Until Brynn Wallner was in her early 30s, she didn't know anything about the world of women's watches. Brynn, who now lives in New York City's East Village with her chihuahua, Honey, grew up in New Jersey. Early on, Brynn didn't know what she wanted to do for a job, but she describes herself as ‘kind of good at a lot of things’. She eventually turned to a career in content marketing, before finding herself as a multimedia producer for art auction house Sotheby's.
It was during her time at Sotheby's that women's watches arrived on Brynn's radar. While searching for images for a piece about the greatest watches of all time, she was hypnotized by a paparazzi shot of singer Rihanna at an airport. ‘She looked very off-duty and was wearing this all-gray sweatsuit and a gold Patek Philippe Nautilus watch. I just thought that was so cool, and it hit me that women are wearing these watches, but it's not spoken about,’ she says. ‘So, I decided to put that photo of Rihanna in the story to manipulate the narrative and shed some light on females who wear them.’
This was the initial catalyst for Dimepiece, Brynn's platform and retail site dedicated to women who wear watches. Shortly after, in March 2020, when the pandemic hit, Brynn was made redundant from her role at Sotheby's. ‘They let me go the day the city shut down, which was very traumatizing. But I wound up spending three restorative months with my family in Florida, and that's when I thought I'd try the Dimepiece thing.’
First came the Instagram account, which started as simply a feed of glam-pop imagery with everyone who's anyone sporting some sort of timepiece, from actor Julia Roberts in a TAG Heuer watch, to Madonna with her gold Panthère de Cartier. A year later, Brynn launched the website, which now features a shopping platform where you can buy from her curated collection of classic watches across a range of price points, paired with a series of features and interviews with ‘a variety of girls, gays and theys about their first-time watch purchases’, called First Dimers.
Brynn's take on watches is unintimidating, approachable and, most of all, fun. ‘When I was a teenager, I remember religiously reading Nylon and Teen Vogue. The way that fashion was positioned in those magazines meant that, from a very early age, I was able to develop my sensibility in that world, in a way I feel didn't happen with watches,’ she says. ‘There are definitely watch ads in those publications, but they're always so dull and the messaging lies really flat. They're not fun, they're not approachable. I know that part of the cachet for watches is that they're unattainable for most people. You have to work really hard to get one, or have one passed down, and I don't mind the exclusivity in that regard, but you can still have fun while maintaining that.’
A day with Brynn
‘I wake up around 9.30am on my work days. I try to get nine hours of sleep, which is very luxurious. I then take Honey on a nice long walk, while I'm listening to a podcast to warm up my brain. We go to this place called StuyTown – it's so well-manicured, and they have trees and flowers. It's like my nature getaway from the suburbs. Then I have yogurt with pineapple and blueberries and an iced coffee, while I read an article in either New York Magazine or The New Yorker. Then, finally, I'll start looking at my phone and email.’
‘If it's not a writing day, it's a meeting day. It might be for a press preview, a catch-up downtown with my watch-selling partner, Alan Bedwell from [accessories brand] Foundwell, or to record my new podcast, Killing Time with Brynn and Malaika.’
‘I love having a cozy meal, so I usually stay in for dinner. I make soups and salads but, on the weekends I get takeout. My favorite is a Nepalese place called Cafe Himalaya. I always get this yummy vegetarian noodle soup and fried potato dumplings called momos.’