The watch industry is traditionally a male-dominated space, but we’ve seen women carving out a bigger presence in it—from an expert POV and a shopping standpoint. On social media, specifically, we’re seeing a new wave of experts who are educating their audiences on the world of watches and inspiring a new generation of collectors. Among them are Brynn Wallner of Dimepiece and Trang Trinh of Girls O’Clock, whose content is both educational and entertaining, making the watch world a fun, less intimidating place to enter. As Wallner puts it, “With social media, anyone can talk about it, and there’s no gatekeeping. If you use the tool correctly, then you get your voice heard, and it has the power to impact the entire industry.”
Wallner got her start in the watch world after she was laid off from Sotheby’s in 2020 and set the tone for the new direction of women in the industry. “To me, what I was doing wasn’t all that groundbreaking—it was mostly just identifying watches that celebrities wore, but with my tone and my point of view and the people that I was covering,” Wallner explains. “Scary Spice to Bella Hadid to Princess Diana—all of these women with great style—and I injected my personal sense of humor into it.” Trinh, too, approached the luxury watch space less traditionally. “I began Girls O’Clock with two missions: to be a resource for women who don’t know where to begin in the world of watches and to amplify the dialogue on why women are interested in watches and the styles they lust after, all of which I hope I accomplish with a bit of fun!” Trinh shares. Each of their platforms has resonated in a major way and has translated to a new generation of watch enthusiasts and collectors.
Curious to know more about where the watch world is headed in 2024, I consulted Wallner and Trinh. Ahead, learn about the hot watch trends and styles to own.
“I think a lot of watch brands are adopting the small-watch trend,” explains Wallner. “People in the watch world are probably so sick of hearing me talk about small watches, but when I was on the scene early on, I was like, ‘Why are all of the watches gigantic?'” Wallner recalls the Y2K era when everything was oversize and 41-millimeter Rolex watches were the timepiece of choice for celebs such as model Christie Brinkley, but she notes that this is shifting in a big way.
“It’s not just the ladies that like small watches—it’s the guys too,” Wallner shares. Kylie Jenner was spotted wearing the trend with her Panthère de Cartier at the 2023 US Open, and so was Timothée Chalamet. The actor was seen wearing the same watch courtside at a recent Lakers-Pacers game in Vegas. This may be a silhouette that was designed with women in mind, but it’s setting trends across the watch space.
Panthère de Cartier Watch Mini Model
Alpine Eagle Stainless Steel & 18k Rose Gold Bracelet Watch
Another key trend to know for 2024? Cocktail watches with jewelry-like designs that are intended to be worn at nighttime and for special occasions. Trinh specifically mentions the Cartier Baignoire as a design that is primed for evenings.
This trend aligns with the return of elegant fashion and occasion dressing that we’ve been tracking on and off the runways, which is setting the tone for where fashion is headed in 2024.
Limelight Gala Watch
Serpenti Tubogas Watch
The Most Coveted Watches
The Cartier Baignoire is one of the most talked-about watches in recent memory. The timepiece dates back to 1906 when it was first designed and remains one of the most in-demand watches, especially after the bangle style was introduced at Watches and Wonders in 2023. The watch comes in many iterations, but there is one style that sits at the top of Trinh’s wish list: “a diamond-bezel Baignoire for that touch of glitz in the evening.”
Trinh’s pick aligns with the cocktail-watch trend that is picking up momentum in 2024. The timepieces are elegant, glamorous, and intended for dressed-up special occasions.
The timepiece Wallner recommends has historical significance within the watch world. “I would love a Royal Oak—an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak,” Wallner tells Who What Wear. “That might be the super-basic answer, but it is the first watch I really learned about. If you know anything about the design history, it was designed by Gérald Genta, who is a legendary designer in the watch industry. When it was released in the ’70s, it was a time in the watch industry when it was facing a total existential crisis because of the invention of the quartz movement.” The quartz crisis—aka the introduction of battery-powered watches—at one point threatened the craft of traditional mechanical watch movements.
“All these old-school watchmakers were like, ‘What are we going to do? This battery and this new piece of technology is going to turn us obsolete,'” explains Wallner. “In the face of all of this, Audemars Piguet released the Royal Oak, and it was a total slap in the face to the quartz movement. It really changed the game for the watch industry during that era. It’s so historically significant and just celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.” Not only is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak one of the hottest timepieces on the market, but it’s also steeped in the rich history of watchmaking.
Royal Oak Watch
Royal Oak Watch
Royal Oak Watch
Rolex is a watch brand that is equally coveted among seasoned collectors and those buying their first timepiece. The style to keep your eye on in 2024? The Rolex Yacht-Master is the sportiest style that makes it onto the 2024 list of key watches to own.
“I’m rooting for the Rolex Yacht-Master to make a comeback. I’ve been eyeing a two-tone one for years to achieve that ‘boyfriend’ look on a smaller wrist. It’s cool, at a more accessible price point, and simply sexy. Case in point: Young Victoria and David Beckham wore matching yellow gold Yacht-Masters,” Trinh explains. In fact, the Beckhams wore the coordinating Rolex watches for their 1998 engagement shoot, and all signs point to a resurgence of the iconic timepiece.
One of the ways that the new guard of watch experts is shifting the conversion about watches on social media is a focus on what celebrities are wearing. By simply uncovering the watch styles that stylish celebs own, they are peeling back the curtain on the watches that are in their wardrobes and educating their audience from there.
Which celebrity-owned styles are resonating with the experts themselves? “I’m currently coveting a Patek Nautilus à la Sofia Richie Grainge,” Trinh shares.