Two watch nerds walk into a bar…
Alas, there really isn’t a joke here. There’s no punch line because that’s where the joke ends and the real story begins.
The two watch nerds (Adam Craniotes and Jeffrey Jacques) had lunch, talked about the watches they were wearing, and compared notes and opinions. One thing led to another and the end result of that lunch meeting between two watch nerds in a bar – the now-defunct Red Bar in midtown Manhattan – is the phenomenon we now know as Red Bar. Red Bar is the weekly NYC get-together (GTG) of watch nerds to show off their pieces, and gawk at others’ watches.
Adam’s a pretty gregarious guy. Transparent too. There’s not much about his watch nerdiness that hasn’t been told through his social media exploits (he’s also written for Gear Patrol and International Watch). He’s worn a watch daily since he was eight years old (he claims hair won’t grow on his left wrist anymore). His distaste for a certain nameless copycat brand is legendary (his distaste stems from the lack of originality in the brand).
He has about twenty really nice upper echelon watches, about 40 G-Shocks, and a few other miscellaneous pieces that have caught his eye. He’s pretty ecumenical in his collecting, adding whatever catches his eye. In fact, when I asked him about his collecting, he wasn’t sure he should even classify himself as a collector. He did confirm his status as a watch nerd however, and he’s passing his affliction on to his kids. His 8-year old son’s first watch was Adam’s first watch – a Casio F-7. His 5-year old daughter wears a Baby G, but has been covetously eyeing Adam’s JLC Reverso (keep an eye on that one, Adam).
He notes that Instagram quickly overtook Facebook and Twitter as THE social media meeting place for watch nerds (We talked about Instagram and watch nerds here last week.). Thanks to the online exposure, folks are starting to take the conversation offline. That’s what Red Bar is all about – people getting together to share their love of watches.
And Red Bar is spreading like wildfire. First came the LA Watch Gang in Los Angeles. That group was quickly followed by the Commonwealth Crew in Chicago, location-named Red Bar groups in San Francisco, Toronto, St. Louis (Everest’s own), Minneapolis-St. Paul, Boston, and Philadelphia.
The list goes on and on and Red Bar is now spreading overseas (we’ve heard about GTGs in Jamaica in the Caribbean, and Geneva and Amsterdam in Europe). The good news is that, no matter where you live, you should be able to find a Red Bar group close by. You’ll need to work at it a little, because GTGs are not advertised (security, you know). And if you can’t find one where you are, start your own!
Redbar is not a boys club, it has attracted some wonderful women to the crew of watch nerdiness occurring each week. For example Kathleen McGivney – she has taken the role of operations to ensure that each event goes smoothly for both the attendees and the watch brands that now have become regular sponsors. Kathleen has been known to wear a vintage Tudor or two in her time and doesn’t miss a watch event without her husband, resident Red Bar photographer Atom Moore.
All it takes is…
Two watch nerds walk into a bar.