Bluewatch, halfwatch, Speedy, macro… Flieger, Tudor, watchpalm, micro. Is it just me or is there a lot of hashtags floating about (granted not as many as podcasts)? Now before you think this is a huge case of pot and kettle, it isn’t. We pay homage to those well-established hashtags that are bigger than we will ever be, the seikosaturdays and bluewatchmondays. Heck we were born out of an epic speedytuesday post.
In the whirlwind 21 weeks, we have existed we have been excited to see numerous new hashtags pop up. We thought this week it was time to give the topic some airtime.
Why bother with hashtags at all? Would the Instagram watch community not be happier just snapping their watches and sharing the photos, it would certainly be a simpler place, but perhaps less fun?
Initially formed as a way of grouping and sorting images on social media, hashtags became an efficient method of finding specific posts. So, it’s only natural when watchgeeks wanted to find watches on Instagram the hashtag #watchesofinstagram became a thing and remains one of (if not) the biggest horology related tags. However, things didn’t need to be so non-specific, you like the Grand Seiko sbgn003, just search and follow the hashtag and presto you have access to all the images posted.
Once we got used to the idea of finding images with tags, we turned attention to ourselves. We soon realised careful use of hashtags would mean our posts would find a bigger audience, and let’s not lie we like that. Rarely will we see a post that doesn’t have at least half a dozen tags to expand its reach.
As social media evolved so did the use of hashtags. Like-minded accounts could bind together and grow to form communities. Thanks to Fratello Watches owners of an Omega speedmaster could compare their speedys with pride, #speedytuesday was soon to become an icon in itself. The same can be applied to #seikosaturday and #bluewatchmonday, great modalities at bringing like-minded watch fans together.
(Editors Note dont forget #SeikoCaterday from @twobrokewatchsnobs….have you heard our collab podcast yet?)
If you know Halfwatchtuesday (HWT) you will be aware how we came about, a simple joke between two mates that took off. Embolden by the numbers of accounts posting partial watch shots with the greatest of creativity, we looked to see what purpose we would serve and really there can be only one overarching reason; to bring people together.
In a world where apps such as Instagram are such behemoths, it’s as easy to get lost as not get found. At #Halfwatchtuesday we were so pleased to be a small place where those with Royal Oaks could mingle with those with G-shocks and feel part of a unified collective; really it has been an honour.
The Instagram world is a rapidly developing space so it is great for us to see accounts come up with new ways in which we can enjoy snapping our beloved pieces. On occasion some have reached out to us for support/advice, this is as delightful as it is humbling.
Not for a second did we set out to achieve anything other than having fun and connecting people. In fact, when it comes to giving out advice we had to scratch our head and really consider what were the important things that happened. So, if you have the thought of starting a hashtag and are interested here’s what we came up with:
Don’t set out to be popular, keep it organic and fun
I hope this is not too unfair, but it would appear that one of the main reasons to start a hashtag is for your own popularity. Whilst we can all agree this is nice, it’s an effect not a cause. We doubt there is a big hunger for hashtags out there, so the motivation has to be to create something engaging and the followers will, well follow. Also, don’t think for a second that having a successful hashtag means your own account will get more popular, my personal account completely stagnated whilst I put all my efforts into Halfwatchtuesday, this is a pattern you can see repeated. The owner of one of our favourite brands had just over 500 followers when I first clicked on his profile, his company has over 10k now.
Don’t make your topic too narrow
I suppose we were very lucky in the fact that HWT has a wide remit, we always joke there are no rules. You can crop a picture, submit a cuff or pocket shot or compose something a little more bespoke, they all count. Perhaps that’s why we have been fortunate enough to have the same great accounts come back again and submit on multiple weeks. For sure #leftlugwednesday sounds cool, but what happens when folks have shown you all their left lugs?
Interact with your favourite accounts big and small
This is a simple and general point, if you don’t let people know you are there, they won’t know you are there. In a world full of accounts, it’s the ones that interact that get noticed the most. One of the things that has really helped raise our profile is the presence of an Instagram page. Having a focal point greatly aided our accessibility and helped us connect easily with many new pals.
Nothing is more exciting than coming up with an idea and nurturing it yourself. No one will implement your vision better than you, so don’t fear those who try to steal your work, ignore them. And although it might be tempting to look at what someone is doing and try to recreate the idea for yourself, collaborating with them might yield even greater success.
Respect the family
Ok, I love watches, but I equally love coffee, road cycling and burgers, so why is my Instagram so horology based, simple, the community. In the Instagram watchfam you have one of the most enthusiastic and positive collectives I have come across. Slap on a £100 Seiko that you never thought much about and you will get numerous messages congratulating you on your fine choice. The community are a joy to engage. When it comes to hashtags you will go further thinking what can you do for the community than the reciprocal.
