Watchonista’s 30 Under 30(ish) List for 2023
Our 30 Under 30(ish) List is back with our second annual round-up of 30 people under (and sometimes people a little bit older than) 30 who we believe are changing the face and culture of the watch world for the better.
We believe that the future is going to bring great things. That’s because we’ve been working on Watchonista’s annual 30 Under 30(ish) List of horological movers and shakers.
We’ve followed the next generation of collectors and influencers on social media and met many watchmakers and enthusiasts in person. And while they come from every walk of life and come at their love of watches from different angles, they all share a passion and curiosity about watches that have taken our love for the art to new places. Therefore, the 30 names on our list represent some of the best and the brightest (and youngest) names working in almost every area of the watch industry.
So, without further ado, Watchonista presents, in alphabetical order, our second annual 30 Under 30(ish) List!
Presenting: Watchonista’s 30 Under 30(ish) List for 2023
Back in March 2022, eleven-year-old Amandine first caught our attention when she starred in a reel on Phillips’ auction house’s Instagram. In it, the bright Genevoise offers her fresh and unfiltered thoughts on the MB&F HM6, Ming x Massena LAB, Rolex Deep Sea Special, Bulgari Octo Finissimo, and Harry Winston Opus 1. And as Watchonista’s own Steven Rogers wrote a few months later: “She is a real inspiration to the next generation of watch fans.”
At only 25, Alexandre Arnault became one of luxury fashion’s youngest chief executives when he took the helm at Rimowa. Now, at the age of 30, he is Executive Vice President of Products & Communications at Tiffany & Co., where his unique perspective on the jet-set life is helping make the brand relevant to a whole new generation of collectors through collaborations with brands like Patek Philippe and Nike.
(Photo by Celeste Sloman)
The first (but not the last) journalist on our list who crossed over, Logan Baker, formerly of Hodinkee and WatchTime Magazine, has taken his wealth of watch knowledge and considerable journalistic bona fides to Phillips. And even though he’s the new kid at the auction house, he’s already bringing a unique storytelling angle to some of the company’s most interesting lots.
Teddy Baldassarre is redefining the sales game from his base in Cleveland. As founder and creative director of his eponymous online retail store, he’s used his online media presence (with a reach of over 5 million watch enthusiasts each month) to educate consumer while also building bonds with brands. In fact, Teddy Baldassare is a fully Authorized Dealer for 35 of the watch industry’s leading manufactures, including Longines, NOMOS Glashütte, Oris, Rado, Baume & Mercier, Tissot, Hamilton, Junghans, and Maurice Lacroix.
A designer by training, British watchmaker Richard Benc kickstarted his own microbrand Studio Underd0g in 2020. And though his whimsical creations have an undeniably playful vibe – the brand’s first big hit, the pink and green bicompax Watermel0n, is a prime example of this – Benc has a strong point of view and is definitely someone to be taken seriously by the enthusiast community.
Dillon Bhatt started collecting watches while still a precocious university student in India but soon turned that passion into a profession. And after having worked with high-end brands like Rolls-Royce, De Bethune, Panerai, and Greubel Forsey, to name a few, Bhatt is focusing his efforts on championing Web 3.0 and blockchain technology within the luxury goods space.
Every watch collector is as unique as their collection. Take, for example, Jaeho “Jay” Chang, a Korean-born doctoral candidate at Oxford. As his Instagram handle @pleasegivemecashmere and website of the same name suggests, Chang is also a student of the finer things in life, so it makes perfect sense that his favorite pieces include classic vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre and Ulysse Nardin.
While Web 3.0 has helped the watch industry grow over the last few tumultuous years, nothing can beat the boutique experience for building relationships. That is why the Boston-based, family-run Long’s Jewelers has tapped Angelika Chen to oversee its freestanding Rolex boutique, bringing an elevated connection to New England. Can we call it Boutique 3.0?
Chris Coe is a Brooklyn-based storyteller, except he uses a camera instead of a pen to bring a cinematographer’s eye to the usually close-up world of watch photography. And after you take just one look at his portfolio, it will come as no surprise that Watchonista has leaped at the chance to employ his services on more than one occasion.
A graduate of the renowned Lycée Edgar Faure watchmaking school in Morteau, France, when the now 26-year-old Remy Cools was 17 (and only two years into his watchmaking studies), he was named the best watchmaking apprentice of France in 2014, receiving a national medal. Then, at SIHH 2018, Cools won the Young Talent Competition, an international contest organized by F.P.Journe and the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH). And by the time Watchonista ran a profile on him in 2020, he had left the workshops of Greubel Forsey to start his eponymously named, subscription-based brand. So, we think it’s safe to say he has a bright future ahead of him.
Using her savoir fair as a stylist and writer at publications ranging from High Snobiety to Hodinkee, UK ex-pat Malaika Crawford has reframed the conversation about watches with wit and many pop cultural reference points. Plus, as co-host of the hilarious Killing Time with Brynn and Malaika Podcast, she and Brynn Wallner (founder of Dimepiece and one of last year’s 30 Under 30(ish) honorees) bring their honest and relatable opinions straight to your earbuds.
(Photo by David Brandon Geeting)
Since its launch in 2020, good friends and co-workers at the multi-brand luxury retailer Watches of Switzerland, co-hosts Perri Dash, Ben Grullon, and Rashawn Smith have been kind enough to invite us all into their social circle with the popular Wrist Check Podcast. This weekly meet-up, which features appearances by interesting collectors and insiders, always reminds us why we love watches so much in the first place – it’s the community!
