HoDinkee better hope there’s no such thing as bad publicity. The website’s $5900 shark-jumping Eight-Day Travel Clock has ignited a firestorm of clock criticism. So much so that HoDinkee cut off comments underneath their Instagram posts (the same response to critics of their review of Panerai’s Nazi repros). COO Eneuri Acosta has penned a “Quick Note” to quell the insurrection. Like this:
The entire thing was engineered and constructed by hand in Switzerland, just as it should. The carry cases, which are made of high-grade shell cordovan leather, were hand-stitched in the USA, again fully custom-made for us to fit this object.
In short, like every other HODINKEE branded product, we tried to create something special and thoughtful. And we are really proud of the end result. And based on how fast it sold, we know that some people feel the same way.
And . . . some people don’t. I mean really don’t. The key clock criticism – other than the insensitivity of launching a “travel clock” in the middle of Coronageddon – HoDinkee didn’t show the movement for the $5900 timepiece. The omission left readers concluding the Travel Clock is a scam.
And guess what? HoDinkee still hasn’t shown the movement. Described it, sure. Schematics of the case? Them too. Actual pictures? Not a one. A decision that will come back to haunt them – it’s only a matter of time before one of the 99 buyers does so their behalf. Only I don’t think it will do HoDinkee any favors. Otherwise, they’d answer the call, right?
Back to that travel-clock-during-a-Pandemic complaint:
As I mentioned, this project was born years ago, and the first batch of clocks was delivered to us in January of this year. Like the rest of the world, there was just no way to know what was ahead of us in 2020. And while many of us are not traveling now, we dream of the day when we can. It was in that spirit that we launched the clock.
In all sincerity, it was not our intent to minimize the more important events happening globally. And, while the clock was inspired by travel, it is certainly not limited to being used when traveling. Also, it might be hard to believe, but we’re a very small company. And we really just wanted to get these out to the world.
Cue Warren Zevon’s Poor Poor Pitiful Me. Pleading forbearance due to their size – HoDinkee makes over $11m a year – is a joke. But there’s funnier stuff to follow. Specifically, Mr. Acosta’s defense of the $5900 price tag.
We understood this product would not be for everyone. Instead of doing a mass product with automated manufacturing in Asia, we made a decision to do a small batch production run using a movement we thought was special, assembled by hand in Switzerland by one of the most creative companies in the business. There is no economy of scale. This kind of specialized production is not inexpensive to execute. Have a look at some of their other products.
It’s expensive because of Swiss labor unions! But seriously folks, what other products is he talking about? Where’s the link?
While L’Epee (click here) certainly makes three expensive looking clocks, notice the lack of pricing info. And anyway, that looks a lot more complicated than a travel clock modeled on 2001‘s monolith.
And we can’t ignore the Travel Clock’s now-legendary still-unseen Pontifa movement, “left over from a project by another major brand that they had helped coordinate years before.” That couldn’t have cost much.
Acosta also flags the new typeface as part of the expense. As the Brits say, pull the other one it’s got bells on it (i.e. bullshit). Acosta proceeds to address the censorship question.
That was a mistake. We decided to turn off the comments not because we wanted to silence your feedback or avoid negative comments . . .
Our reasoning for turning off the comments was two-fold. For one, we sincerely wanted everyone to judge the travel clock on the merits of its uniqueness. In past sponsored content and limited edition posts on Instagram, we have removed the comments to allow the community to make up their own mind on if they like it or not.
However, we have not been consistent with the comment removal, and that is on us. But part of our mission is to encourage new people to join the watch hobby and community. And sometimes, when the comments turn nasty, we don’t feel that is very inviting to newcomers. This is supposed to be fun, after all. I think that’s really important to remember.
Translation: we cut off the comments to be more inclusive.
Secondly, some of the comments simply went too far. In the past, we’ve seen comments go from innocent teasing (which we’re totally cool with – you can’t work with a guy like Jack and not expect a few jokes here and there) to personal attacks against our team members, and that is not OK with us.
We do not support cyber-bullying. While we are all up for a discussion, even when it is critical of us, the nature of the internet, in particular Instagram, tends to dehumanize people, and none of our team members signed up for that. It also doesn’t help this hobby one bit.
Forgive me for saying so, but calling out someone out for selling a $5900 scam clock isn’t “bullying,” no matter how “nasty” those comments may be. Swear words and ad hominem attacks, yes. “You guys are freaking scammers,” no.
Mr. Acosta finished by inviting readers to leave their clock criticism at the bottom of his “note.” The feedback is largely positive – surprise! – with some commentators repeating the call to HoDinkee to show us the money (the Travel Clock’s movement). Acosta answers a few questions but not that. Oh no, not that!
Back in the day, a headline writer at The Boston Globe put a “working title” on an editorial about President Carter that found its way to newsstands and brought the paper much sniggering. “Mush from the Wimp” it proclaimed. And that’s how I see it. You?
CLICK here to read our initial analysis of the HoDinkee Eight-Day Travel Clock: Hodinkee Travel Clock Jumps the Shark