Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond

Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond

Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond Feature Articles

More time than I would like is spent discussing and consulting on business problems in the watch industry. My position as the guy running the big online watch magazine, aBlogtoWatch, offers a lot of broad oversight into various areas of the watch industry and, as such, I am fortunate enough to be in a position to make many conclusions about the industry if I apply enough reasoning to what I observe.

Over the last several years I’ve spent considerable effort doing my best to warn and advise the watch industry on what was causing economic slowdowns as well as offer solutions on how to remedy a lot of the bigger problems the industry faces. The watch industry, probably like most industries, tends to shy away from reports that would be characterized as negative, and so it can often feel like not enough people are listening. Still, when people whose businesses rely on the health of the industry compliment that my writing has helped them, I feel as though it is all worth it. As a refreshing change from all the more critical feedback, I felt it would be a good exercise to focus on some positive areas of the watch industry, and predict likely areas of growth over the next few years.

Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond Feature Articles

Allow me to first say a few things about the state of the watch industry for Q2 2017. First, the industry is currently contracting in size. Over the last 10 - 15 years, the watch industry grew larger than the market for watches can support. This means more watches were produced than can be sold into the market. Thus, the watch industry should be engaged in activities designed to reduce the total number of timepieces being produced, while increasing efficiency at the companies that do manufacture watches. Too many watches in the market leads to a number of problems, including things like gray market sales, a culture of price discounting, a serious erosion of actual exclusivity, and an overall degradation of value for business practices across the board. Thus, the watch industry is or should be anticipating reducing their overall production to volumes that the market can actually bear as measured by the volume of watches that are purchased by end-consumers.

Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond Feature Articles

Less watches means less money, that in turn means smaller companies and less employees. Therefore, the watch industry is currently in a contracting phase, and will continue to contract in size until a baseline plateau of sales performance is found. This baseline of sales performance should ideally be the actual number of watches sold to end-consumers in this market environment. Once this baseline of sales performance is found, brands can begin to build themselves back up again (and ideally not make a lot of the same mistakes).

It is difficult to find growth in a market where things are getting smaller as opposed to getting larger. Still, there will be plenty of areas of growth over the next few years. Each of the following areas of growth are related to consumer spending, both in terms of products people want in places where they actually are buying them, and the services that will be necessary in the watch industry of the not so distant future.

Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond Feature Articles

Business Hub Cities

Most of the countries that have traditionally imported the largest volumes of Swiss luxury watches have experienced a severe drop in watch imports over the last few years. Nevertheless, there are still areas around the world where people are engaged in business, and thus moving large sums of money around. Any time men are given large amounts of disposable income and put into environments where it becomes socially useful to show off to others, people will buy high-end watches. Accordingly, the best performing places in the world to buy watches continue to be these types of locations. It is no accident that New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Dubai, and other similar business hubs are also where the most watches are sold.

Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond Feature Articles

It is true that these markets can suffer from ups and downs, but it is also true that they continue to maintain performance in ways that non-business hub cities do not. Growth in these markets should not be a function of more watch retailers and inventory, but rather a greater effort on proper marketing and advertising, as well as optimizing the existing retail experience.

Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond Feature Articles

Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond Feature Articles

Stores in business hub cities around the world should focus on streamlining the customer experience and putting all their effort into staff and accommodations. Luxury watch stores in major business cities should assume that each of their clients is educated, discriminating, sophisticated, impatient, and demanding. These clients spend for fun and experience – not for aspirational purposes. They don’t want stores that make them feel wealthy – the typical Las Vegas shopping experience – but rather stores that acknowledge the lifestyle that they’ve become accustomed to. There are some select stores which understand this principle, but most today still don’t.

Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond Feature Articles

All of this assumes that the luxury status of a high-end watch will remain important. Nothing about the watch industry’s current poor performance indicates that consumers no longer want nice watches. Rather, the data shows that consumers want prices that better correspond to actual value, and also that they want better choices, not more choices. I say this because I think it is important to reinforce the notion that demand for watches by the right consumers is still very strong. It is the watch industry’s obligation to understand and supply to that demand, as opposed to ignoring it for other prospective (i.e. easier to sell to) demographics.

Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond Feature Articles

Start-Up Business Districts

It isn’t an accident that Northern California and Silicon Valley are among the strongest modern markets for luxury watches. Places where innovative business are starting up, and where there is a general entrepreneurial spirit with both talent and money is a solid location for high-end watch sales. What’s better is that people in these industries often regularly read the same types of media, and intermingle with one another on a regular basis. This means that this audience is not only made up of a lot of likely watch buyers, but also that sharing marketing and advertising information with them about what watches to buy and where is relatively simple and direct.

Possible Areas Of Economic Growth In The Watch Industry For 2017 & Beyond Feature Articles
A Rolex Datejust OysterQuartz not-so-discreetly featured in this Apple ad with John Houston.

One of the biggest challenges that watch companies face in America is its sheer size. The resources necessary to have a strong retail presence across the United States, let alone to advertise to hundreds of millions of people is much beyond the means of most watch companies. Thus, it makes a lot more sense to focus on specific areas or demographics of people who can be targeted with marketing messages as well as select retail locations. There are many start-up business districts within major business hub cities: places like Tel Aviv, Israel, Venice Beach, California, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands are all places where the start-up culture is thriving – and perfect places (among others) for luxury watch brands to focus their efforts in search of men amenable to luxury watch marketing; some of whom likely have enough disposable income to buy them.

  • Saul Sloota

    I’m a Word Salad enthusiast so right now I’m verrrrry satisfied.

  • IanE

    What I really fail to understand about the watch industry is how tone-deaf many of them are to the current state of the marketplace.

    As a rather extreme example, I was, about a year ago, actively considering buying a Moritz Grossmann Benu Power Reserve – at approx £23,000: I decided against at the time but have just had another look and it now costs £35,300!! Yes the pound has dropped in value, but certainly not by 50%. The MG was already pricey compared to the rather comparable Lange 1815 up/down, but now it is ridiculously priced – how can an industry that does this survive?

  • Yeah, what he (Ariel) said. Problems yet opportunities.

  • Marius

    According to this article:

    “More time than I would like is spent discussing and consulting on business problems in the watch industry. My position as the guy running the big online watch magazine, aBlogtoWatch, offers a lot of broad oversight into various areas of the watch industry and, as such, I am fortunate enough to be in a position to make many conclusions about the industry if I apply enough reasoning to what I observe.
    Over the last several years I’ve spent considerable effort doing my best to warn and advise the watch industry on what was causing economic slowdowns as well as offer solutions on how to remedy a lot of the bigger problems the industry faces.”

    Wait a minute! Are you telling me that watch brands need the consulting services of a watch blogger?! With all due respect, most watch bloggers are simply taking pictures of the watches, and then write an “article” which is pretty much a copy/paste of the manufacturer’s press release. With the exception of Jack Forster, Ben Clymer, and few others, most watch bloggers are not even highly knowledgeable in horology. In order to offer quality consulting, a watch blogger would need to have access to all sorts of internal data of a watch manufacture, ranging from sales figures all the way to supplier contracts. I doubt that watch brands would offer an outsider this access.

    Furthermore, most watch blogs (if not all) are heavily relying on watch brands. Watch brands invite watch bloggers at various events/product launches/SIHH; send them watches for reviews; and pay them advertising money. So, how could a person that is heavily reliant on watch brands actually advise them?

    • Dude, really.

    • Saul Sloota

      Listen, buddy. If it weren’t for Ariel, you wouldn’t even exist. That’s him on the right. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dbfe13a9a4c311c48456d6ee6743e5a90b91cbeb155591b2d6ec0e380f216680.jpg

    • Saul Sloota

      I am reminded of this famous quotation:

      “When the Omega Globemaster first came out, I felt that Omega really missed a marketing opportunity to define who a “globemaster” is, and then to try and match that demographic with the watch. For me, a globemaster is someone who not only regularly travels for mostly professional purposes, but also has a comfortable degree of cultural experience and literacy to not only survive in strange places, but also find interesting and new things in those places even as a foreigner. Not to sound narcissistic, but I actually think people like professional bloggers would easily qualify as globemasters. Omega should have emphasized this lifestyle as a personality type and created campaigns designed to show people like me (a professional blogger) wearing the Globemaster around the world and showing why it is both style-wise and function-wise a good timepiece choice. Oh well, I suppose I’ll be the only one promoting that message for now.”

