Hodinkee, a media platform for watch enthusiasts that was founded by Benjamin Clymer in 2008, has built a loyal audience that ranges in age from 18 to 55, and for the past two years the company has capitalized on that audience with product collaborations at varying price points.
The first was with Max Büsser and Friends, which featured 10 limited-edition watches for the site that retailed for $52,000 each — the watches sold out in four hours. The next was with Zenith, which produced 25 watches that retailed at $8,900. Hodinkee most recently partnered with Tag Heuer on production of 125 watches priced at $5,900 that sold out in 45 minutes, and with Laurent Ferrier on a $60,000 watch. These watches sit alongside products from Hodinkee’s line of leather accessories that include straps and travel bags.
E-commerce has been a difficult world to break into for major media companies, but it’s worked for Hodinkee given its niche approach to the watch category.
Six months ago, the company hired Eneuri Acosta as chief operating officer — he formerly served as marketing manager at Cadillac — to help increase its revenue streams without watering down Hodinkee’s ethos. Acosta believes these watch collaborations have worked because of Hodinkee’s casual approach to luxury.
“We want to be sort of the one-stop shop for anything and everything for the world of watches,” said Acosta. “And I think our platform resonates with our audience because so much of the industry approaches luxury from a traditional way. Watch collectors would go into a boutique or any particular retailer in jeans and sneakers and not get the attention they deserve even though they are a millionaire tech entrepreneur who can buy anything in the store.”
Hodinkee is also attempting to connect with a larger audience via its recently launched magazine, that is published by volume number rather than date. Advertisers include Rolex, Cartier, BMW, Tudor and Grand Seiko. Up next is physical activations. In October, Hodinkee held an event with Glenfiddich at the SoHo House that featured a panel about heritage, tradition and handcrafted products along with a Scotch tasting. Titled Single Malt Salon, the goal of the panel was to bring together like-minded individuals for a conversation about creative passions and what new luxury means across the cultural spectrum.
“It feels like the entire industry is going digital and we are going more traditional,” said Acosta. “I would love to explore what a Hodinkee experience center looks like or a permanent, physical space. Those are the types of things I think about that can be interesting in the future.”
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/242287164″>Glenfiddich Single Malt Salon – All in Good Time from Glenfiddich Single Malt Salon on Vimeo.