World’s most famous IWC Girl
Deborah Maldonado or IWCGirl as you will all know her as, has managed to prove that Fine Watchmaking on social media isn’t just a man’s game. She is a bona fide influencer with 25,000 followers to prove it. FHH Journal caught up with her to discuss social media and the prevalence of watch influencers.
Where did the name IWC Girl come from and why IWC?
When I decided to make the account on Instagram I was not influenced by anyone but had a will to be part of the watch community.
I fell in love with watches the day I started working at the IWC Boutique in Brazil, 5 years ago, and IWC is my favorite brand. The name IWCGIRL was a name that I decided and I like it a lot. I looked at several Instagram accounts and saw that at that time there were not many accounts under IWC name, aside from the official one. Then when I asked a friend his opinion about that name, I remember he said to me, “Déby, that’s a really cool name because you’re a Girl in the Men’s World talking about watches! At the time I thought: It´s decided then! Later that made even more sense.
The account was rather a hobby at the beginning and very fast I noticed many passionate IWC fans started following me. It must be because I’m passionate about watches and people like to see the passions of other people. With time, what began as a simple hobby, acquired its own identity. That happened through time, I did not try to create it. I made friends, and I knew people from different places in the world, from different cultures but all with the same passion: the love for WATCHES!
What is your favourite IWC watch and why?
Am I allowed to pick two?
The first is the Big Pilot Petit Prince Perpetual Calendar (limited 270 pieces, 2013 edition). It is the combination of the blue dial (love this work “Soleillage”) and the perpetual calendar invented by Kurt Klaus (historical), the position of the Little Prince at the 12 o’clock looking at the stars and the special rotor behind the movement (it is really pure beauty). The piece has many details as you can see, but the main thing is that all are combined in the Big Pilot 46mm (it’s the most iconic watch from IWC in my opinion).
The second is a Vintage caliber 89 from 1940 in gold, a very special gift: My First IWC! It is too beautiful, classic, pure story, and it’s perfect on my wrist.
How do you keep your followers engaged?
Well… I am very grateful to all the ones that comment, respond to my photos and follow the page. I find essential to comment and interact with these people who are always there, they are important to me. Without them, the IWCGIRL would not be half of what it is today. I try to be always attentive, looking and also commenting on the Instagram of these people, answering questions, and I even give my opinion when they decide to buy a new IWC watch. That was the moment I realised that I was becoming an “influencer”.
What’s your favourite watch brands Instagram and why?
1 – Laurent Ferrier because I can see the “soul” of the watch. I like the design and the elegance… It is when less is more that everything works out. The photos are very natural and have a very little filter. I love that they always show the back case and the movement: fantastic!
2- Omega – has various kind of content, like videos, partnerships, and events of the brand. I think it’s nice that they always pay tribute to the Astronauts, and are always posting something related to the history of the brand, an antique watch.. always in an impeccable way.
Do you think influencers are becoming more prevalent within the fine watchmaking industry? Why ?
Yes, because these people speak and share their opinion, and are not paid or trained to do it.
I love when I see a person talking about specific details of the engine of a Mercedes, but that person is not a car engineer, but maybe a lawyer, a car lover etc. Or a person talking about watch history or a curiosity that is not in any manual. How does he know that? They truly believe in what they are saying.
For example, the singer John Mayer has many followers on Instagram, maybe even if they don’t listen to his music, but because they know of his passion for watches. He is an influencer too in that respect. Speaking of passion … I almost fainted when I saw in the Hodinkee “Talking Watches” John mentioning that it would be cool to find a girl using a “Baby Pilot” referring to the 36mm model. That is what I call personality!
Someone who influences another is very powerful and quite often is not aware of such power, because it is something that happens naturally. Brands should use this but also should be careful. We are not fools, and we do not want to be deceived. We want to see true opinions, that make us admire even more that brand and what it stands for.What other influencers or watch Instagram´s would you suggest people look at that are trying to get into Fine Watchmaking? Why?
Mr. Hast: apart from shooting very well, he writes well. I always watch his Instagram account and read his site. How elegant.#
Kristian Haagen: a distinguished guy, photographs and writes very well on watches in a unique way.
What is your watch pick for
Day time watch? Portofino Automatic Black dial with Milanese strap. It is elegant and timeless.
Dress Watch? Da Vinci Automatic IW458310- I love the combination of red gold and diamonds! It was love at first sight!!!
Sport watch? The Pilot watch chronograph Le Petit Prince edition because I love the combination of the blue dial with the brown strap and it’s the perfect size 43mm.
(c) Text by FHH Journal
Pics credit: Déborah Maldonado (IWC GIRL)