Hodinkee Founder Ben Clymer Cashes Out

You may have read Hodinkee’s big announcement: the website raised $40 million in venture capital and hired a new CEO. Given The Truth About Watches’ combative nature, you might be expecting another screed about Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer and his dark side combination of commerce and “journalism.” I come neither to praise nor bury Hodinkee, but to do the math. Let’s start with a couple of basics . . .

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Who Will Own the Pre-Owned Watch Market?

“Watch brands can no longer ignore the phenomenon of second-hand,” monochrome.com insists. “Their clients have larger access to information and to this market. It cannot be left in third-party hands only: the watch brands need to play the game one way or the other.” Are we about to see Rolex, OMEGA, Seiko and other major players elbowing-out vintage and gray market watch dealers to claim a piece of the multi-billion dollar pre-owned watch market? A better question: should they? . . .

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The Decline and Fall of the Traditional Watch Industry – Coronageddon 38

“Swiss watch brand Frederique Constant is hoping to limit the fall in sales to 25% this year,” its chief executive told Reuters. “That’s what we’re aiming for.” Niels Eggerding said in an interview in Zurich this week. The Citizen subsidiary’s “cut some jobs” and “many employees are still working shorter hours under a Swiss state-backed programme to avoid layoffs.” Well there’s something the mainstream watch press isn’t reporting. The beginning of the end for the traditional watch industry? . . .

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