Watches and the EDC community. What is it?

Recently, in a Facebook group, a member posted a photo of their watch along with other EDC gear. A few members of the group got incredibly angry because the photo included non-watch items, specifically the pocket knife. 

I've seen this scenario play out multiple times, and while I think they're overreaction, it did get me thinking. I realized a large number of watch collectors don't know what EDC is, what it's about, or what it has to do with watches. So, I thought the topic was worth discussing.

What is EDC?

EDC stands for Everyday Carry. It is a hobby, lifestyle, and community that focuses on the items we carry and use in our day-to-day life. EDC collectors love to explore different gear, test out combinations, try different carrying solutions, discussing pros and cons, share gear photos, and so on. A lot of EDC collectors are also avid DIY modders who love to customize and match their gear (like my brass themed EDC photo above). The most common EDC items are: pocket knives, multi-tools, wallets, pens, flashlights, handkerchiefs, key solutions, and yes, wrist watches.

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The EDC hobby has exploded over the last several years, which is why you're seeing more of us posting in various online forums. The EDC community sees watches as another useful everyday tool. With that in mind, we often tend to lean more towards tool watches. When you see us post gear images, it's because for us, a large part of our enjoyment stems from how our watches relate to our other daily gear. 

Now, let's touch on the pocket knife thing, since that's what I've seen the most negativity about. The most commonly collected and carried EDC item is, without a doubt, a folding knife. Yes, some people carry them for self-defense, but for most of us, a folding knife is primarily a tool—just like any Leatherman multi-tool, screwdriver, pair of pliers or wrench. Think about how many of your grandfathers carried a folding knife as something to cut an apple, trim a hangnail or to open a package. That's what it's really all about. Having the tools you need, when you need them.

What does this mean to the watch community? I would argue the popularity of EDC gear is great for the watch industry, which is seeing large influx of new watch enthusiasts due to the popularity of this related hobby! It's simple math, the more people buying watches, the more watch companies will prosper and the more they'll be willing to invest in new designs, models and innovations. 

I'm a perfect example. I never wore a watch before getting into the EDC hobby, and now I have an overflowing watch box! So there you go. 

Even knife-makers are getting on the watch game. I own the below watch, which was designed by the well-know knife designer Serge Panchenko.

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Are you an EDC collector as well? Do you think we're a bunch of weirdos? Are you curious about the hobby, but don't know where to start? Let me know below.

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Great discussion topic. To me, the term EDC is something I learned of maybe a few years ago. Until then I had always carried crap in my pockets (pocket knife, hanky, wallet…etc.) but I didn’t realize the level to which some folks took it and all of the options that were available. Now I carry a pen, flashlight, multi tool on top of all of the other crap I had normally carried. I actually got into upgrading my EDC shortly after getting into watch collecting. So, I can blame my watch obsession for my EDC obsession. This has become an expensive set of hobbies. 

All we need now is a Seiko pocket knife.

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Slepowron

Great discussion topic. To me, the term EDC is something I learned of maybe a few years ago. Until then I had always carried crap in my pockets (pocket knife, hanky, wallet…etc.) but I didn’t realize the level to which some folks took it and all of the options that were available. Now I carry a pen, flashlight, multi tool on top of all of the other crap I had normally carried. I actually got into upgrading my EDC shortly after getting into watch collecting. So, I can blame my watch obsession for my EDC obsession. This has become an expensive set of hobbies. 

All we need now is a Seiko pocket knife.

@Slepowron Thanks! I actually held off on writing this for a while because I wasn't sure how it would resonate with folks on this platform. It's great to see other EDC enthusiasts in the watch groups, though.

I always carried a variety of item as well, but yeah, since discovering there was an actual hobby around it, I've upgraded my gear far beyond the items I used to carry. 100% agree, this is an expensive set of hobbies. I've mostly avoided the high-end pens, so far, but I'm thinking I want to try a Tactile Turn in Titanium at some point. 

I hate to admit it, if Seiko made a half-decent pocket knife, I'd probably buy it. LOL 🤣

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CascadiaEDC

@Slepowron Thanks! I actually held off on writing this for a while because I wasn't sure how it would resonate with folks on this platform. It's great to see other EDC enthusiasts in the watch groups, though.

I always carried a variety of item as well, but yeah, since discovering there was an actual hobby around it, I've upgraded my gear far beyond the items I used to carry. 100% agree, this is an expensive set of hobbies. I've mostly avoided the high-end pens, so far, but I'm thinking I want to try a Tactile Turn in Titanium at some point. 

