“Gear Patrol links to featured products via Amazon and other online retailers,” their About Us dislaimer discloses. “When you click on these links and purchase products, the URL automatically includes an identifier that tells the retailer you discovered the link on Gear Patrol. We then earn a small percentage of the purchase price as a referral fee.” So GP’s watch “reviewers” are pimps masquerding as journalists. Not according to them . . .
“Our team is not beholden to or indebted by these retailers,” Gear Patrol swears on a stack of profits. That’s ridiculous. When someone is obligated to pay you for a service, they are beholden to you. When you depend on that fee to fund your “ability to appropriately staff our team and produce our signature Product Journalism,” you are beholden to them.
Along with the rest of the horological press, Gear Patrol is in bed with watch sellers and manufactuers – and the customer’s getting screwed.
The fine print under Here Are Some of the Most Affordable Watches of 2019 asserts that watch industry baksheesh funds GP’s “editorial team’s mission.” And what, pray tell, is that? To separate the horological wheat from the chaff? To make sure Gear Patrol readers are getting the best watches at the best price from the most reputable dealers?
Nope. Making money is their mission.
There’s nothing illegal about it. But Gear Patrol is fooling their readers – and probably themselves – by pretending to be capital “J” journalists. In that sense, Gear Patrol’s watch reviews and roundups are a scam. The Most Affordable Watches of 2019 actually means Here Are All The Inexpensive Watches That Pay Us a Commission. Buy One!
What’s more, GP’s 2019 roundup is “presented by Centric Instruments.” How does that work? I’m thinking Centric paid a fee to be on the list. But maybe I’m just a hoary old horologist. Apparently, the Centric Lightwell Chronograph is a “versatile and utilitarian choice for your wrist.” Versatiliarian!
The Truth About Watches doesn’t publish paid links to any watch seller. Nor do we sell watches, like the horological ho’ Hodinkee. TTAW offers readers fully independent watch reviews, editorials and news. Your best interest – not the sellers’ or manufacturers’ – is our paramount concern. Thank you for supporting independent journalism with your time and attention.