      I always forget who said that. Pretty sure it wasn’t Mark Twain. Maybe Voltaire?

      • Marius

        I can tell you exactly who wrote that paragraph. It was written by none other than Rollin Crittendon himself. The idea was quite clever. Can you imagine an Omega marketing campaign featuring Rollin Crittendon aka The Globemaster? Just imagine: Paris, Rome, Vienna, London, New York, and Tokio all filled with banners showing Rollin Crittendon wear an Omega Globemaster.

      • funkright

        What irritates me about the Globemaster specifically is that anything with the title Globe in it should have a GMT function in it. If I am a traveller (e.g. a ‘Globemaster’) then this would be a core functionality I would expect. I understand the ‘call-back’ to nostalgia, but come on Omega… I understand I am, effectively, buying man-jewellry, but I would like to have something more for my money.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      Gregory Pons, Business montres.

  • Marius

    This was a very interesting article. It’s quite obvious that Rollin Crittendon has a very deep & thorough understanding of the watch market. Although this article was quasi-exhaustive, I would like to make a few suggestions for other possible areas of growth in the upcoming years.

    Albania aka the “Monte Carlo of Eastern Europe.”

    Bosnia & Herzegovina aka the “Hong Kong of Eastern Europe.”

    The Matrix Reloaded aka “Capri of the digital world.”

    Detroit aka the “Stuttgart of the car industry.”

    Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This is a massive opportunity for Bremont, which still doesn’t have a boutique here.

    • Saul Sloota

      I too would tell Bremont to “get your ass to Dars”, but I believe even more strongly that he who owns Port Moresby shall own the 22nd Century.

      • Berndt Norten

        Themistocles, Raleigh or Mahan?

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      Tanzania is so overlooked as a growth market for the pseudo-British fake pedigree watch market it’s not even funny.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      There`s a Ulysse Nardin Boutique in Abuja/Nigeria! Mono brand! They have money for Nardins but they`re not able to pay me the $10 000 000 a prince promised me in an e-Mail!

      • Mikita

        Damn, I also found to have so many bloody rich relatives from Nigeria!

  • William

    Interesting article and all good points that are made. But the biggest issue facing the Watch Industry is pricing. Until they figure out how to do it and balance cost and value they will continue to decline. It is a Buyers Market now where you can reference the internet with retail stores and shop on a local, regional and international level. The Grey Market is destroying local retailers but it is being stocked by the very businesses it is killing. In the future, please consider an updated article regarding how pricing and overall arrogance is what is impacting the watch industry.

  • Saul Sloota

    There’s a good point on page 4.

    • IG

      Seems like Russian hackers have stolen it.

  • BNABOD

    So three pages to say watches are too expensive for what they are “worth” to the eye of the customer so more value for price must be created. K thanks for the insight cowboy.

  • Yan Fin

    Happy Father’s day y’all’s!

    • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

      Thanks and It ain’t easy.

  • Luciano

    Full 3 pages to finally get to the only semi-relevant point of the article… most brands are charging way too much for the value they are delivering. And the absence of “decent” offer in the $1k to $3k range is a symptom of just that.
    I hope Ariel doesn’t real believes that he can do business consulting work for watchmakers.

    • IanE

      It may be Watchmakers’ 101, but they really don’t seem to get it!

    • Mr. Snrub

      I think they’re just charging whatever they think can because the macroeconomic reality of the past 25 years is that the only group doing well is the top 10% of earners. The rest have been written off.

  • SuperStrapper

    Armchair experts out in full force today. On father’s day everyone’s a hero.