I hate to admit it, if Seiko made a half-decent pocket knife, I'd probably buy it. LOL 🤣

Since a watch is an every day carry item, especially among this group, I would think it resonate positively. I’m sure there are ALOT of Urban Gentry you tube channel fans here, so EDC shouldn’t be a foreign concept. Although the channel mostly discusses all things watches, EDC is an important topic at times. To be honest, that’s where I first heard the term and what it encompasses. I bet there are quite a few EDC enthusiasts here, whether they admit it or not. 

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In my beginning I had a multitool, a flashlight, and a watch. I was a scenic tech/carpenter, but didn’t know what EDC was. Got out of tech and didn’t have to carry anymore, until I one day started getting interested in knives. Knife hobby led to EDC, which led me back to watches.

Dunno why all the vitriol for posters of knives coming from the watch community…but i’ll take a stab at it. 

Probably something to do with fear and misunderstanding. People do indeed live in a world where they grow up watching the telly learning that knives are bad mmkaaay? All their lives these people believe that there are no dark places in the day, and that there will always be a pair of scissors available at their disposal in every room they walk into. Then people started relying only on cell phones, and it’s just been that sort of learning curve for them.

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@Slepowron I would think so too. The negativity in the FB groups watch groups towards photos showing of watch with any other gear was a bit surprising. It's social media, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, though. There is always going to be the gatekeepers who can't handle anything even remotely different. 

I have chatted with several EDC enthusiasts through watch groups, so we're around, for sure. 

 

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TheSharperTheBetter

In my beginning I had a multitool, a flashlight, and a watch. I was a scenic tech/carpenter, but didn’t know what EDC was. Got out of tech and didn’t have to carry anymore, until I one day started getting interested in knives. Knife hobby led to EDC, which led me back to watches.

Dunno why all the vitriol for posters of knives coming from the watch community…but i’ll take a stab at it. 

Probably something to do with fear and misunderstanding. People do indeed live in a world where they grow up watching the telly learning that knives are bad mmkaaay? All their lives these people believe that there are no dark places in the day, and that there will always be a pair of scissors available at their disposal in every room they walk into. Then people started relying only on cell phones, and it’s just been that sort of learning curve for them.

@TheSharperTheBetter You're absolutely right about the misconceptions around knives. I've noticed that flippers get the worst reactions. It's the flicking noise. Quite a few people associate that noise with switchblades and think you're either dangerous or going to accidentally hurt yourself. 

For a variety of reasons, including the "fear of the flick", I've started carrying/collecting slip joints more and more. People see those as old-timey, grandpa knives and it doesn't seem to have nearly the same reaction as a flipper. Swiss Army Knives are another one that people seem relatively cool with. 

That's great how you circled back around to wearing and collecting watches through EDC! I enjoy reading stories like that, about how picked up the hobby. Before a couple years ago, I hadn't worn a wrist watch in probably twenty years. 

 

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TheSharperTheBetter

In my beginning I had a multitool, a flashlight, and a watch. I was a scenic tech/carpenter, but didn’t know what EDC was. Got out of tech and didn’t have to carry anymore, until I one day started getting interested in knives. Knife hobby led to EDC, which led me back to watches.

Dunno why all the vitriol for posters of knives coming from the watch community…but i’ll take a stab at it. 

Probably something to do with fear and misunderstanding. People do indeed live in a world where they grow up watching the telly learning that knives are bad mmkaaay? All their lives these people believe that there are no dark places in the day, and that there will always be a pair of scissors available at their disposal in every room they walk into. Then people started relying only on cell phones, and it’s just been that sort of learning curve for them.

Maybe I will start posting wrist shot pics while holding one of my pistols. I live in Texas USA and that’s definitely an EDC item for a lot of people here. If people get mad for pics with knives, I bet their heads would explode if guns were included. 

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CascadiaEDC

@TheSharperTheBetter You're absolutely right about the misconceptions around knives. I've noticed that flippers get the worst reactions. It's the flicking noise. Quite a few people associate that noise with switchblades and think you're either dangerous or going to accidentally hurt yourself. 

For a variety of reasons, including the "fear of the flick", I've started carrying/collecting slip joints more and more. People see those as old-timey, grandpa knives and it doesn't seem to have nearly the same reaction as a flipper. Swiss Army Knives are another one that people seem relatively cool with. 

That's great how you circled back around to wearing and collecting watches through EDC! I enjoy reading stories like that, about how picked up the hobby. Before a couple years ago, I hadn't worn a wrist watch in probably twenty years. 

 

Oh yeah, OTF’s/out the sides/autos in general are the scourge of the pocket knife world, they’ve been vilified since realization.

It’s crazy because opening a slipjoint is inherently more hazardous to open and operate than a one handed locking folder. But I carry a locking SAK just for scenarios where “fear-of-the-flick” applies.

