by Dana Li
A couple of weeks ago, Complecto hosted its first meetup in NYC where watch enthusiasts from all over the world gathered to share their love for timepieces. I saw some familiar faces and got to meet some wonderful new people at what may have been one of my favorite watch events I’ve attended to date. So much so, I had to feature Complecto and share my experience at the meetup.
Complecto and Its Mission
Complecto was founded by Jason (@wristshotnyc) with a very clear mission - to build an inclusive community that reflects and celebrates the true diversity of watch enthusiasts and collectors around the world. Along with David (@davidp.nyc), Complecto’s first member and advisor, he’s working to, “build a community with diversity, inclusion, and belonging at the forefront of the collector experience” by actively engaging and welcoming more women and people of color into the hobby. Through monthly meetups and events, Complecto aims to create a welcoming environment where seasoned collectors and novices can come together to appreciate and share a common passion for timepieces.
Over time, Complecto hopes to “create the largest and most diverse community of watch collectors in the world and be a force for change in the watch industry at large”. They’re in the process of planning Complecto’s next meet-up that will be scheduled sometime in June, along with exploring some exciting partnerships in the near future.
My Experience at the Event
There were so many amazing watches and people that evening. Here are a few of my favorites!
As a woman interested in watches, I was incredibly excited by Complecto’s mission and was very much looking forward to attending the first event. While I’ve met some great people at previous watch events I’ve attended, I’m often one of a handful of women in the room. Immediately when I walked into the lounge area last week for the Complecto event, I was happily surprised and saw significantly more women than I’ve had at previous events. I had an absolutely wonderful time getting to know more women watch enthusiasts who shared the same passion as I did, an opportunity that doesn’t necessarily come as often as I would like in the watch world.
In addition, conversation was easy with everyone I was able to meet at the event. I both was able to enjoy hearing the wonderful stories about their watches and had a great time getting to know each person beyond their passion for watches. It was one of the first times I felt as if watches were the common ground uniting us all but not the primary topic of conversation throughout the evening. I also had an incredible time getting to know Jason and David, both of whom were constantly making sure everyone felt included and engaged with every single person that came to the event. By the end of the night I truly felt like I had made some new friends and deepened my friendships with existing ones.
Not only did the diversity of the group reflect in the people and the conversations, but it also was evident in the watches that people wore as well. Complecto emphasizes that they are “a community for people who appreciate all watches irrespective of price-point or provenance” and they very much lived up to that principle during their event. I absolutely loved seeing and trying on the variety of both modern and vintage watches that everyone brought with them. Even the assortment that WatchBox had brought to the event included a number of pieces outside of the typical big brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet.
Some pieces from WatchBox that were featured at Complecto's event
For their first event, Complecto’s goal was “to fill the room with a diverse, eclectic and passionate group of people who love watches and share Complecto’s vision for a more inclusive watch industry and collector community”. Given the amazing experience I had, I truly do think that Complecto did a wonderful job bringing together a group of watch enthusiasts from all over the world with a diverse collection of watches in a welcoming, fun environment. I felt so at ease getting to know all the great people in attendance and discovering new pieces I hadn’t seen in person before. I’m incredibly excited to see what Complecto has in store in the future and can’t wait for their next meetup.