As a celebration of its 10th anniversary, Benjamin Clymer, the founder of Hodinkee, decided to forego charging attendees $3,000 to attend its Collectors Summit, which will take place in New York from Dec. 7-9.
“It’s a way to give back to our community,” said Clymer. “We decided that this is something we believe in and we figured once every 10 years we could swing it.”
The summit, which will be held inside a loft on Grand Street, will feature talks that can hold up to 150 people along with exclusive product drops, including a collaboration with Swatch.
Hodinkee has grown from a one-man-operated watch site to a 35-person company that produces a magazine, two podcasts and operates online retail. In addition to its limited-edition watch collaborations, which usually generate around $3 million in sales per year, it sells around 30,000 leather goods a year. Going forward, the company is targeting lifestyle products and has plans to collaborate on stereo equipment and camera accessories.
Next up is a physical retail space in New York, which Clymer said will be a hub for the watch world that’s open to the public. Clymer said the goal is to create a space that’s not too masculine and feels inclusive.
Clymer said that while the luxury watch category has gone through its ups and downs, brands have realized that Hodinkee readers, who are usually 35 and own around 11 watches, are a target audience that major, less niche publications don’t have.
“There is no question that the watch industry has put a lot of money in media, but it’s not what it used to be,” said Clymer. “We were early on in the digital space and we’ve taken it very seriously. We have a real enthusiasm for the product.”