At ONE37PM, it’s no secret that we’re obsessed with time—how to spend it, and with who. I had the pleasure of talking to Brynn Wallner, the founder of Dimepiece; a social brand curated around women and watches. Brynn and I met in a past life where wellness was on the table, not watches—and have since reconnected about everything from the power of Rihanna’s Patek Philippe Nautilus on Instagram to modishly expert tips for first Dimer’s looking to invest. Whether or not you speak Rolex, this interview will have you devouring Brynn’s prowess as an Insta It Girl uncovering the life of the watch, through the women who wear them. Let’s get dialed in:
It's About Time: Brynn Wallner on the Power of Women, Watches and Influence
Sitting down with the founder of Dimepiece
ONE37PM: Let’s take it from the top. How did Dimepiece start?
BW: I started Dimepiece in the summer of 2020. It was just an instagram account dedicated to women and watches and the idea came from when I was working at Sotheby’s on the editorial team.
ONE37PM: So, what we’ll refer to as B.D. (Before Dimepiece) you were working at Sotheby’s on the editorial team, covering culturally aligned stories on their site. Kind of like a Chief Vibe Curator?
BW: (laughs) Yes, just like that. Vibe coordinator. And then the watch department had reached out and requested for me to “curate their vibes” as well. The thing is, I didn’t know anything about watches. In the process of editing other writer’s pieces about all the heavy hitter watches - like the Philippe Nautilus, Olepion Royal Oak, I learned, and was surprised to find, that I was organically very interested in them. At the time, the only luxury watch brand I knew was Rolex.
I was also struck by how few women were represented in the space. Simultaneously, I would try to manipulate the stories, where we would have a piece about let’s say, the Patek Philippe Nautilus where a woman wasn’t mentioned once, and so I would throw in an image of Rihanna wearing one to make it a bit more inclusive (and fun, of course). It wasn’t until I got laid off during Covid, moved to Florida to stay with my mom and brother and invested time in curating the Instagram account that @dimepiece just blew up.
ONE37PM: Let’s dive into that. As a publisher rooted in digital media, we’re obsessed with this type of plotline. If I remember correctly, Dimepiece was sort of a Tumblr-aesthetic of celebrity women and watches. Can you point to a certain moment in time, or a specific post that drove the brand’s virality?
BW: Yes! A friend of a friend makes these cookies. Watch cookies. Her name is Lindsey Gazel, who goes by Lindsey Bakes on instagram. I’ve hired her to make all these watch cookies, they’re really incredible, it’s like art. I found her post on IG, and I re-shared it on Dimepiece.
Then, Hodinkee came along. Hodinkee is an iconic watch publisher and top platform in the industry, they have a shop and everything. They found my post when I was only at 500 followers. I immediately thought, “Oh no! I’m not ready for Hodinkee to see my content!” Cara Barrett from Hodinkee (who no longer works there anymore) but was so inspirational as a woman in the industry, reposted Dimepiece on the brand’s feed. I grew a following overnight, literally—and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it.
With my newfound audience, I asked myself, “Should I flex like I know more about watches than I do?” And I told myself, no. I’m going to stick to who I am, and keep delivering fun photos of Rihanna and her Patek Philippe Nautilus and continue being myself, because that’s different. I’m a woman in the watch space.
ONE37PM: Something else that I find super unique about Dimepiece and its acceleration on social is the power of an influential community. I’m not too shy to say that you’re a bit of a bi-coastal ‘It Girl’ and have a wide network of female entrepreneurs as friends in your corner. How important is relationship building in the process of a building a brand?
BW: To give you some background, I went to a preppy, conservative college called Colgate. I didn’t go to NYU, or work at New York Magazine, and I sure didn’t have any fancy internships where I met a bunch of people. Everyone where I went to school basically graduated to work in finance. After college, I moved straight to LA, where I didn’t know a soul. I had to meet people on my own. I spent four years in LA working in experiential marketing on the talent side, and was in a space where I had to interact with all these creative types. It was on me to be professional but also personal, and build those relationships. Socializing was so intertwined with my job, which got kind of crazy. Also part of the reason why I’m sober now!
ONE37PM: I find you to be such a pioneer in the relationship building scene within social media, without even knowing it at the time.
BW: I ended up moving from LA to NYC for my next role in media, and even with 10 solid years of a career, I wasn’t out doing my own thing. I was not creating content or “influencing”. In the meantime I had my twitter account, I had instagram, but no crazy following.
ONE37PM: I totally forgot about your Twitter!
BW: The best medium. It’s quick, and you can have real conversations.
ONE37PM: When it comes to digital culture, what would you say the impact culture has on watch owners and collectors? For example - when you see Bella Hadid in her Cartier Panthere, how many girls are we then seeing purchase this type of luxury item due to her and other celebrities’ influence?
BW: Well it’s intrinsic to the watch space. Timepieces have always been tied to celebrities or powerful people in media, because at their price point, you find that people with power have access. Celebrities and watches are not new—think of the Rolex Daytona, one of the most drooled over watch models. Do you know Paul Newman?
ONE37PM: Of course! Very handsome man.
BW: You probably know him from the soup cans.
