If you like watches at all, you have certainly seen wristshots, and perhaps you have even posted your very own few. Here I’m talking not about advertising images or photos published by journalists, but instead individuals’ photos of their own, or others’, watches worn on the wrist.
Like the selfie (a related form of expression that was also obscure in the relatively recent past), wristshots appear to be pervasive nowadays. In any case, where did they come from and for what reason do they exist?
Wristshots: the early days
Though the start of this phenomenon wasn’t that quite a while in the past, I have to confess that I’m not altogether sure when, where, or how the practice of posting wristshots online began despite the fact that I have done some research on the topic.
As far as I can tell, notwithstanding, the wristshot development really began to gain force when participants on various forums began to launch “what’s on your wrist today?” threads.
These threads were fun at first, however after some time began to get somewhat annoying: if somebody didn’t have any original perspectives to express, yet wanted to get a lot of hits and responses to a post, they could simply put up a photo of the watch on their wrist that day and ask others to pitch in.
After some time, some forum moderators found a way to segregate these threads: on PuristSPro, for instance, through the creation of a week after week Friday “Wrist Scan” competition that persists right up ’til today and draws countless creative photos each week.
The want to show a watch on one’s wrist was not so easily contained, nonetheless. Both on individuals’ pages and in dedicated “wrist scan” groups, platforms like Facebook and Instagram began flooding the web with images of wrist after wrist bearing watches of all types, brands, and price points.
Pretty rapidly, new constructions and traditions began to arise. On May 29, 2012, for example, fratellowatches.com launched the now-popular ” Speedy Tuesday ” week by week feature about Omega Speedmasters.
These days we also have Tourbillon Tuesday, Caseback Thursday, and I’m certain various other week after week “days” that I’m not aware of in addition to the deluge of individual images put up each day.
The wristshot as a method of expression is by all accounts setting down deep roots, as confirmed by the popularity of Watchonista’s Wristshot group on Facebook.
An great inquiry, no doubt – and as I’m the one composing the set of experiences here, I’ll take the freedom of asserting a taxonomy of motivations, from tame to titillating, for certain examples along the way.
* Reporting: this type of wristshot surfaced very early on, as enthusiasts who saw watches at shows or retailers willingly volunteered to snap shots of the pieces to tell others what they looked like on the wrist. Today, my friend F.X. Overstake remains the master of this style; he has access to a gigantic range of watches, and the straightforward photos on his blog Equation du Temps and his social media feeds provide a real impression of what you may expect if you put the watch all alone wrist.
* Love: got another watch or an old favorite? No better way to show your affection than to post an image on the web and bask in the flow of “wear it healthy” or “another great shot” responses. All the better if the watch being referred to is an object of want for many watchers (like the Dufour Simplicity, for instance) or a rarely seen watch that many people may never have a chance to handle in person.
* Friendship: when old buddies get together to share watches, it’s usually an opportune chance to capture a few wristshots like the wild sight of four A. Lange & Söhne Lange Double Splits in a single small space that we captured at a gatherer occasion. Here I’d also incorporate the variety of charming husband-wife dual wristshots that have been arising on the scene recently.
* Celebration: watch-related occasions call for visual capture! Regardless of whether it’s the opening of a brand’s new shop or an occasion like the Jaeger-LeCoultre-sponsored benefit for ovarian cancer , themed wrist shots can help to give a feeling of the occasion.
* Astonishment: this is the “you’ll never accept what I saw” category. Once in a while, one has the opportunity to strap on a watch so expensive or unusual that you simply have to share with others, regardless of whether it’s a friend’s special piece or you’ve had the good fortune to sneak upstairs at the Patek Philippe store in Geneva and wear that cathedral-ring chronograph you’ve just dreamed about. This category also incorporates “brushes with greatness” like a photo I took of three A. Lange & Söhne Pour Le Mérite Tourbillons, remembering one for Walter Lange’s own wrist.
