Hodinkee Inc.
Type of businessPrivate company
Available inEnglish, Japanese
Founded2008 (2008) (incorporated 2008)
Headquarters
New York, New York
Founder(s)Benjamin Clymer[1]
Key peopleBenjamin Clymer, Chairman;[2]
Toby Bateman, CEO[2]
ProductsWatches, accessories
Servicesblog & e-commerce site
Employees88 (2019)
SubsidiariesHODINKEE Japan
URLHODINKEE
HODINKEE Japan
AdvertisingNone
Current statusActive

Hodinkee, stylized as HODINKEE, is a New York City-based watch website, known as an influential editorial and e-commerce site for new and vintage wristwatches.[3] Founded in 2008, the name comes from the Czech and Slovak word for wristwatch, “hodinky”.

History

Benjamin Clymer started the watch website Hodinkee in 2008.[4] He credited his lifelong passion for watches to his grandfather's Omega Speedmaster that he loved and his grandfather let him wear.[1] Clymer used Google Translate to find the most whimsical translation of "wristwatch" to deal with perceived pretension in the watch industry, and settled on a variation of the Czech/Slovak word for watch, "hodinky".[4]

In July 2015, a news aggregation app focused on wristwatches called Watchville merged with Hodinkee, and its internet entrepreneur founder Kevin Rose became the chief executive of Hodinkee.[5] In April 2017, Rose stepped down from his role as the CEO of Hodinkee to become a partner in a start-up venture firm, True Ventures.[6]

In January 2018, the company launched Hodinkee Shop, an ecommerce site selling watches.[7] That year, the company also expanded to include pop-up stores, with a total staff of 25.[1]

In 2019, technology business magazine Fast Company named Hodinkee as one of its most innovative companies in the media sector.[8]

In November 2019, Hodinkee Japan was launched in partnership with Hearst Fujin Gahō, as a Japanese language version of the website.[9]

In December 2020, Toby Bateman, the former managing director of fashion company Mr Porter, joined the company as its new CEO, and Clymer became Executive Chairman.[2] The company also raised $40M in a series B round, with American investment advisory firm TCG as lead investor, and other investors including French luxury giant LVMH's LVMH Luxury Ventures subsidiary, True Ventures, Grammy-award winning musician John Mayer and six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.[2]

In February 2021, Hodinkee announced it had acquired pre-owned luxury watch specialists Crown & Caliber.[10] By April 2024, there had been multiple rounds of layoffs,[11] including a cut of almost 20 percent of its staff around September 2023.[12]

Business model

Hodinkee operates the Hodinkee.com website, providing editorial content related to watches, and Hodinkee shop, an ecommerce platform for watch enthusiasts and collectors interested in new and used luxury watches.[7][3] The company sells Hodinkee-branded accessories, and also hosts pop-up events, with the goal of being a one stop online and offline shop for anyone with an interest in watches.[13][14] The company sells advertising on its site, and also collaborates with luxury Swiss watchmakers to design collectible versions of their watches which are offered for sale on the Hodinkee website. Because Hodinkee partners with brands that it both reviews and advertises for sale, and because it is financed partly by the largest luxury brand owner in the world, some industry writers have suggested that the company's editorial integrity could be compromised.[15][16][17]

Hodinkee has a large social media presence to both showcase watches and sell them. Its Instagram page has more 670,000 followers and its YouTube Page is viewed by over 80,000 people a day. On its YouTube page, Hodinkee not only examines individual watches, but also highlights the collections of prominent watch collectors.[18]

Collaborations

Hodinkee collaborates with luxury brands to create collectible watches and related accessories.

In 2013, Hodinkee partnered with Swiss luxury watchmaker ochs und junior to produce two Junior Moonphase watches to celebrate their fifth birthday.[19] Fashion designer Todd Snyder partners with Hodinkee for its vintage watches collection.[20]

In 2015, the company partnered with Swiss watchmaker MB&F to build a ten piece variant of the watchmaker's Legacy Machine 101.[21] Hermès partnered with Hodinkee to create two limited edition Slim d'Hermès watches in a special shade of “Hodinkee blue.”[22]

In 2018, the company collaborated with Swiss luxury watchmaker Omega SA for the Omega Speedmaster Hodinkee 10th Anniversary limited edition.[23] The Swatch Sistem51 Blue Edition for Hodinkee is a Swiss Made mechanical watch, powered by Swatch's Sistem51 automatic movement, the first mechanical movement assembled entirely by machine which has the most affordable Hodinkee Limited Edition.[24] Also in 2018, the company collaborated with TAG Heuer on the Autavia Calibre Heuer 02 and Carrera Skipper.[25][26]

In 2019, Hodinkee partnered with IWC on a ceramic/titanium pilot watch limited to a production of 500 units.[27] Also in 2019, the company partnered with German camera company Leica on the Leica M10-P "Ghost Edition" camera. For this limited edition, the top and bottom plates were coated in a matte gray paint, the engravings were filled in white, the traditional black leather was replaced with gray cowhide leather and it was missing Leica's red dot logo.[28] The camera's design and choice of materials was inspired by a vintage Rolex Submariner belonging to Hodinkee CEO Benjamin Clymer. In December 2019, Hodinkee also collaborated with Seiko to reissue its Alpinist, replacing the green dial and brass indices with a blue dial and silver indices.