Map where you want to go
All good things end. It’s as important to have a good end as a good start. We’d be lying if we said we hadn’t thought about how far HWT can go. If it was to all end tomorrow, we want to be happy with the great opportunity we have been given. Fear not though we have a long way to go and some great stuff in the pipeline. If it’s money you want to make out of it, please drop us a line to tell us how you do, as we wouldn’t have a clue how that is possible and nor is it our motivation.
Be prepared to put in some serious work
HWT isn’t just about Tuesday because it takes up the whole week (just ask Mrs. Jalapeno). I was spending on average 3-5 hours a day just on Instagram with sometimes 2000 visits to the app in a week. When not actively doing stuff for HWT I was chatting to other accounts to try and ensure we keep up momentum and engagement. As I half joke to Nic we are #alwaysworking. Coming up with a catchy hashtag and instapage is only the start.
Did we think of any of this prior to starting? No. we were just two mates having a laugh and in essence that will always remain the case, and that’s our best advice. The above points are what we have come up with as reasons we are still here. So regardless if you are a misaligned on a Monday, wrist rolling on a Wednesday or strap changing on the Sabbath we support you and wish you every success.
Whilst we enjoy this new age of numerous hashtags it’s important we pay homage to the community who have supported us so well with our weekly look at the Halfwatchtuesday top pics.
We start with an absolute cracker brought to us by the brilliant @watchmakers_view. He has shown us some stunning IWCs, but none beat the stunning Pallweber Tribute with it’s amazing art deco design and digital display it might even top the Zietwerk. Dude you have the dream job.
@right_hand_watch was up to his usual magic with this inspired interplanetary gif featuring an ever-dependable Seiko 5. Click on his account for the full effect.
@eriksstrickland is ready for some serious rough action with this lesser spotted Seiko IZUL bullhead chrono. Whilst a tank on the outside, this monster has the sophistication of a spring drive movement…the very definition of Beauty and the Beast. Thank you and welcome to the movement.
Sometimes a shot is just so sharp and clean it demands to be applauded. Up steps @wildwristwatch to serve up just that with this beautiful Sub sub.
Quick story, when looking for my own first big purchase Mrs. Jalapeno noticed something she liked in the shop window, it was the first >15000 gauss Aquaterra. The bumblebee hand and yellow numerals just popped. Down the line I was the owner of an AT and loved it. Thanks to @jbmjbm0 for such a great shot of that iconic seconds hand.
We have the floral clock in Edinburgh but @watchthewatchman shows us it ain’t a patch on the beautiful L’horloge fleurie a fixture since the mid 50s it’s one of the iconic attractions of Geneva.
This week we saw many amazing mashups submitted, it was hard to pick just one to include but this beauty from @watchaddictwt merging an el-primero and moonwatch was just chrono perfection.
Last up is our good friend @watchoniste who captured the magic of the totally underrated Cartier Ballon Bleu in a way few could. I have to admit it is a favourite of mine, with one of the most special crowns in the business.
We are just too excited to welcome @isotope.watches to the halfwatch family. They have treated us to something very special, the Goutte d’Eau Orange and Nordblad special edition, signed by world record freediver Johanna Nordblad. Both are great looking pieces and are available to pre-order in a number of options direct from www.isotopewatches.com.
You have divers, you have drivers, but have you ever seen a Driver-Diver? That is just what @goodspeedwatches have come up with and we think it looks really awesome! A legible chrono with cushion case and a Seagull movement makes for a tasty proposition. Hitting Kickstarter on 7th October.
We love keeping our ear on the ground to find out about some tasty pieces that might be around the corner. This HWT we are excited to welcome @zeitstoff to the party. If you are looking for a clean, robust design, with a very unique looking integrated bracelet they might just have the watch for you. Projected to launch in early 2020 it looks a compelling package. Check out their instagram which tracks their journey so far.
Finally, a shout out for our buddy @Barkandjack. Not content with nailing the Nato strap market with his class leading wares he has only gone and brought out a range of premium Shell Cardovan straps. If you have bought one of Adrian’s natos you will know the quality is top class and we expect no different with these, check them out at www.barkandjack.shop. Best of luck mate, we know these will fly.
Well guys that’s a wrap. As we speak we are told the scottishwatches instagram has been blocked, no doubt deservedly so, who knows if they will even have a web presence by the time this is ready to upload. Until next week, may your Fridays be lumed, your Mondays Blue, but your Tuesdays definitely Halved.
(Editors Note: It will surprise no one to find out it was my prehistoric Farmer Rick I.T that caused our issues, and not a cease and disist notice, will need to try harder)
Omair (@jumpingjalapeno) for Halfwatchtuesday