  • funkright

    Great read Ariel, I appreciate the insight that you provide. I’m on the edge looking in, of late, due to all the various demands on my time. Do I wear the Apple Watch that sits on my charger and does so much, buy that fashion watch (which I have never bought before) that looks fun to wear (that Fossil Q CREWMASTER looks like a blast to wear out to the beach or casual environments, so much so that I went and checked it out while reading the article), the Omega Speedmaster, or the Skydweller? More often than not I find myself reaching for the watch that can do the most for what I need, and that isn’t the Speedmaster or the Skydweller. Does that mean these will go onto the block sooner than later, IDK? But, I hate when money just sits there and provides no or little marginal utility…

  • Word Merchant

    Ok… I’ve read the articles, I’ve seen the pictures, I’ve read the comments. And now clearly, the internet wants to know:

    Just What Does Word Merchant Think?

    I’ve commented on a few articles, cementing my in-depth horological knowledge in the process. I’m not being vain when I write that my entirely correct and very clever views are needed. And they are needed right now. And they are needed right here.

    So, here’s what the watch industry should do. Firstly they should take a pair of blunt, rusty scissors and castrate …

    Please supply 100 up-votes to reveal the rest of the comment. Make your up-vote count now!

    …and finally they need to seal the hole, preferably with a pig’s trotter.

    • Word Merchant

      Ok, 75 up-votes. Damn it, don’t make me beg!

    • Not your best comment. If this is an example of you current word-smithing, you might have a hard time landing that gig. But best of luck to ya.

      • Word Merchant

        This is more of a calling than an actual job. But your feedback is noted…

        • Perhaps we have come to expect more from you as a matter of routine. Ever upward and onward!

  • Saul Sloota

    It’s a pity you didn’t drop this knowledge on Nubeo before they went on their boat trip down the Styx.

  • Tony NW

    The advice of tracing ownership of watches and providing some benefit can be extended to the approach some (mostly German marque) car dealerships employ… an actual relationship with the buyer. I’ll grant you that the Japanese brands barely try this, and my experience with Ford a few decades ago was that they preferred a BDSM relationship, with me on the receiving end, but the local Audi dealer has been great for the 20+ years and multiple new cars I’ve bought from them, even at times holding service open late when my car limped in, covering a repair that was a few days past warranty and pushing coverage through on a modified engine.

    In contrast, I’m an early customer of Christopher Ward. They are internet-only; you’d expect them to have the whole internet thing down. But when I sent in, with a service order for cleaning, a watch, it got held in customs… and it took them three weeks just to go get it. They didn’t send me any notice and were remarkably unhelpful in their responses, only promising to let me know when they got it; I only know they eventually picked it up because U.K. Customs updated the tracking data, two days after I gave up and telephoned Christopher Ward to get more status. (They said they had received the notice and send the response… pity they hadn’t updated me. And they still haven’t acknowledged receipt.)

    Read that again: The U.K. Customs Office did a better job notifying me than Christopher Ward did. I still haven’t heard directly from them.

    Now imagine you’re an associate of mine. You see my variety of watches and ask about them, which happens pretty frequently. I’m pretty sure that just in the last three months two Seiko Cocktails were sold based on conversations with me. Previously, C.W. was one of my faves, but am I going to suggest buying from a company that won’t even provide minimal statusing and relationship handling?

