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Small watch brands find an equaliser in Instagram

Independent watch brands have the edge of large conglomerates when it comes to the photo sharing platform.

As a platform for visually appealing images and a channel of communication with fans, Instagram has proven to be a boon for small watch brands.

Take 22-year old independent company Urwerk. Its number of followers is slightly ahead of Breguet, which has 109,000 but over 200 years of history and is backed by the mighty Swatch Group.

(RELATED: Why modern watch designers rarely become well-known personalities.)

The key to a brand’s online success has a lot to do with how they connect with fans. Roger Smith (header image), a British independent watchmaker who makes 10 pieces a year, has a sizeable following of over 24,000, due in large part to the more intimate nature of his posts, showing not just images of watches and movements, but also of what life is like on the Isle of Man in the British Isles, where his workshop is based. It’s not just intimacy fans crave, but transparency. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to set the real tone or attitude of your company,” explains MB&F founder Maximilian Busser.

“The way you answer comments shows who you are. Most big corporations in our industry don’t seem to understand this, and continue to churn out the same corporate messages and images that populate their press kits. The major difference between ‘normal’ media and social media is that we shift from monologue to dialogue.”