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TikTok’s Ben Cook on Finding a Voice in Watches

In Bezel's exclusive interview, we sit down with the influencer and content creator to explore his introduction to the world of watches, the importance of originality, plus the most prized watch in his personal collection.


Team Bezel

March 15, 2024


8 min read

If you've been keeping up with the wild world of "WatchTok," you're likely already familiar with Ben Cook, the influencer behind @bens_watches. Since launching his various channels just under two years ago, the young New Yorker has quickly become one of the watch world's most recognizable faces, imparting collecting advice and insights on the daily via his short-form content.

In Bezel's exclusive interview, we sit down with the influencer and content creator to explore his introduction to the world of watches, the importance of originality, his latest watch purchase from Bezel, plus the most prized watch in his personal collection.

In Conversation with Ben Cook

Bezel: How did you get into watches? 

BC: I always wore things on my wrists—from Silly Bands to 25 Livestrong bracelets and everything in between. I got a G-Shock when I was in middle school, and ever since then, I've loved watches. I couldn't really afford most, outside of a Casio here and there, but once I got my first full-time job, I sprung for a Christopher Ward, and ever since, I’ve been addicted.

Releasing short form video content daily, Cook has quickly become one of the watch collecting world's most outspoken voices.

Bezel: What was your first watch, and what’s the story behind it?

BC: My first watch was a white 50 mm G-Shock. I thought I was the coolest kid in school. At the time (c. 2010), these were so popular—I can remember everybody coming back from winter break with them on their wrists. My first "big" watch, per se, was a white Omega Seamaster Diver 300M on a black rubber strap. I wore that every day for three months until I randomly got a call for a Rolex, and I miss it every day.

Ben's latest acquisition: an IWC Pilot's Watch "Spitfire" Ref. IW3268-01 – sold and authenticated by Bezel.

Bezel: At what point did you make the leap from collecting to documenting your journey online?

BC: I had a few friends at my last full-time job who were by no means into collecting watches, but they definitely knew that I was. One day, they randomly mentioned to me that I should post about watches on social media because they thought I’d be good at it. I did some research, and saw how much you could grow on TikTok, and the rest is history! 

One of my favorite highlights over the last year and 9 months or so has been working with major watchmakers. When I first started out, it seemed impossible to work with major brands – having them approach me has been extremely rewarding. Also, flying to meet people like Eric Wind, who recognizes your hard work, is always a good feeling.

Up close and personal, Ben creates content on the streets of New York City.

Bezel: What’s your favorite watch in your collection and why?

BC: My favorite watch right now is my brand new (to me) Tudor Submariner 7016/0 from 1974. I love this thing. I recently fell in love with vintage watches, specifically vintage sports models. I think there’s a lot of value in all original examples of these vintage Tudors, and I think they’re incredibly overlooked.

Cook's favorite watch: a perfectly aged and patinated example of a no-date Tudor Submariner.

Bezel: What advice would you impart to collectors concerning the importance of originality? 

BC: I personally think it's essential. There are a lot of bad actors in this industry, and more importantly, a lot of dealers don’t check to the extent Bezel does. Fakes are getting so good now that you need to have the correct people on your side.

Out and about in New York – @benswatches creates watch content with an IWC on the wrist.

Bezel: Can you share three must-have watches listed on Bezel right now? 

BC: Definitely! ‍

Zenith Chronomaster Sport

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 Ref. M79010SG-0002

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak "Jumbo" Extra-Thin

On the wrist: Cook's newly-acquired 1974 Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner Ref. 7016/0.

Bezel: If you were given a blank check to spend on any watch – what would you get?

BC: I’ve got two wildly different picks. The first would be a Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 1675 with a matte dial. I saw two of these recently in perfect condition, and it really made me appreciate vintage watches that much more. I really think there is nothing like an excellent condition, all-original vintage Rolex. 

The other is an RM 27-04, which is particularly well-suited for a blank check scenario.  This watch is WAY too expensive at its current pricing, but if it were free and I couldn’t resell it would be this one. I’m not a massive RM person at all, but there’s something about the 27-04’s size and feel that’s so cool. I live a pretty active lifestyle, and this would fit in quite nicely.

Bezel: Why do you continue to enjoy collecting watches? 

BC: I think the excitement is in the fact that you can never know everything. There are just so many cool high-end independents, rare vintage pieces, and everything in between that you can never stop learning about. At the end of the day, I am a lifelong learner.

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- Isaac Wingold


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