  • Thomas Williams

    I noted some of the comments at the end of the article. I am not usually inclined to engage in emotional, but pointless, debates over what can become a personal exchange for some posting individuals. That much made clear, I think that Ariel has perceived an opportunity that the industry could exploit to its advantage. The $1,000 to $3,000 range.
    I know that is certainly my sweet spot. My collection and preferences attest to the fact. And due to stated fact, most of my purchases were transacted from gray market sellers in order to stay within my financial comfort zone. Collectors accumulate goods. Paying any amount more than necessary runs contrary to increasing one’s “hoard”. The only AD watches purchased in this household are a few Micro-brand models in the sub $1000 range and several certified used Grand Seiko models for more than $3000. Even the Rolex watches were purchased on the gray market. Keeping the pricing of first stage offerings attractive could easily persuade purchasers like me to transact with the manufacturing producer. I believe most of us would really rather deal with the brand source as a matter of facility and exclusivity.
    A good comparison of the present state of the industry would be Mercedes-Benz cars. Daimler really didn’t even have a focused marketing department until the 1980s. They made finely engineered motor vehicles and sold every one. Then, they ran into quality perception challenges when the Asian manufacturers began to outpace Mercedes-Benz development. Fortunately, management at Daimler paid attention after several years of losing market share. Daimler’s product development process was streamlined and they learned how to market to a quality oriented demographic. It has proven wildly successful for the M-B brand. I see the watch industry in a similar situation to what the managers in Stuttgart were facing.
    At this point, I would like to share an observed demographic of which I am familiar. Granted this is a niche tidbit but it partly illustrates the point. I worked in aviation propulsion maintenance until retiring recently. I got to know more “natural mechanics” than the average citizen has the pleasure of knowing. The better propulsion mechanics possess stellar perceptions not unlike that of a watchmaker. Gear train, metallurgy, lubrication technology, force multiplication, mesh/lash of gearing, acceptable tolerances, etc. Many accomplished mechanics can visualize exactly how a given system functions with a minimum of information. Rather similar to coding; “if this, then that”. Pure logic but of a different application. The point being is that with few exceptions, most of my former co-workers and subordinates shared an interest in horology but few explore that interest. The cost of entry is viewed as being a bit costly for what one gains. Here is a list of genuine prohibiting factors to purchase; What really makes one brand favorable over another? (deliberate obfuscation of actionable statement of fact) Precious metal…why? (Perception being that soft metal in a mechanical device is silly – it is merely an embellishment – pretty but high maintenance – better to go no softer than bronze) Silicone balances and springs hold interest. Carbon fiber is for sporting equipment, cars and motorcycles, and to a lesser degree, aircraft skins. Tool watches are appreciated but many are seemingly over priced to this group. Water resistance – the desired rating is 300 meters. 200 meters would be acceptable in the less expensive offerings. No other rating will be considered excepting a genuine dress watch. Rolex is well perceived – roughly as good as buying a long-term Certificate of Deposit with the benefit of having a nice piece on one’s wrist. Nobody understands Breightling’s attraction/cost except for the more highly remunerated pilot class. Breightling is well liked, indeed, but I know no mechanics who own one. Omega is well-perceived – probably due to the provenance of the brand along with the strong NASA association – the impression is permanent. I am possibly the only aviation propulsion mechanic in the world who digs Spring Drive and owns one. Grand Seiko is something of a curiosity among the demographic but lacking an affordable line of tool watches, GS fails to sell to the group. Most have no idea what the Seiko Prospex line entails. (Seiko could make a killing here.) At any rate, I trust you understand what I am putting across. And I chose to send this epistle off to Ariel in an effort to offer support for one of his stated premises in the referenced article.
    Thanks so much for stepping forward and attempting positive analyses. I think you are correct and that time will prove you to be. In the meantime, there are a ton of aircraft mechanics buying Fossils as their dress watches and Seiko/Citizen gee wiz watches as their everyday watches who actually have the money to purchase horology pieces. Every model has its place. As does every demographic. My demographic, along with similar ones has been ignored for at least 20 years. The groups of skilled tradesmen and women out there who earn a good living could likely be persuaded to look at Bulova and Hamilton products. But only if the marketers could understand that the modifier “luxury” automatically alienates a number of future customers because they perceive that they are priced out of the market. That is simply not the case. A more fruitful approach might be something like “Our watches cost more. Here is why…. And here is why we think our product suits you.” It would not hurt for the industry to offer PROMINENT corporate sponsored explanations online either. Rather like a “details” link from within various product groupings. There are lots of technically oriented types of personalities who are just waiting to be recruited and converted.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Thanks Ariel I like business news, but you need to hire an analyst.

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      We can all see why his blog is floundering. He just doesn’t get it. Editing poster’s posts isn’t going to fix things, Adams. Start listening to people who know what the hell they are talking about on here instead. Maybe you can save this rapidly sinking blog. But you won’t listen.

