Who Is Nico Leonard Van Der Horst? The Fake Watch Buster (2024)

The Dutch watch expert recently came after Rick Ross.

When it comes to luxury jewelry and timepieces, authenticity is always paramount for many celebrities. However, there are several instances of dupes, fakes, and counterfeit pieces out there. Enter Nico Leonard van der Horst, the Dutch YouTube sensation determined to uncover the fake watches on celebrity wrists. He’s steadily gained popularity for upholding the integrity of horology. That’s why he’s been famously dubbed the “Fake Watch Buster.” Armed with an unyielding commitment to exposing counterfeit timepieces, Nico Leonard van der Horst has garnered admiration, as well as controversy within the watch community.

Most recently, he’s caught some newfound attention after calling out Rick Ross for allegedly owning a fake watch. Nico claimed that Ross’ Audemars Piguet, reportedly purchased at over $3 million, is a counterfeit. Rozay evidently did not take the accusation lightly, labeling Nico a “piglet” for insinuating a Black man could not purchase a watch with such a hefty price tag. So, who’s this watch expert claiming to have a great eye for such detail?


Nico Leonard van der Horst’s fascination with watches began at a young age. He was born on August 21, 1987, in the Netherlands and grew up with a keen eye for detail. After getting his first watch at age 16, he began the side hustle of fixing and repairing watches. In a 2023 interview with Constantin Buschmann, CEO of Brabus Automotive Company, van der Horst recalled the moment he became interested in watches.

“I can remember a very specific moment. I was at the age of 13 and I was at Majorca. And there was a guy next to a really really good-looking blonde woman… that guy was wearing a two-tone Rolex Submariner. I didn’t know at the time it was a bluesy, and I didn’t know at the time it was a Rolex. At the time, I just wanted to figure out what the hell that watch was. That moment really fired it up for me.”

After suffering a football injury, he began working for his father but was ultimately unhappy with where he was in life. In 2013, Nico Leonard van der Horst received an opportunity to restart his soccer career in Belfast, Ireland. A few months into moving to Northern Ireland, however, he sustained another injury. This time, his career came to a complete stop. Soon after, he ended up working at two call centers but was fired from both. Subsequently, he was hired by Vodafone in Dublin, where he enjoyed several promotions and growth. Nonetheless, the job eventually wore him out.

Pride And Pinion

After unexpectedly encountering a YouTube video on watches, Nico Leonard van der Horst realized what he wanted to do in life. He quit his job, took out a loan, and bought watches to sell. That’s how his company, Pride and Pinion, was created in 2019. In the same interview with Buschmann, he spoke about what propelled him to quit his job and start selling watches. “I saw a young kid talking about watches on YouTube and on Instagram and I was like ‘That’s what I want. That’s what I’m gonna do.’ And I sh*t you not, I drove to the office and I didn’t know I was gonna quit my job at the office.”

Today, Pride and Pinion is now a company that deals in luxury timepieces. The company buys, sells, and upgrades watches for enjoyers and lovers of horology. It has since garnered a large customer base over the years. In the same vein, Nico has become a household name among enthusiasts of watches.

Nico Leonard’s YouTube Career

Nico Leonard’s YouTube account was created as an extension of his watch boutique, and it wasn’t long before he encountered a ton of fake watches. He meticulously scrutinizes every aspect of a timepiece, from its movement to its finishing. Moreover, his methodical approach to counterfeit detection has garnered widespread attention on social media platforms, where he shares his findings with a global audience. His YouTube account has gained over 1 million subscribers, and his other social media platforms also boast a substantial following. Altogether, Nico Leonard uses his platform to educate watch enthusiasts on the telltale signs of fake watches. He also empowers them to make informed purchasing decisions. He has since decided to rebrand the account as Nico Leonard, opting for a more informal approach to his vlogs, allowing viewers a glimpse into his personal life.

Response From The Horology Community

Nico Leonard’s methods for busting watches have not gone by without controversy. Critics argue that his vigilantism perpetuates a culture of elitism within the watch community. Moreover, it’s believed by many that he undermines the value of homage pieces, which pay tribute to iconic designs without claiming authenticity. He has also consistently voiced strong criticisms of the Swiss brand Hublot. Furthermore, he has also occasionally aimed at the operational management style of Hodinkee, a notable watch company. Despite the criticism, however, Nico remains steadfast in his pursuit of truth and transparency. He has also gained admiration for his dedicated advocacy for ethical practices within the watch industry.


