An overview of the most renowned Watch Forums
Let's take a look at some Italian Watch Forums, including Orologi e Passioni and a rookie.
One of the most interesting phenomena in the watchmaking industry regards the popularity of watch forums. Watch forums are pretty popular in Italy as they are abroad and, despite the world's most significant, widely read and organized watch forums come from the US (Watchuseek and Timezone), Italy boasts a long list of successful watch forums, especially when it comes to car forums and watch forums. Among the Italian watch forums, some are very popular among watch lovers; they offer plenty of contents, geared towards those who are just willing to share their passion for watches or else looking for a platform that helps them quickly and safely sell or buy their watch, new or used. I have listed three different watch forums, including the most visited one and a rookie.
The Orologi e Passioni (Watches and Passions) forum.
Built on the popular free Forumfree platform, Orologi e Passioni is the largest Italian watch forum with a staggering 72,000 subscribers. The forum is divided into various thematic areas and includes a macro separation between Modern Watches and Vintage Watches, a very active area dedicated to Rolex watches and vintage Tudor watches. It proves once again not only what kind of brands the forum's members do like but how relevant are, as expected, Rolex watches and Tudor watches among Italian enthusiasts.
Another attractive section is the so-called PMW or Poor Men's Watch, dedicated to accessible watches, such as the Seiko SKX. This acronym is universally used to nickname very affordable mechanical watches. The same column also talks Far-East, Russian and Casio G-Shock watches. However, I believe it is not the favourite watch forum for those who are fond of smartwatches, although this thematic section keeps steadily growing.
Forumorologi.eu - a smaller yet graphically more advanced alternative to Orologi e Passioni, with good growth potential.
It is not as big as the previous one, and boasts around 4.400 members, currently. The layout is not so different from Orologi e Passioni's and adopts the same free platform: Forumfree. It mimics the former regarding the logic tree but offers additional features: it includes, for example, an area dedicated exclusively to diving watches.
Like Orologi e Passioni, Forumorologi.eu does offer its members an area to those who are willing to sell or buy a new or used watch but, once again, with a distinctive feature in comparison to the leading forum: buying and selling sections are separate. There's, also, a third section, called "Exchange," geared towards those who exchange parts. The editorial team behind the forum recently added a new section that groups the Italian Seiko lovers, created in conjunction with the Seiko Group Italy Facebook group; last but not least, you can also discuss Microbrands.
Forum FH24 - if you are crazy about diving watches.
The FH24 watch forum gathers those watch collectors that are crazy for diving watches and, since we are approaching summer, such a forum is a valuable source of information. It is a peculiar watch forum because it is all about diving watches and is managed by diving watch enthusiasts and professional divers. Moreover, herein are discussed not just popular diving watch brands, like Squale watches and Gruppo Ardito Watches, for example. As you land on the website, the top section is divided into two main categories: professional diving watches and vintage diving watches.
In the first section you will find all the most popular brands of diving watches, in the vintage diving watches one instead, a large part is dedicated for example to the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, the first modern diver's wristwatch ever made. If you take a looking at the posts' chronology, it is clear that the most visited section is the one dedicated to modern professional watches. From a usability point of view, it also features a smart design that sets it apart from all the other watch forums: each sub-section of the forum is sorted by brand, it is, therefore, possible to access all the discussions related to a brand without being obliged to scroll through the single threads. The FH24 diving watch forum counts 1,244 members, and you can access it by clicking on the following link: FH24.it
Passione Panerai Watch - just for Paneristi.
The third and last watch forum of this short-list is a rookie, as it gathers collectors that are die-hard fans of the Swiss-owned Italian founded watch brand. It is a relatively young forum, listing a small number of subscribers in comparison to its peers, but it is fueled with passion and has something that Panerai watch lovers will like, given it runs on the ForumFree platform as well. It looks like a Panerai custom-designed forum and somehow reminds the famous Paneristi.com forum.
One of the typical traits to any free-based watch forum is that they all look the same, and, as soon as topics and brands grow, it becomes hard to make them user-friendly. Finding your way around the ever-growing list of topics and enter the section or brand you're looking for is all but easy. Once you land on the Passione Panerai Watch forum, instead, you immediately perceive you landed a quintessential Panerai oriented website where every logo and detail is in line with the spirit of the brand. Congratulations!
Rolex Passion Report.
The truth is that it is not an Italian forum; nonetheless, it involves Italian collectors and vintage Rolex experts. Philipp Stahl was a forerunner of vintage Rolex collecting, and the first forums to ever appear on the Internet. Rolex Passion Report is not a forum in the ordinary sense of the term; it rather is a rich source of information for enthusiasts. Philipp built a big community of vintage Rolex watch lovers, that resulted in the organization of the yearly Rolex Passion Meetings, a meeting point for vintage Rolex watch enthusiasts and collectors coming from around the globe. He is the man behind the highly-sought-after Rolex Single Red Deepsea, a particular version of the Rolex Deepsea crafted in 86 specimens, conceived in collaboration with Bertrand Piccard, son to the never forgotten Jacques Piccard. You can reach the website by clicking here: Rolex Passion Report.
(Photo credit: property of Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®