ONE37PM: I actually know him because of Fig Newmans, the cookies. But continue.
BW: He was the Hunk of Hollywood, an A-List celeb, the Brad Pitt of the 60s. He would wear his Rolex Daytona and drive in a little race car. His wife got him the Daytona, I think before it was even called that. His celebrity presence was so in line with that watch, that people would associate that specific model with Paul Newman. So much so, that fast forward to 2017, Paul Newman is no longer with us—but a bunch of his watches went on sale, and his Paul Newman Rolex Daytona sold at Phillips for $17.1M.
Now you have a Bella Hadid, who although isn’t Paul Newman, has influence in her own right, and the way that I share celebrity culture with Dimepiece is to highlight talent that isn’t already ingrained in the watch world aesthetic. You’ll see a lot of Jackie O, Princess Di, and more refined women of other eras—but I thought, why not Dua Lipa? Naomi Campbell? The Olsen twins?
My mission at Dimepiece is to take culture as younger people relate to it, and then bridge the gap between them and the watches they wear. Ultimately, I think people do buy the Cartier Panthere because of Bella. I think watch advertising kind of fails us as women. It’s very boring, it’s very sterile, and it’s very overproduced. It really takes seeing a watch on somebody else’s wrist for you to understand the statement it makes, before you even start to understand your own taste.
My mission at Dimepiece is to take culture as younger people relate to it, and then bridge the gap between them and the watches they wear.
- Brynn Wallner
ONE37PM: What trends do you see when it comes to the frequency of wearing a watch versus swapping it out like jewelry—and do you find it’s different for women vs men who collect timepieces?
BW: I would say it depends on your collection. I didn’t get my first luxury watch until a year ago. It was covered in Vogue actually. It was the Cartier Tank Francaise; this is not a rare watch, nor a very expensive one. It’s a steel watch, the smallest one. It retails for $3,500 to be transparent—which in the context of luxury watches, is very low.
I wore that shit every day. I was like, this is my watch! This is my only watch. If you’re a big time collector, you’ll swap it out. You might have an evening watch, or a sporty watch when you’re out on your yacht. It depends where you’re at. But many first Dimer’s have one watch, and it’s their daily.
ONE37PM: For someone (like me) who’s not a quintessential “jewelry person”, how do I go about buying my first watch?
BW: I will say this: do your research. It took me a full year to decide I wanted the Cartier (Francaise). My dad asked me what I wanted for my birthday on May 12th, 2020, the heat of the pandemic, and I just knew I wanted a watch. This was even before Dimepiece. I didn’t even know where to begin!
ONE37PM: When you did research for a year before you chose your watch, what were you looking for?
BW: A few months later, I had started Dimepiece and I saw Bella with the Cartier Panthere and I felt connected to the brand. Andy Warhol wore a Cartier Tank. Princess Diana, too. I was starting to understand the universe that is Cartier. I also knew that even though I admired Bella and her watch, her style wasn’t exactly mine—she was a bit more youthful and I was looking for something a bit more classic and fit to my personality. When looking at who wears what in the watch world, your eye starts to identify what kind of person wears a certain brand or style of watch, similar to how you would with other accessories.
I also made watch friends, which I would recommend to anybody considering buying a watch. Make a watch buddy. Odds are that somebody you know is into watches, so if you start asking them, they’ll tell you. Watch people love to geek out on the subject, are super generous with their knowledge, and are actually so excited that somebody finally wants to talk “watch” with them. It could be your uncle, or your friend that you went to college with that happens to wear a nice watch. You say “Hey, what do you think about this watch?” and all of the sudden you’re talking timepieces, and they’ll guide you. Don’t do it alone, but also do your own research ahead of time. Before you know it, you’ll be dropping five thousand dollars on a Rolex Datejust or something! (laughs).
ONE37PM: I’ve got to ask—what’s your take on the Apple Watch?
BW: I feel like it’s not trying to be a Rolex. It is a practical tool that you wear that counts your steps, has your emails. I wrote a whole piece on this because people ask me all the time. It’s apples to oranges, if people want an Apple Watch, it’s fine. It doesn’t take away the valor of a Rolex. They can exist in the same space. If anything, Apple Watches can be the gateway to wearing a traditional watch for many.
ONE37PM: What’s the 2023 It girl watch according to Dimepiece?
BW: The pressure is on! People love the (Cartier) Santos. The Santos is big—it is also the first wristwatch ever made for men, and now, everybody wears it.
ONE37PM: Ready for RAPID FIRE 37 SECONDS?
BW: Let’s do it!
I just had a grande iced passion tango tea unsweetened. I tell them my name is Lola. If I say Brynn, the cup comes back “Bryan”. Happens every time.
If you could only leave the house with one thing in your hand, what would it be?
My dog, Honey!
Is launching your own luxury timepiece brand or doing a partnership with one of the iconic companies we talked about today something on the radar for you?
I would be absolutely honored to do something like that. The Swiss watch industry is very exclusive and they have a lot of rules. If a Cartier x Dimepiece dropped one day, I would actually die, so…
ONE37PM: Well remember us when it does. Thank you for joining us today, Brynn! ‘Til next time ;)
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