* Artistic expression: there are some pretty images out there that happen to incorporate wrists and watches! From Paris rooftop shots to the beautifully illuminated disposition pieces of vintage Breitlings and other smaller and vintage brands favored by my friend Fred, for example, it is possible to inspire feeling through the pure visuals of a very much taken wristshot. As an aside, our friend, tennis and watch journalist Miguel Seabra, has also taken the wristshot to an art form, many examples of which you can see on his Facebook page Miguel Seabra Tennis & Timepieces. Elizabeth has even spied him giving broad exercises to other enthusiasts!
* Humor: indeed, wristshots can be whimsical! Teddy bear wrists, small watches on meaty arms, over-the-top bling, and even the “ankle shot” classification favored by my Singapore pal Kevin; all those, and more, can generate grins and even laughs.
At the day’s end, most if not all of the above-referenced motivations home inside one greater one: association. Repeat after me: it’s all about the people!
Whether it’s expressing shared brand pride, recollecting minutes together, or putting forth a valiant effort to show a watch in its best light, posting a wristshot is by definition an act of outreach to other people. Survey others’ images with pleasure, commenting on them, and encouraging different enthusiasts in their gathering and photographic habits are truly enjoyable parts of our shared hobby.
Less wonderful wristshots: don’t allow this to happen to you
No form of expression is without its less savory side; sadly, I should confess that I’ve been liable of at least one of the wristshot sins illustrated underneath, yet I pledge to improve in future, and hope others will as well – although frankly I don’t have much hope.
* Bragging: it’s a slender line between sharing something cool with others and bragging about your material prosperity. If I’m straightforward about it, I’ve headed toward the dark side on this a few times with things like my arrangement of barbeque flame broil images of a portion of my most delightful pieces. Is the message “Isn’t this fun?” or “For what reason am I doing this? Because I can – and you can’t!”
* Exhibitionism: you have a girlfriend – congratulations! This doesn’t mean that it makes any sense to take, and then post, a photo of your wrist in front of her breasts. As for you folks who attempt this stunt, yet with a photo of a woman rather than a real person out of sight: get a grip.
* Inappropriate situations: as the selfie goes, so eventually goes the wristshot, regardless. Happily, my search didn’t turn up any “funeral” or “Chernobyl” wristshots, however I did find this whopper with the caption “Wristshot during labor? Check!”
* Food: I realize you eat because we as a whole do. Be that as it may, with the possible exception of the greatest single course you were served at a Michelin three-star restaurant, I don’t have to see photos of your food. Really, I don’t. And I have to confess that the zillion of photos online of watches in front of cups of coffee and plates of nondescript food make no sense to me whatsoever.
* Gross anatomy: this current one’s entirely subjective, I suppose – however for some time we were seeing a spate of watches dangling between the toes of men’s feet. I was a “no” on that for sure. Same for those unintended underwear shots where we see a reflection of the proprietor’s tighty-whities in the bezel. And whatever you do, don’t consider taking that lavatory shot – I’m asking you!
* Size mismatches: if are you asking yourself, “Is this watch too enormous for my wrist?” have confidence it is. Nobody wants to see those hauls hanging out in space, and the wide-angle nature of most point-and-shoot and phone focal points makes watches on the wrist look significantly greater than they actually are.
* Protective instincts: Panerais with the silicone case protectors still in place and watches encased in plastic wrap or with heaps of blue protective film still obvious. Really?
Before you post: shutting thoughts
So what, if anything, does this mean for each of us? Perhaps that it merits a snapshot of reflection on one’s thought processes before posting that image online.
Does your blend of images incorporate almost everything in the crate, or are you just posting your most expensive pieces? Does your usual post comprise of five similar top-end watches spread up your arm with the inquiry “Gracious dear – which one today?” Do in excess of 33% of your pictures incorporate the logo of an expensive car brand out of sight? You should ponder what’s really behind your wristshot practices.
I’m persuaded that if and when the apocalypse happens, somebody will post a wristshot of it! Please don’t leave that person alone you.
And on the positive side, if, similar to me, you survey your portfolio and see a sea of near-identical images of some watch on your bare wrist with nothing out of sight, consider blending it up. I realize that I love seeing wristshots that incorporate setting or artistic components, and I’m certain that others do as well.
But the greater part of all, have fun!
This article was first published on March 2, 2015 at Wristshots: The Story So Far .
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