In December 2020, Hodinkee collaborated with Japanese electronics company Casio and John Mayer on the G-SHOCK Ref: 6900 by John Mayer. The watch was inspired by Mayer’s Casiotone SK-5 sampling keyboard he played growing up in Fairfield, CT in the 1980s.[29]

Sponsorship

The company is a sponsor of the Horological Society of New York.[30]

References

  1. ^ a b c Clymer, Ben (February 12, 2018). "How My Grandfather's Watch Gave Me the Life I Always Wanted". Entrepreneur. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Watch Whisperer Hodinkee Clocks $40 Million Investment". Wall Street Journal. December 2, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Williams, Alex (March 20, 2019). "Watches Are Yet Another Easy Way Rich People Make Their Money Into More Money". The NY Times. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Cigainero, Jake (March 27, 2014). "Hodinkee, Watch Cheerleader". The NY Times. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  5. ^ Kevin Rose Moves On From Silicon Valley to Watches. New York Times, Mike Isaac, June 11, 2015.
  6. ^ Loizos, Connie (April 3, 2017). "Kevin Rose is going back to Cali — and joining True Ventures as a venture partner". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  7. ^ a b DeBord, Matthew (January 29, 2018). "Hodinkee is taking online watch retailing to a new level". Business Insider. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  8. ^ "Most Innovative Companies - Hodinkee". Fast Company. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  9. ^ Corder, Rob (June 12, 2019). "Hodinkee expands outside its home market in the United States". WatchPro. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  10. ^ "Hodinkee acquires pre-owned watch retailer Crown & Caliber". Fortune. February 18, 2021. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  11. ^ Stenberg, Mark (April 5, 2024). "How Hodinkee's Big Bet on a Watch Business Backfired". www.adweek.com. Retrieved May 22, 2024.
  12. ^ "LVMH-Backed Luxury Watch Site Hodinkee Cuts a Fifth of Jobs". The Business of Fashion. September 5, 2023. Retrieved May 22, 2024.
  13. ^ Sangal, Aditi (August 14, 2018). "Hodinkee's Ben Clymer: Flipping from advertising to commerce revenue is difficult". Digiday. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  14. ^ "Hodinkee – Snog, Marry, Avoid?". Scottish Watches. December 19, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  15. ^ Foulkes, Nicholas (March 21, 2019). "Luxury-watch blogs go omnichannel with bricks-and-mortar retail". Financial Times. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  16. ^ "What Hodinkee needs to do when selling watches". Timepiece Chronicle. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  17. ^ Corder, Rob (September 9, 2019). "Writers and retail collide in the convergence of publishing and ecommerce". WatchPro. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  18. ^ "Hodinkee YouTube Statistics - Detailed subs and views". statsmash.com. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  19. ^ "Ochs Und Junior Moonphase HODINKEE Edition". Hypebeast. June 21, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  20. ^ "Watch Porn: Hodinkee x Todd Snyder". Haberdasher. January 14, 2019. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  21. ^ Corder, Rob (October 21, 2015). "Writers and retail collide in the convergence of publishing and ecommerce". Hypebeast. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  22. ^ "Hermès Teams Up With Hodinkee For Slim d'Hermès Limited Editions". Barron's. December 13, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  23. ^ "Omega Speedmaster HODINKEE 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Watch". The Coolector. September 11, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  24. ^ Bentley, Daniel (November 26, 2018). "Watch Lovers Will Want This $150 Swatch in Their Collections". Fortune. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  25. ^ "HODINKEE & TAG Heuer Drop Exclusive Autavia Calibre Heuer 02". Hypebeast. May 31, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  26. ^ Watson, Stephen (June 21, 2017). "This TAG Heuer x Hodinkee Collaboration Will Sell Out in Minutes". Esquire. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  27. ^ Zen Love, IWC and HODINKEE Pair Up On a Modern Pilot’s Watch Gear Patrol, February 6, 2019
  28. ^ Moses, Jeanette (December 13, 2019). "Leica's new special-edition camera pays homage to a vintage watch". Popular Photography. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  29. ^ Chan, Tim (December 10, 2020). "John Mayer's G-SHOCK Collab Sold Out in Eight Minutes: Get These Similar Watches Instead". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  30. ^ "Sponsors". Horological Society of New York. May 31, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2020.