Team Watchonista’s Hopes, Dreams, Expectations, And Predictions For 2021
We share our thoughts and forecasts about what the upcoming watch year has in store for us.
The year 2020 is now safely behind us, and even if nothing really changed between December 31st and January 1st, can we just pretend it did? So, to kick off the new year in a positive way, we share our expectations, hopes, and dreams for 2021.
Marco Gabella (Co-Founder & Executive Publiser)
I am sure that many of us have pretty much the same expectation for 2021: A return to normality. After all, humankind is a social animal who needs others.
But when you look a little closer at what we had to brave in 2020 and how inventive we were at finding solutions to keep going, there is a lot of hope that comes from our resilience.
It is perhaps prudent not to wish for a total return to normality as some fundamental changes will need to remain in the future, but I hope we learn from the experience. In a global world full of challenges, where the work of states, countries, and international organizations is not always enough, maybe the path of common resilience is the road we need to take.
As for the watch industry, I was impressed by how brands – both large and small – found ways to continue to progress, even when there was no available road map. I am sincerely proud to be part of a company that adjusted to the new reality and rethought the fundamentals as quickly as Watchonista did.
As we all know, the watch industry is no stranger to the periodic existential crisis since its beginnings in the middle of the 19th century. And I believe that it will overcome this crisis too, but I hope that this new resilience will stay with us so that the watch industry, including its retailers, will be better prepared for the next global disruption.
Josh Shanks (Editor-in-Chief)
If 2020 was any indication, we shouldn’t set our 2021 expectations very high, if only to avoid being disappointed. In all seriousness, though, I am looking forward to life in a post-COVID world. I’m hoping for an efficient vaccine rollout and a return to live events. Personally, I would love to attend some concerts and races in 2021, and let’s hope that by late summer or fall, we’ll be doing exactly that.
On the horological front, I’m optimistic about our industry. I hope to see brands continue to adapt and thrive in our new reality. If 2020 was any indication, I think we’ll see the continued embrace of digital and social media for launches and events. But, again, I’m hopeful that we can gather physically together as an industry at some point. Perhaps COUTUREtime in Las Vegas?
Kyle Snarr (Chief Marketing Officer)
The new year has arrived, and for me, it feels full of hope and optimism. I like that it seems as though so many are unitedly trying to make this year feel better than last. I’m looking forward to channeling those positive vibes into honing some of the hobbies and skills I’ve picked up during nearly a year of quarantining and working from home. I think as a trend, there will continue to be more cycling, more running, and more DIY pursuits from folks who, like myself, were forced to come up with creative ways to make home-life feel more productive and fun.
In terms of watch industry, I’m hoping for there to be some genuinely fresh watch designs this year. As much as I’m a sucker for heritage reissues and throwback homages, I love seeing watch brands take risks and infuse new thinking into the industry. I’m excited about the possibilities of combining traditional watchmaking techniques with the latest in technology, graphic design, and fashion. I think 2021 is a perfect year for everything in our lives, including the watches we wear, to feel fresh and new again in a definitive way.
Liam O’Donnell (Senior Photographer)
What a year 2020 was! In 2021 I expect to see the vast majority of businesses, especially watch brands, further bolster their online presence through e-commerce, streaming events, and augmented reality experiences.
Here’s to wishing we can enjoy these events together in person, safely, and without (life-threatening) consequence! I miss seeing all the wonderful people in the horology industry and making new friends at events and trade shows. I hope we can make 2021 our best, most fun year yet, both personally and professionally.
Viviana Shanks (Social Media Manager and Editor)
I’m entering 2021 with no expectations. However, I wish that there will be more widespread recognition and acceptance of women wearing men's watches.
From 2021 and onward, I would like to see more brands posting and advertising about women wearing watches initially designed for men without having outraged people saying it is not “right.” Omega started the trend last summer, and women watch collectors were thrilled!
Sophie Furley (Editor-at-Large)
One of my hopes for 2021 is that we see more watch brands embracing sustainability. And not just the sustainability that makes for a nice marketing story – although as a journalist, I love these too. No, I mean taking a long hard look at how to achieve sustainable practices at every level of business.
One of the myths about corporate sustainability efforts is that it costs more, but the reality is that it doesn’t have to be a trade-off. Sound practices can improve a company’s bottom line and its resilience during challenging times, so it makes sense for businesses, for the planet, and for all of us who want our perpetual calendars to run forever! If you are interested in the topic, check out the book Transformative Markets by Robert Ludke, who gives concrete recommendations for driving change for profit and the planet. Feel free to share your thoughts with us too. We would love to hear your expectations, hopes, and dreams for the watch industry in 2021.
Rhonda Riche (Editor-at-Large)
After a year of constant recalibration, I expect that the watch business will continue to grow its online presence in the new year. Not just in sales but also community. My hope is that this will also result in a more sustainable and equitable distribution of timepieces.
The love of watches has not waned for most enthusiasts, even if priorities may have shifted. I hope that we continue to favor fun over flex in 2021.
(Photography by Watchonista)