      • Saul Sloota

        It would be tragic and a little funny if H.O. is actually Zen Love, Bredan, Bilal Khan, etc. Inside job.

      • Ariel Adams

        A lot of people don’t realize that your comments are in jest and satirical. So I would recommend making that more clear. Why are you claiming that we edit poster’s posts?

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    The point about the £1000 to £3000 watches is a very good one. Most people can stretch to £3000 for a good luxury watch, and still be able to look the significant other in the eye. (Christ its bad enough with the wine, women, and errr other debts).
    But you just can’t buy a new mainstream luxury brand for that money. They all start at car level prices; and I cant justify that either in terms of my own budget, or even that its reasonable value for money – and I love watches.
    The point about tracking technology is a good one too. Not only in the sense of consumer data for the manufactures. But also as security in the used market. I’ve just had my first ebay burn. Fortunately I got the money back, but I didn’t get the watch I wanted.
    As usual Ariel, great article. I like these halo pieces – its all grist to the mill.

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      Keep applauding yourself, Adams. Nobody is buying this.

      • Lincolnshire Poacher

        That’s alright Mar… I’m mean Dinkee HO

    • And Ariel gave the 1000 to 3000 is USD, not pounds.Hopefully your money won’t drop to parity with the U.S. buck (but it would made visiting more affordable for blokes like me).

      • Lincolnshire Poacher

        I was just being lazy, they are ‘ball-park’ similar amounts. £3000 is $3800 as I’m sure you’re aware.

        • Yep – used to be a lot more. Bad for you buying imported goods but supposedly good for Brit exports.

          • Lincolnshire Poacher

            My god. Brexit happened and over night everything on ebay, amazon, basically anywhere was at least 20% more.
            Being under 60 years of age, and wanting my country to have at least some influence in the world. I voted to stay in the worlds largest trading block.
            And like 48% of my fellow country men, and actually many more, as lots of people protest-voted without understanding the issue. I’m bloody furious with those who think in the highly interconnected world we live in, that leaving trade deals and giving up influence is clever.
            I’ve been at work all night, I’m very tired, and I’ll probably delete this post.

          • I read your post via email before you truncated it. I agree with you overall but I also understand your nation’s right to sovereignty and control over immigration and its own currency. Cheers.

          • Berndt Norten

            When I itch for some sovereignty I reach for my De Pol watch.?

  • Please provide the stats to back up your statement (assuming your mom lets you out of the basement).

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      NUMBER 26 (THE BIG H) VERSUS NUMBER 944 (ABTW)! STOP COLORING YOUR HAIR, MARK CARSON, IT’S SEEPING INTO YOUR BRAIN! AND ARIEL ADAMS ISN’T LISTENING TO HIS BLOG BOARD WHO KNOW A LOT BETTER THAN HE DOES AND IS NO LONGER “THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR WATCH BLOG”!!! IT’S ALL OVER, RED ROVER!

      https://www.similarweb.com/website/hodinkee.com

      https://www.similarweb.com/website/ablogtowatch.com

      • Lincolnshire Poacher

        Different catagories. Jewellry vs People and Society. Ask Kant, he’d tell you, if he was still perambulating.
        P..S. My Mom has only let me out to say this bit, so I’m back home now.

        • Dinkee, H. O.

          TWO MILLION VIEWS FOR HODINKEE!

          ONE AND A HALF FOR ABTW!

          DOWNWARD SPIRAL COMPARED TO HODINKEE!

          • Lincolnshire Poacher

            I put a category change request in, so that they both appear on the same metric.
            And then we shall see.
            I’ve no skin in this game, I’m bound to forget. So I’ll assume if I don’t hear from you proclaiming otherwise, That ABTW pips HO’D.

          • Dinkee, H. O.

            Nice try, Adams, but nobody is buying this.

      • ABTW publishes their own traffic figures: http://www.ablogtowatch.com/advertise/

        And has since this post of about a year and a half ago: http://www.ablogtowatch.com/ive-made-ablogtowatch-website-traffic-public-information/

        Looks like well over 2 million page view per month from what I see for ABTW.

