This weekend I attended the Wind Up Watch Fair in NYC. It was an amazing experience.
First of all, the people. It was wonderful to chat with other enthusiast and the people behind the brands.
Second, I don't think there is a substitute for a "hands-on" experience with a watch. Quick hits:
I know that not everyone lives in NYC. But I suggest stopping by your local ADs when you have a chance. If you don't live in a major city, try to stop by an interesting watch store the next time you are on vacation, or on a road trip. You might bump into some cool people (and watches of course).
Finally, I still think there is a lot of value in online forums like WatchCrunch. I do think they are a great resource for gathering information and building relationships. However, I think there is some intangible benefit to in-person experiences.
What are your thoughts? Can a watch community be fully digital? Could you buy an expensive (to you) watch, without seeing it in the metal?