To explain who Archieluxury is and what he means to the watch world you have to go back in time to the very beginnings of internet culture, and more specifically watch culture. Starting in 2009 he was uploading videos to Youtube, in a time when the platform was still a very different place. His earliest videos were guides on how to spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag and highlights on certain timepieces of his collection. He was polite, he was knowledgeable, and he was one of the first of his kind.
But that was not necessarily why Archie got famous. Switching between the persona of Paul Pluta, a well-mannered lover of luxuries, and Archibald Chesterfield the III, also a lover of luxuries but not nearly as well mannered, he started to develop an iconic style which brought awareness to the huge amount of snobbery in the industry. He called out brands who in his eyes tried to rip off their customers and saved more than a handful of people from making purchases that they would later regret.
Back when I was 15 years old and first started to get interested in watches, Archieluxury was the guy for me on youtube. Sure, that may be due to the fact that there was not much else available, but nostalgia is a powerful thing and to this day I hold him for this in high regard. With the incredible thirst for knowledge that any new passion brings with it, Archie was the one who offered videos featuring unfiltered and heartfelt comments on a huge variety of different watches, and it was Archie of all people who introduced me to Patek Philippe. Whether you like the character he builds or not, he never failed to get a chuckle out of me. That is a rare and valuable quality in an industry usually packed with snobbery, desperate claims to heritage, and faking of accents.
What Archie does for me is he holds up a mirror to the watch world. What we end up seeing is not always something we like, but can you hold the mirror responsible for that? I am always amazed when I see people ask whether he is serious, and I think that gives you a sense of the general level of delusion we are experiencing. After all the guy calls himself Archibald Chesterfield the III and his biography reads like Richie Rich fan fiction.
In the world of picture-perfect Instagram models, there is not much space for a guy who likes his drinks and sins like there is no tomorrow. With the departure of people like The Prodigal Guide, Archie is the last of his kind. As much flack as he gets, like many things I believe people will only really start to appreciate him once he leaves us for real.
Nowadays Archie has become a throwback guilty pleasure. When it is 2 am and I can’t sleep, I occasionally throw on an old Archie luxury video for good time’s sake and I doubt I am alone in that. Sure his quality of videos has not developed much, but his consistency and output over almost a decade demand respect. He was and still is to a big extent a leading figure of internet watch culture, something that tells us a lot about the people in our industry, make of that what you will.