        SimilarWeb clearly states that their numbers are estimates. The numbers ABTW self-publishes come from their use of Google Analytics.

        Honest question: does Hoodinkee do the same? And I have no issue with them being a popular site was well. Not that you have anything to do with that.

        I don’t know why my appearance is a concern of yours either way. It seems you want me to alter my appearance to your liking. Guess you much have a crush on me. I have to report that I’m happily married (and straight), so your opinions don’t register at all with me.

        Can’t we just talk about watches again?

        • Lincolnshire Poacher

          Mark, I don’t keep up with this site as much as I like. But I was always under the impression that Dinkee was the alter-alias of another well known – and often interesting, if rather strong with the opinions – regular contributor to ABTW.
          A sort of unpleasant Jeckle to a nicer Hyde.

          • Who knows (or cases). The early attempts at parody were mildly entertaining for a day or two. Then it all went down hill for the “persona”. Sad really at this point. Comic parody I get, cowardly hiding behind a imposter name/login/avatar is pathetic.

          • Lincolnshire Poacher

            Yup, I think that sums up the general consensus. His recent return was rather a surprise.

          • Saul Sloota

            My name is not Saul and I’m not an alcoholic. But that sweet, sweet watchohol gets me every time.

          • Let me guess, your name is really Paul Simon – no wait that’s someone else 🙂

          • Saul Sloota

            Yeah, my totally real name is Fart Argunkel.

      • Joel Schumann

        From this we also learn that the general Hodinkee reader spend his or her internet time reading on subjects such as “religion” “spirituality” and “society” while ABTW readers just want some more bling and look for “jewellery”. I don’t know … I’m not massively surprised except I would have thought “cars” ranked higher.

      • Michel Deugenoux

        on s’en fout un peu non ?

        • Berndt Norten

          Quand on est con, on est con. Il est con!

      • Ariel Adams

        Webmasters have long known that sites like SimilarWeb and others do not have accurate data – usually not even close. They aren’t privy to our actual traffic data and use imprecise estimations based on various types of data they can collect which can vary wildly. Here is SimilarWeb’s own [hidden] warning statement on trusting their data:

        ” Although we believe that our broad based and worldwide spread resources
        provides with a fairly adequate information and trends, our Services
        provide statistical information and accordingly may not be up to date or
        fully accurate thus the reliance on the results and information set
        forth in our Services is made at your own risk and expense. Furthermore,
        the information gathered by us and used for purposes of analyzing
        websites or internet pages is not verified by us for quality,
        reliability or otherwise and accordingly, the information presented
        through our Services does not in any way creates any representation or
        warranty on our behalf with respect to such third party’s websites or
        internet pages.”

  • Tempvs Mortvvs

    Man, we mostly come here to see watch pictures, please reduce your long-winded comments on the watch industry and so on. As blind as the people that consult you are to your “professional advice”, so are you regarding what made your blog popular and what is making it go down in popularity. “Success” has gone to your head, as it did to them. Expect the same results.

    • Ariel Adams

      The watch industry is going through a vary challenging time and I’m doing what I feel we can do to create awareness and conversations about these topics. People who just want to hear about cool watches to buy are likely to be less interested in this and I understand that. With that said, I feel that the situation is serious enough with our industry to merit these types of discussions. I don’t do it for any type of egotistical purposes. If I discuss my success and experience, it is merely to ensure the credibility and authority of what I am saying so that as many people as possible take the discussion seriously.

  • otaking241

    Let me just say it: I love the grey market. I love “show-rooming.” If I can get the same thing as someone else for 20% less (not to mention no sales tax) that is a “win” in my book. Don’t try and sell me on your warranty; anything less than 5 years is worthless (also, don’t you find it odd that watch companies spend so much time telling you how great their engineering and reliability is and then pitch a warranty as a reason to pay MSRP?). But all you AD-loving suckers please don’t stop going to the “boutiques!” I want to have a nice-smelling environment with free sparkling wine and chocolates to look at the watches before I go buy one somewhere that’s actually interested in giving me a deal.

