In the luxury watch world, I believe it is not an exaggeration when I say that everything and everyone tries to look as polished and polite as possible. A world of make-believe with as little controversy as possible is the preferred modus operandi. It is therefore a bit of a surprise – or is it – that one of its most popular online ‘educators’ stands in stark contrast with this approach.
Wristbusters doesn’t mince words, but strictly and unapologetically spits out facts. To follow along with Wristbusters is a decisive red-pill decision, be prepared to find out just how deep the rabbit-hole goes. When speaking out, controversy is the norm rather than the exception. Who is he or she? What motivates Wristbusters to do the things he or she does?
It is truly with much pleasure that I can share this interview with not only one of the watch community’s more outspoken members, but a refreshingly honest one at that.
Jan: Can you introduce Wristbusters to our audience in case they do not know you yet and also explain what sparked the idea to create it?
Wristbusters: Wristbusters is an educational platform that we started so we could help people gain knowledge on spotting fakes. That was the era of @Fakewatchpolice and @RolexEnforcer. I’d scroll through Instagram and suspect people but didn’t have the platform to use.. and at the time @Rolex_Enforcer was pretty slammed so bugging him in DMs didn’t speed up the process. He couldn’t keep up with bust submissions anymore so at some point we simply said ‘screw this, let’s launch our own’.. and we did.
Perhaps this is also the main reason why he passed the torch to us later on when he decided to retire from busting and reveal his identity.
Jan: Your busts always seem very elaborate, how thorough do you generally investigate a ‘case’ before publishing?
Wristbusters: That’s an interesting question as every bust is unique. By that, I mean every time I make a bust I know how to tell it’s fake, however I, nor anyone else, will be able to pin point every minor detail.
What I do is use a genuine piece to compare it to, to ensure our audience either grasps the idea of how bad or good a fake is; we also try to jam in as many tells as possible to ensure people can learn and remember.
I always do my homework. Nothing goes live by accident.
Jan: Your busts often create a lot of turmoil. Have you ever been officially sued by the people you expose?
Wristbusters: No. We’ve been threatened multiple times but you can’t take any of that to heart. I’m giving back to society by exposing the truth while educating the crowd at the same time.
And also portion of the page is meant to entertain people. I don’t see it as a criminal act nor do I see it as a defamation of character because all I do is state the truth, I don’t gossip.
If I ever end up getting sued over exposing a counterfeit watch I’ll prepare the speech of a lifetime in the court of law.
Note – I now secretly want them to go to court if only to hear that undoubtedly most epic speech. I imagine some sort of A Few Good Men-style “You can’t handle the truth!” mixed up with Al Pacino’s “This is such a crock of sh*t!” in Scent of a Woman. Right? Go YouTube both speeches, tell me I’m wrong.
Jan: Have you ever been wrong with a bust?
Wristbusters: In the beginning few times for sure- removed the busts and learned from mistakes.
All of our watch knowledge comes from books, instagram and through people in the community, as well as lots of Google research. This allowed us to be confident in navigating busts the right way.
Jan: Are there any limits in busting certain people?
Wrisbusters: None. There is no such thing as ‘certain people’. To me, they’re all equal in terms of busting. If you wear a fake watch I’ll expose you.
Jan: Can you recommend any good reading material for anyone wanting to arm themselves with knowledge on navigating the watch market (which is seemingly littered with fakes)?
Wristbusters: If you scroll down my IG page you’ll see some of the horological literature that I’ve recommended in the past. Besides that, forums, google etc
Note – I did that for you as I’m kind like that. Wristbusters has recommended reading material such as Mondani Books (All Books on Watches), James Dowling (The Best Of Time, Rolex Wristwatches), Kristian Haagen (Hashtags & Watches etc.), Richard Vinhais (Discovering Time)
Jan: Did you ever consider exposing other fake stuff, for example clothing, via Wristbusters or some similar page?
Wristbusters: No, there are other pages for that. Do what you do best, and leave the rest to others.
Jan: What do you currently consider the most underrated watch (brand) on the market?
Wristbusters: It’s hard to talk about underrated because at the end of the day it’s a personal preference, matter of taste more than anything. But I am genuinely impressed with Grand Seiko lately and I think they deserve more recognition
Jan: What do you think of the (ever increasing) prices on the vintage watch market. Sustainable growth or bubble waiting to burst?
Wristbusters: If there’s demand, the vintage watch market will be a sustainable investment. However in my opinion, that boat has left. Leaving it for the ultra wealthy, or ultra passionate connoisseurs. No bubble will burst unless the market has no demand and high supply. Note what Rolex is doing; high demand, holding supply.
Jan: What is your view on the current state of the watch industry?
Wristbusters: I find the watch industry as a whole rather unique. There’s a lot of politics when it comes to the used market, as well as certain brands when new. In regards to the journalists and YouTubers, look, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.
This is why we stick to facts and cold hard evidence. Ultimately I think the watch industry is a fantastic place to settle down in, whether it be in business, r&d, sales or personal hobbies. It’s abundant with people who are encyclopedias, friendly faces, and most importantly, love and passion for a wrist watch.
Jan: If you could wear and own just one watch, which one would it be?
Wristbusters: I refuse to answer that. There is no such thing as owning one watch only Personally I adore pieces from DeBethune, Audemars Piguet, Urwerk, Moser, Konstantin Chaykin, Richard Mille, FP Journe, Rolex, Patek Philippe and the list goes on…
Jan: Before we go, I have to ask, what’s on your wrist right now?
Wristbusters: Rolex at the moment, the best daily. End of.
Thank you to @Wristbusters for the interview and the candid answers! Massive thanks to @WatchWalker for creating this opportunity! Much appreciated!