Philippe Dufour is regarded as one of the greatest modern watchmakers to come out of the Vallée de Joux. So, when we learned that he had passed down his passion for handcrafted mechanisms to his daughter Danièla, who has joined the family business as a watchmaker, we here at Watchonista were overjoyed. In fact, the entire Dufour family enchanted attendees at Watches & Wonders 2023 as they strolled the halls in matching red jackets.
At some point, every collector becomes a dealer of sorts. One’s curiosity leads to an over-accumulation of watches, so the herd must get culled. Alessandro Fanciulli is unique in that he also collects knowledge by working with heritage brands like Longines or partnering with legendary collectors like John Goldberger to paint a multi-generational picture of every rarity he sells on the Avocado Vintage Watches website.
Toronto-based baker Lindsey Gazel has run her namesake business, Lindsey Bakes, for over ten years, and in that time, she’s created cookies shaped like Air Jordan’s, Birkenstocks, and Drake. However, beyond footwear and pop culture, her delicacies are beloved by watch fans, baking up Rolexes, Cartier Crashes, and Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks. In fact, we were recently treated to baked versions of Bulova’s 2023 novelties; they were delicious.
As President of the Movado Brand & SVP of E-Commerce, Margot Grinberg cut her teeth in the Movado Group’s Digital Center of Excellence, where she spearheaded the expansion of the group’s digital business to great success. Plus, she has already been recognized by the Women in Retail Leadership Circle as a “Top Woman on the Rise,” so trust that Grinberg will be an excellent steward of the beloved brand in the 2020s.
Joël Laplace has an innate ability to source fabulous vintage pieces from celebrated manufactures. And by sharing his finds on Instagram, he has also ignited interest amongst the 25 to 35-year-old clientele for the more daring designs of the disco era by brands like Piaget, Ebel, Zenith, Juvenia, Eterna, and Omega.
(Photo by @juliettesansrome0)
Based in New York, when Dana Li started to Tell the Time in December 2021, she wanted to create a platform for women in the watch community. Now, the blog has expanded to fill a need for a fresh perspective on all things horology in the context of fashion, industry, trends, and events.
Harvard student Jaclyn Li has been sharing her horological journey through her The Waiting List Podcast for two years now. And the most endearing thing about the series is how much emphasis is put on the future as she explores trends in the market and her evolving relationship with her collection and the watchmakers who are creating the pieces on her wish list.
At a recent event in Manhattan, a fellow watch enthusiast called Marte “the King of New York,” and who are we to argue? A renaissance man in all regards (you may recognized him from some of fellow-honoree Chris Coe’s photos that were published on Watchonista), Marte has a keen appreciation for art, style, interiors, and, of course, watches. We give him credit for making smaller timepieces popular again.
For years, Cole Pennington was a journalist specializing in timepieces, cars, and travel. In short, he was one of us until he went to work for Tudor in Switzerland. Fortunately, our loss is everyone else’s gain as he brings his deep knowledge to a brand that shares his passion for the world of watches and adventure.
Born in Paris and based in Dubai, Audrey Raffy has been an inspiration to her father’s (Mr. Pascal Raffy) creations for over 20 years. However, more than a muse, Ms. Raffy graduated from Northwestern’s prestigious Pritzker School of Law and now brings a keen understanding of business to Bovet 1822 and the family’s already-established mastery of watchmaking.
Watch collecting is a team sport – we share knowledge with and show off to our fellow enthusiasts. And, as the founder of the invitation-only Le Paris Watch Club, Mateo Rossi is the MVP of under-30 watch fans in France. But he also believes in bringing fun back to the hobby. That is why he started Unekual, a platform where folks can learn more about vintage watches.
Representing the third generation of Scheufele’s at Chopard, Karl-Fritz Jr. has been active in engaging with a new generation of enthusiasts by spearheading the development of the super-successful Alpine Eagle and helping to develop Eagle Wing, a foundation formed to preserve the increasingly fragile Alpine environment.
(Photo by Chopard)
Geneva-based Tiffany To has quickly climbed the ranks in the luxury auction space. But we also love her video presentations (we like to call them “To Talks”) on Phillips Watches’ YouTube channel, which serve as mini master classes in the provenance of some of the world’s most important watches.
(Photo by Phillips Watches)
Like most collectors, Tyler Okonma (a.k.a. Tyler, the Creator) has many passions, including supercars, Louis Vuitton Trunks, bikes, and vinyl. But when Robb Report published a wrist shot of the star wearing eight rare Cartiers, it broke the horological internet. Suddenly the hip-hop heads were trading in their Royal Oaks for Crashes, and there was no turning back.
(Photo by Getty Images)
As Hodinkee’s in-house photographer, Tiffany Wade’s work captures all kinds of horological images, from behind-the-scenes moments at watch fairs to up-close images of timepieces. No matter the assignment, she has the rare ability to make her pictures and the personalities of her subjects come alive.
(Photo by @davy.wav)
Watches aren’t the only beat Cam Wolf covers for GQ, but it’s for that very reason why we love reading his thoughts on our favorite subject: He brings both an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s perspective to his articles. Moreover, the youthful Wolf has the pop cultural reference level of a 57-year-old, so anyone can relate to his writings.
(Photo by GQ Magazine)