    Or, you know, the OEMs could start pricing their watches realistically and offer something to make an AD purchase actually worth the cost of entry. Nah, who am I kidding? That would only happen in an industry where market forces are actually effective.

  • William S Lerner

    I used to be a writer for ABlogtoWatch. Ariel is a very smart and savvy historian. He really tries to give the community as much information as possible. Yes, the article was “exhaustive” as one reader stated, but you can skip the articles if they don’t suit your needs. Ariel brilliantly has the writers sum up the watch at the end of each review. It is an incredibly valuable tool. Ariel, that said, I am very disappointed in your “Sponsored Posts.”

    This blog clearly is for profit and passion, but it is an act legerdemain to shyly label it. When I can start the article and miss that heading it is not objective. You have lost my trust. You are a smart guy, don’t destroy your reputation as being fair and objective when you sell someone space for their content, which can be easily mistaken for yours. Stay in the space you are brilliant at, and find a more transparent way to produce additional income. And, happy belated birthday.

    • Ariel Adams

      I agree that transparency in revenue generation for any media or business for that matter is extremely important. Advertising is usually considered a transparent form of revenue because it is clear who the message is coming from and how to visually separate it from editorial content. Sponsored Posts are extremely transparent and they are also an opportunity for advertisers to speak directly with our audience. While not all the advertising messages are going to appeal to all audience members, I’ve never considered them as being anything but totally transparent.

      Revenue generation for media these days is a regular juggle between advertiser and audience interests. Advertisers regularly pressure us to be non-transparent, something we routinely fight against. More interesting is that in a survey we did a few years on aBlogtoWatch, more than 80% of the audience wanted the magazine to be entirely advertising supported. So in an attempt to follow the desires of the audience, as well as keep advertiser expectations and demands in check, we have hit on the system we have now. I continue to adapt and change with feedback we get. Having said that, what disappoints me quite often is that the audience doesn’t have all the behind the scenes information and regularly jumps to conclusions we are not based in fact.

      • William S Lerner

        Ariel, just make it look different. You have shot yourself in the foot. You knew what you were doing. Nothing wrong with making an honest dollar, but making it seem objective is a lie to your audience. Nice try, but no dice. It is a shame, because I even read your reviews and used them for my purchases. Do you think Consumers Reports or the Consumer Products Safety Commission had sponsored posts? You can’t have it both ways. Your decisions, show very poor judgment.

        • Ariel Adams

          Crucial differences: Consumer Reports are funded by subscribers and I’m pretty sure that anything called the Consumer Products Safety Commission is funded by the government or some outside source. aBlogtoWatch is not.

          So what I am hearing is that you are OK with Sponsored Posts but want them to be more visually separated. I have no problem with that at all. The only reason they look similar is that given the publishing platform we have, there are only so many tools available to make posts look different. We will work on trying to visually separate them more – that is sage advice.

          • William S Lerner

            Thank you for seeing my point. You are too talented, and knowledgeable to appear that you can be bought or undermined for money. Your reviews are raw and honest. No Swiss manufacturers have boycotted you. They may not like you but they respect you. Don’t throw them away your respect for a few dollars. Once lost, it is never regained. You have minimal overhead. I know what you pay your staff. Don’t hide behind that. You are not going to fool anyone. You get plenty of revenue from advertisers, and lovely perks. Be the good guy, who is honest and transparent. Respect will always be yours. Don’t sell out.

          • William S Lerner

            And, I am not OK with sponsored posts. It is dishonest, because it looks like a review. Was that what you intended, when you created your vision? Greed is a very ugly trait.

            You are great at what you do. Don’t ruin it.

      • William & Falcon

        ” Advertisers regularly pressure us to be non-transparent, something we routinely fight against.” …care to elaborate on that point?

        • arieladams

          Sure. A lot of them are actually afraid of advertising. So what happens a lot is that they simply want to pay us to write reviews on their products. Which of course we need to turn down and advise them against for a range of reasons. Stuff like that is what I’m talking about.

          • William & Falcon

            OK, wow. Thanks.