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It's time for you to meet Brynn Wallner. I'm sorry. I couldn't resist the pun. Wallner, a creative consultant and writer based out of New York City, fell in love with watches when she was working on an editorial project with the watch department at Sotheby's.
While working on the project, Wallner realized that there was a gap in the industry that needed to be filled: Where were the women in the watch business? She set out to change that and move away from the "boys club" energy she saw in the watch world when she launched Dimepiece in 2020.
What started as an Instagram account dedicated to highlighting pop culture darlings in iconic watches has grown into a dot-com presence, with interviews and guides for beginners on how to enter the watch space.
Listen to Wallner share how she broke into the watch space, the factors that people should take when considering purchasing a luxury watch, and so much more on the latest episode of Who What Wear With Hillary Kerr.
For some excerpts from her interview, scroll below.
Can you walk us through how you explain your elevator pitch for your company?
Dimepiece is a platform dedicated to all things women and watches. When you said you don't know anything about watches, you are exactly who I'm trying to speak to. It's an Instagram account, and it's a website designed to inspire and educate women on becoming smarter consumers when it comes to watches because watches are a luxury item.
They're very expensive. The world can be very intimidating. It's a total boys club. If you find yourself wanting a watch or even if you've never thought about watches before and you decide this is something you want to invest in, Dimepiece is your resource. It's built to just make it less scary, honestly.
I think one of your many skills is the fact that you are so great at both breaking down and demystifying the world of watch buying. What factors do you encourage folks and women to take into consideration when they are embarking on a luxury watch purchase of their own?
First, you have to go into it kind of understanding the landscape, and the world of watches is in total flux right now. It is so crazy.
In 2020, the value and the demand for watches went through the roof. I think what happened is the pandemic hit. People started panicking, particularly wealthy people noticed how unstable the market is, stocks, what have you. The demand for tangible items that hold their value really went up.
You saw prices in art skyrocketing. Watches were included in that sector of luxury, which is so crazy because people were struggling, and it was such a hard time financially for so many people.
The wealthy people were just trying to be smart with their money, and the value over the past few years of watches has been insane. This has trickled down into the consumer experience. Walk into any Rolex store in the world, and the shelves are empty. I'm not even exaggerating.
I think the reason why that is is because Rolex has a number of high-profile VIP returning customers. Before the watches even have a chance to hit the stores, they get scooped up by people on the wait list or returning customers.
If you are embarking on your watch journey and you're like, "Okay, I saved up $15,000. I want to buy a Rolex Submariner," you can't buy that new, which is crazy.
Immediately, you're hit with that obstacle, and I think what's been happening is the pre-owned slash secondary market has been on the rise and has become people's primary right resource for watch buying.
Once you get into that, it's so confusing. Google what you want and you get a million different results, and it's all priced differently, and you don't really know what's legit and what's not. Are you getting ripped off? It's really scary.
It's a huge task to demystify that whole process. I, myself, am learning along the way too. I'll be the first to admit that I just got into watches two or three years ago. It's a whole world that you're just scratching the surface with. I think because I'm learning along the way too, the way that I speak about it is very accessible just by nature of where I'm coming from.
Are there any trends that are happening right now and watches that relate back to any other decade?
We saw in the early aughts, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and all these ladies wearing the big men's watches. It was almost a statement like, "These watches are made for men, but we can pull them off, and look how cool it looks." Everybody followed suit.
You would think with the 2000s Y2K trends coming back around that the big chunky watches would follow, but I think that bigger watches remained in style for the watch enthusiast. If you ask a woman who's very steeped in the watch world, she is inclined toward men's watches. We're talking 36-millimeter and up.
I am into smaller watches, and when I was on my own hunt, I was like, I don't like the way these big watches look on me. They dominate my wrist. I want something that's daintier, but most people would see that as like, "Oh, what? Are you living in the 1950s?"
We're post-post-woke feminism. I think it's cool to lean into the daintiness and the ladyness. That's the ultimate fuck you, where you can truly lean into something that was marketed as dainty or as very womanly but still wear it with a lot of power and confidence.