Sotheby's: What made you realise you could turn your passion for collecting into a career?
Anish Bhatt: There wasn’t really one single moment. I didn’t start the blog and subsequent social media pages with the idea of making it a business. It was (and still is) very much my passion and I wanted to share that along with my experiences with other people around the world. The business happened organically through a mixture of hard work and good luck. There was no ‘strategy’ as such, it was all gut instinct and trying to be true to what I believe in. We have an amazing team and without them I don’t think we would be anywhere near as successful as we have become. Ultimately, our audience and their interaction is the biggest part of our success.
S: You set up Watch Anish in 2012, how has your personal style changed as you’ve become more influential?
AB: Like anyone I’ve found my tastes have evolved over the years. From the way I dress to the watches I collect. I’ve learnt a lot while doing this and continue to be a student to many collectors more knowledgeable than me but the learning and discovery is also the biggest joy.
S: How have you made high end watches ‘cool’ for a younger generation who check the actual time on their phones?
AB: A watch ironically has much more to offer to me than just its time telling ability. To me a watch is a piece of art, both from a design and mechanical point of view. It is a statement of taste and knowledge but also a discreet item of beauty that can be admired by oneself in private or shared with as many people as you desire. I love the stories I can give about the history of a watch or the complexity of it, or even just an interesting experience I’ve had while wearing it.
S: While choosing your highlights from our Sotheby’s Watches auction, what qualities did you look out for?
AB: I have always been an eclectic collector. Everything from vintage to modern. I love stories, provenence and history attached to pieces as well as complications and visual beauty.
S: How do you curate your Instagram feed?
AB: It quite simple. I post things that I like. I think there is a fine line to tread between curating and commercialising and the biggest mistake to make is to underestimate how in tune your audience is with your tastes, habits and beliefs. They grow with you and it’s essential to deliver a well curated and tasteful feed to them that adds value in some way.
S: Your style seems as much about casual jeans and t-shirts as designer suits - what is it that unifies your fashion choices?
AB: I think my taste in fashion is as eclectic as my taste in watches. I’ve never wanted to conform to only one ‘thing’ and I can appreciate the same details of a fine suit as I can appreciate the rarity of a pair of sneakers. Also I can’t go to a gala dinner in ripped jeans and I can’t go to a live concert in a three-piece suit so it’s good to have the luxury of choice in dressing!