THE FACEBOOK DIVER’S WATCHES GROUP – THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA
MICHAEL STOCKTON JAN 14, 2017
It’s true that when Gil Scott-Heron wrote in 1970 that, “the Revolution Will Not be Televised”, he wasn’t referring to the watch industry. With what we’ve seen lately, though, it’s looking more and more like the revolution is likely to take place via Social Media – or perhaps we’re already in the thick of massive changes in the way watches are marketed and sold. We saw just this past week the Omega Speedy Tuesday Limited Edition sell out in record time all with clicks or finger taps – an experiment that had never really been tried before by such a large and prominent brand. But what about the grass-roots movement? Is there anything happening out there aside from the continued surge in online-only brands? For sure there is and let me introduce you to the Facebook Diver’s Watches Group.
The Facebook Diver’s Watches Group
Facebook groups are nothing new, but over the last five or so years, they’ve grown exponentially. Why is that? First off, they’re free and that immediately gives them an advantage over forums. Second, they’re very easy to set up and set security levels such as public, private and secret. Finally, they can be made to focus on whatever topic – no matter how specific. Just think of your favorite watch-related category and someone has likely created a group where like-minded collectors can share their enthusiasm and gain knowledge. Well, Andreas Gregoriades of LocalTime, a watch shop in Cyprus, founded one such group in 2011, the Facebook Diver’s Watches Group. Since then, it has become the largest watch group on Facebook with almost 29,000 members!
A Group Collaborates for its Own Watches
So when something becomes as large as the Facebook Diver’s Watches Group, is there support for club-themed products? Sure, t-shirts and stickers are great, but Andreas felt the need to go further; he set out to create special edition watches featuring the group’s logo. As you’ll see, though, the watches that the group created aren’t simply about a logo – no, they either introduced an entirely new watch or brought new technology to an existing model. Let’s take a closer look.
Watch #1, The Aquadive Bathyscape
The first partnership, in Summer of 2016, watch for Facebook Diver’s Watches Group members was the 1000M water resistant Aquadive Bathyscape MKII. Aquadive, a well known dive watch maker originally from Geneva (this watch is made in Germany), entered into a project with the group to make 25 pieces at roughly $1,700 per piece. But as mentioned, and you can see the regular production Bathyscape 100 “MKI” here, the group’s watch isn’t just window dressing. The group’s piece, like the original, is made of 316L stainless steel, but it goes a step further by introducing case hardening that gives it 10X the hardness and thereby changing the material name to S100. It also introduced a new blue ceramic bezel versus the normal black of the 100.
Unique and Innovative…
The Facebook Diver’s Watches Group effort with Aquadive didn’t stop there, though. A new case was employed that is 2mm thinner and 2mm longer than the existing Bathyscape. Of course, the watches were numbered on the back up to 25. Inside, the venerable ETA 2836-2 was featured and that means a date and hacking.
To round things out, a black rubber strap from the legendary maker Isofrane was fitted. Oh, and it took a mere 3 days for the production run to sell out…
Social Media is Selling Watches
In the past, most would have viewed the Facebook Diver’s Watches Group as simply a group. It’s a place where members celebrate with pictures of their favorite divers and, trust me, there’s everything from Invicta to Rolex and new to old. It shows, though, how groups like this have become relatively powerful and in a watch industry that’s becoming more flexible and, for the most part, is battling a tough economy, these groups now have some say. Let’s also credit faster, less expensive, high quality global manufacturing that has made the opportunity to design custom runs of watches far easier than in the past. Still, though, Social Media is an instantaneous feedback model and it’s nice to see that brands are listening and starting to seize opportunities.
About Michael Stockton
Contributor at Fratello Watches
Michael has worked in the Automotive Industry and is currently in the Electronics Industry. When he’s not cruising at 30,000 feet, he calls Germany home. Michael became interested in watches at a young age through the influence of his father. His interests lie in a wide array of watches, but he has a real passion for vintage chronographs.
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