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Slepowron

Maybe I will start posting wrist shot pics while holding one of my pistols. I live in Texas USA and that’s definitely an EDC item for a lot of people here. If people get mad for pics with knives, I bet their heads would explode if guns were included. 

Oh man do they go ape about those sort of posts over on Reddit. Not so much on r/EDC, but yeah, r/watches either faints or has a heart attack at the mere mention of such criminal conversation. I haven’t noticed anyone here on WC post with their pistol yet, so i dunno how well it’d be received.

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@TheSharperTheBetter It shows how little people understand. I love my slip joints, but absolutely, a modern folder is safer to open/close. OTFs get a bad rap because of pop culture association, which is unfortunate. Autos are technically illegal in Washington, where I live, which is unfortunate. 

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TheSharperTheBetter

Oh man do they go ape about those sort of posts over on Reddit. Not so much on r/EDC, but yeah, r/watches either faints or has a heart attack at the mere mention of such criminal conversation. I haven’t noticed anyone here on WC post with their pistol yet, so i dunno how well it’d be received.

I would never post such a pic. I just thought it might be funny based on some folks reactions to knives. I would never figuratively or literally stick any of my firearms in anyones face. I’m not one of those crazy people that fetishizes guns. I see them as tools for defense and treat them as such. Like I said before, where I live pistols are a regular EDC item for ALOT of people. I‘m sure there are platforms for gun nuts to display their EDC guns, but WC is definitely not the place. 

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Is it possible that these criticisms arose purely from a simple misunderstanding?  Did the people posting on Facebook spell out "everyday carry," or did they just type "EDC" and expect everyone to know what they meant?

I know what "everyday carry" is.  But if you were to mention EDC out of context, it probably wouldn't occur to me that's what you're talking about.  Acronyms are great when everyone knows what they mean.  And acronyms are terrible when many people don't know.

But why would people misunderstand EDC?

I Googled "EDC acronym" and discovered more than 100 meanings for EDC:

  • Education Development Center, Inc.
  • Export Development Canada
  • Everyday Carry
  • Electronic Data Capture
  • Economic Development Corporation
  • Electric Daisy Carnival
  • Economic Development Commission
  • Economic Development Council
  • Electronic Devices and Circuits
  • Eau de Cologne
  • Endocrine Disrupting Chemical
  • EROS Data Center
  • etc.

So let's just say that the meaning of EDC could be a bit ambiguous.  And if the people posting to Facebook were to lazy/busy to type out "everyday carry," then why would they assume that the average reader would be sufficiently curious (and overburdened with spare time) to do a Google search, then read through 100+ results to guess what they probably meant?

@CascadiaEDC, I commend you for actually spelling out what EDC means.  But you seem to be in the minority of posters.  (I spent too long earlier today, on another forum, figuring out what OCBD stood for … just because two people were too lazy to type out "oxford cloth button down.")

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CascadiaEDC

@TheSharperTheBetter It shows how little people understand. I love my slip joints, but absolutely, a modern folder is safer to open/close. OTFs get a bad rap because of pop culture association, which is unfortunate. Autos are technically illegal in Washington, where I live, which is unfortunate. 

Knife laws can be so ridiculous. CA says I can’t carry a automatic knife with a blade longer than 2.5”, but i can carry a machete on my hip. Go figure. I like that there are fewer laws regarding watches.

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@KiltedKarl Sorry, maybe my initial post wasn't clear. There wasn't confusion around the acronym "EDC" that I've seen in groups. The term was never really brought up.

What caused members to get bent was simply someone sharing a watch photo that just happened to have either a pocket knife or other gear in it. Their responses were like: "Why the hell is a knife in this photo?" or "Stop posting watches with knives! This is a watch group!" or similar sentiment. 

They were just angry there was a knife in the photo. My above post was hopefully to point out why some of us post watch photos with other gear, including pocket knives. 

Side note: I'm very active on Instagram, and it's a little funny when people end up on my EDC page when they were looking for posts about the "Electric Daisy Carnival", which apparently is a big music festival in Las Vegas.

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To be honest, I have been very hesitant to take photos with my edc because it involves a handgun. People these days have a stark opinion on them. You are for them or against them is the overall mindset. Of course that can get political and that is the one reason I am on this site, there aren't  any politics...yet. I have found that this site has been incredibly accepting of all styles, makes, and models, but I think that even posting a watch with and Edc that involves a hand gun would get you plenty of folks upset. That being their misunderstanding  of handguns or their perception of handguns from all sorts of media. 

Funny thing is, many collect military watches, but won't  go near a firearm.