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Dimepiece's Brynn Wallner on Regarding Watches as Art

In Bezel's exclusive interview, we sit down with the Dimepiece founder, creative consultant, and writer to explore her introduction to the world of watches, her unique perspective on collecting, plus the most prized watches in her personal collection.


Team Bezel

July 14, 2023


9 min read

As the founder and driving force behind Dimepiece, Brynn Wallner reinforces the significance of female voices within today's watch collecting landscape, shedding light on noteworthy individuals and watches with an approachable and welcoming tone.

In Bezel's exclusive interview, we sit down with the Dimepiece founder, creative consultant, and writer to explore her introduction to the world of watches, her unique perspective on collecting, plus the most prized watches in her personal collection.

In Conversation with Brynn Wallner

Bezel: How did you get into watches? 

BW: I came into watches relatively late in life. In 2019, I was 29 and working at Sotheby's on the editorial team. My job was to create content attracting younger visitors to the Sotheby's website. Included in this initiative was a series for the Watches Department called "GOAT" in which we broke down the Greatest of All Time watches. I didn't know any brand but Rolex at the time, but I quickly learned the name Gérald Genta, and came to know the difference between a Nautilus and a Royal Oak (after frantically looking up how to pronounce Audemars Piguet). Reading about the histories and cultural significance of these illustrious watches, I definitely got bit by the watch bug and started noticing them everywhere.

Bezel: What’s been your favorite thing about the watch world?

BW: The best thing about the watch world is how generous people are with their passion. I learn something new every day thanks to the knowledge of collectors, dealers, specialists, and enthusiasts. When I first got into this, people were so open to discuss watches and their nuances with me, helping me along the way. I’m still learning, and they’re still there!

Bezel: How about your least favorite?

BW: That would have to be the rampant gossip. I don’t want to hear the tea – ignorance is bliss.

On Brynn’s wrist: Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Frosted Gold “Carolina Bucci”

Bezel:  Agreed on all counts. What was your first watch and what’s the story behind it? 

BW: My first watch was a double-wrap Nixon, which I wore in my sk8r gurl pre-teen phase. My dad got it for me at Mitch's Surf Shop in La Jolla. But my first luxury watch is a different story.

When I started Dimepiece, my platform dedicated to women and watches, I didn't have a watch to show for it. People kept asking me about my personal collection, and I even considered could I be the watch girl without a watch? But I realized that my being a total newcomer only added an edge to the project – I was my target audience: a woman getting into watches. Eventually, I HAD to get a watch, so a year into launching Dimepiece, I bought myself a small, steel Cartier Tank Française. My shopping experience was even covered in Vogue, making me feel like a princess.

Brynn wears the Cartier Tank Française Ref. WSTA0005 - Photo Credit: Cobey Arner

Bezel: How did you come to choose the Tank Française? 

BW:  Choosing my first watch was not effortless. Unlike fashion, which has been drilled into my brain through the pages of Nylon and Vogue since I was a pre-teen, I initially had no sense of my personal watch taste. How was I supposed to know what I want? Don’t they all just look like… watches? 

As I started to seriously work on Dimepiece, I finally began to understand how these pieces take on identities and stylistically fit within bigger picture lifestyles and looks. Trying on as many watches as possible at auction previews, or over dinner with friends really allowed me to really develop my own taste. My mom’s friend Courtney once graciously let me pal around in her Cartier Tank Française, which I found so striking on her wrist – surprised at the life she breathed into it.

On a website, against a white e-comm background, this watch comes off as rather serious…and cold, with its angular case design and steel integrated bracelet. But on Courtney, it feels warm against her L.A.-tanned skin. She stacks her Française with woven bracelets and mixed metals, and she even wears it in the ocean (because she’s worn it for decades, and it can endure a little salt water). At last, I decided this was the piece for me. 

Brynn's Seiko Diver Ref. 4205-0140 on an original rubber dive strap.

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

BW: My two-tone 36mm Rolex Datejust with a blue Roman numeral dial. My dad got it when he graduated from law school in the 80s and passed it down to me last year. It could’ve easily gone to my brother, but with all my Dimepiece success, it felt right, and this is a testament to the work I'm doing. More fathers should pass watches down to their daughters!

Photo Credit: Cobey Arner

Bezel: Is that also the watch that gets the most wrist time

BW:  Definitely not. I hardly wear it. It’s the most important, sentimental object I own, and maybe I’m paranoid, but I want to protect it. A Rolex Datejust – with the two-tone jubilee bracelet – is probably one of the most recognizable watches out there, and watch theft is up in major cities. I only  wear it when the feeling is absolutely right. My Cartier Tank Française is the watch that gets the most wrist time. It’s low-key and replaceable. 

Brynn matches with a friend, wearing outstanding examples of Patek Philippe’s Golden Ellipse

Bezel: Can you share 3 must-have watches listed on Bezel right now?

BW: Absolutely!

Rolex Daytona “Zenith” Ref. 16523

Cartier Panthère Ref. WGPN0038

Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex Ref. 1752 QZ D

Bezel: Why do you continue to enjoy collecting watches? 

BW: Since starting Dimepiece, I've certainly amassed a nice little collection. But because most of the watches I see – on press trips, at auction, on wealthy friends' wrists – are completely out of my price range, I've learned to regard watches as works of art. In this sense, I'm not pressed to proactively expand my collection. If a diamond in the rough comes to me, I'll take it (like my vintage Heuer diver gifted to me by my dear friend Alan Bedwell aka @foundwell). But for the most part, I'm just trying to save money for a house, have a kid, feel settled...the watch collection comes after all that. In the meantime, I feel lucky to learn about them with the unbelievable access I've been granted.

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- Isaac Wingold, Senior Editor


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