About The Author

Demi Phillips

Demilade Phillips has been a Features Writer for HotNewHipHop since 2023. The self-proclaimed music fanatic deals with most things Hip Hop and R&B, while also covering film, television, and the entertainment industry at large. When he’s not working, the International Relations graduate is either binging anime, immersing himself in the underground EDM scene, or crafting up original pieces.

Who Is Nico Leonard Van Der Horst? The Fake Watch Buster (2024)


Who Is Nico Leonard Van Der Horst? The Fake Watch Buster? ›

Nico Leonard van der Horst better known as Nico Leonard (born August 21, 1987) is a Dutch YouTuber and entrepreneur credited with a genre of YouTube videos that centers on high-end watches, being the biggest watch-related YouTube channel and largest cross-platform creator regarding horology.

Is Nico Leonard a watch expert? ›

A student of the fine art of watchmaking since his teens, while the rest of us were assembling Lego, Nico Leonard was deciphering the mainspring from the hairspring, and every watch complication in between.

Does Nico own Pride and Pinion? ›

Nico Leonard

Nico has been passionate about watches since his first Seiko at 16. Since then he's grown Pride and Pinion into one of the largest luxury watch dealers in the world.

How much is Pride and Pinion worth? ›

Key Financials
Net Worth£1,589.00£184,125.00
Total Current Assets£758,165.00£422,821.00
Total Current Liabilities£156,576.00£240,786.00

Is Pride and Pinion legit? ›

Yes! We have over 500 5-star reviews from our valued customers on Trustpilot. These can be viewed here. Pride and Pinion is passionate about excellent customer service and providing the best experience possible for buying or selling your watch.

Where are Pride and Pinion based? ›

We're glad to have you here. In 2019 Watches NI rebranded to Pride & Pinion. New name, same excellent service. With this came much change, we launched our flagship boutique inside the prestigious Merchant Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland where clients can view our extensive collection in comfort and privacy.

Is Chrono24 safe? ›

Our promise: Every new and used watch on Chrono24 is authentic. Our dealers are required to inspect each watch's authenticity and may only list original timepieces. However, should issues arise, you have 14 days upon delivery of your order to contact our support team and get your money back.

How do I email Pride and Pinion? ›

You can always contact us for any return question at admin@prideandpinion.com.

Why are Hublot watches so expensive? ›

Hublot is so expensive for a few reasons. First, the Swiss luxury watchmaker uses premium materials, some of which are produced by the company itself, adding to costs. Hublot also handcrafts timepieces through a painstaking process, so its labor costs are high.

Are Hublot watches a good investment? ›

Increasing Value Over Time

One of the compelling reasons to consider the Hublot Classic Fusion as an investment is its potential to appreciate in value. Hublot, as a brand, has steadily gained recognition and popularity in the luxury watch market.

Are Hublot watches good quality? ›

Hublot makes all sorts of watches and although they aren't as famous as Omega which has a few iconic watches such as the Moonwatch and the James Bond watches, they are considered a more prestigious brand by watch lovers and collectors the world over.

Why do watch experts love Casio? ›

Another reason why Casio watches are so loved is that they are accurate. Casio watches use quartz watch movements, which are the most accurate type of watch movement available.

What rank is Fossil watches? ›

Fossil, which ranks fourth in our selected watch-wear ranking, is particularly known for its stylish and functional watches. In Q4 2022, the brand generated $10.2M in MIV® across 5.6K placements with a growth of 9% in comparison to Q3 2022.

Where does Frédérique Constant rank? ›

In 2015 Le temps, a famous Swiss magazine, ranked Frederique Constant 5th place in the Haute de Gamme Swiss luxury watches segment, coming after Tudor.

What does your watch type say about you? ›

If you wear a traditional watch, you likely value reliability and understated elegance, and you may be seen as someone who is dependable and grounded. Luxury watches, such as those from Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, or Jaeger-LeCoultre, are a clear symbol of success and ambition.

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