In The New Year, Watch Enthusiasts Should Resolve to Stop Caring About Other People’s Opinions. That’s the title of Ariel Adams’ editorial. Hang on. If I don’t care about his opinion that I shouldn’t care about his opinion, then I’m free to care about his opinion that I shouldn’t care about his opinion. Never mind. I stopped caring about Mr. Adams’ opinion when the founding editor of ablogtowatch.com made it clear his website is in the business of kissing the industry’s *ss. Only that’s not how he describes it . . .
aBlogtoWatch recommends stories about watches that you might like, but we are anything but product pushers. We are more like cheerleaders for the greater habit of finding joy through watch collecting. As long as you are wearing a watch that suits you, we are happy – but, on a personal note, I genuinely do not get any extra happiness by seeing people wearing the same watch as me. If anything, for the sake of variety, I prefer people to wear watches other than what is on my wrist.
In my carefree opinion, aBlogtoWatch is nothing BUT a product pushing machine. Their “reviews” are only critical on extremely rare occasions; blink and you’ll miss it. And when I use the word “critical,” think of a small, toothless animal trying to gum you to death. And that’s without flagging the fact that ABTW publishes “sponsored” posts and co-produces watches. Oops!
As for Mr. Adams’ answer to the question no one asked him – how do you feel when you see someone wearing the same watch? – it’s good to know he doesn’t get any “extra” happiness from the horological equivalent of the “OMG we’re both wearing the same dress!” faux pas. Just a little bit, and no more! (Or something may happen, you never know what.)
Ariel Adam’s editorial is advising his readers to think independently. I think. As always, it’s hard to know exactly what he’s on about; Mr. Adams’ writing style is both florid and obtuse. Which is a fancy way of saying it’s too fancy. WARNING! Death by text block ahead! TL;DR types – skip to translation.
Being able to collect a broad spectrum of designs and concepts – all wearable on your wrist – is a huge reason why I continue to admire the hobby of being into watches. I believe this should be a driving force of all good collecting behavior. I never thought much of this until a few years ago I started to notice an interesting area of dismay in the watch collector community. More and more people seemed to have resentment toward the “watch personality community” for leading them into watches they did not actually end up enjoying. In essence, someone would do a video or write an article talking about some particular watch – and in the midst of that they would actually advocate that someone buys it. Sales-y watch coverage is nothing new, but the proliferation of influencer-style media that actually proactively suggests that consumers buy something is not a facet of the watch media space that I would have anticipated a few years back.
Translation: people are pissed about buying pimped pieces. Again, Mr. Adams sees himself as a cheerleader, not a pimp – in the same way that modeling agency employees call themselves “mother agents.” Anyway, our man Oscar’s question – does Mr. Adams pay himself by the word? – never seemed so appropriate. Especially for a man who is about as self-aware as a certain U.S. President I could name.
. . . it is good advice to ignore anyone who tells you that you “must” buy any one item to find joy. Maybe that item brought someone else joy – but that is not a formula for ensuring that other people likewise find joy in those things. Distilling this concept down even further, I simply recommend that people largely ignore other people’s opinions about watches. Do learn from those people. Listen to facts, details, and insight.
Ariel Adams’ editorial makes an invidious distinction between his blog’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Watch “reviews” (facts, details, insights!) and equally uncritical content cranked out by social media “influencers” (BUY THIS WATCH! IT’S FREAKING AWESOME!).
In fact, Mr. Adams’ reviews are just as likely to result in buyer’s remorse as the Instagram and YouTube influencers’ output. Plenty of readers buy into Mr. Adams’ delusional belief that he and his staff are objective experts – a fundamentally flawed view betrayed by the fact that Mr. Adams extorts smaller watch brands for coverage. Amongst other things.
Ariel Adams’ editorial has a final piece of advice: “Ignore people’s opinions to find truer happiness in wristwatches.” It’s uncharacteristically succinct and seriously stupid. What he meant to say: “take other people’s opinions on watches with a grain of salt.” Then again, maybe not. Maybe he meant to say “ignore anyone else’s opinion but mine.” Which accounts for my opinion of his, if you know what I mean.