th May, 10pm AEDT, 2pm CET, 8am NYC  – Andrew hosts ‘Best Watches under $10kUSD’ – exactly what it says on the tin. 

Friday 7th May, 10pm AEDT, 2pm CET, 8am NYC – Frank Geelen from Monochrome hosts ‘Dark Horse’ – which is the hidden gem award, for the most surprising killer watch

Saturday 8th May, 10pm AEDT, 2pm CET, 8am NYC – Wei Koh from Revolution hosts ‘Batshit Crazy’ – and quickly discovers that everyone interprets this in a different way! 

Sunday 9th May, 10pm AEDT, 2pm CET, 8am NYC – Robert-Jan Broer of Fratello hosts ‘Future Forward’ – celebrating watches that are doing something genuinely innovative

How did this happen?

My take on this question is that, by not seeing each other – and failing to trade wisecracks in the media lounge, as we’ve all done for what felt previously like a lifetime – we realised we actually missed the routine. We started making time to hang. The odd Zoom. Lots of slidey DMs. From my side, the love shown over 2020 was a case of love returned. All three of these fine gentlemen volunteered time, watches and publicity for our charity effort last year. So, in summary, this is something else you can blame on Covid.            

And what did we talk about in these endless message threads and meet-ups? After, “how’s the farm?” and trading lockdown notes, it moved swiftly on to watches. Bloody watches. You’d think, with everything else going on to give us proper perspective, that we’d become more worldly. Not really. The common question was, as it is in the media lounge, what have you liked? The answers were as unvarnished and as interesting as ever. I started out thinking I’d be able to pick my co-hosts’ answers. Truth is, I was way off. This mix made us think to hit the record button and bring it to you, live and almost entirely unedited.

We hope you consume this as irresponsibly as possible – thanks for watching or listening, and thanks in advance for playing in the comments, may the best comments win! See you tonight for episode one….