Vision, and above all, passion

By Marco Gabella
By Alexander Friedman
Marco Gabella & Alexander Friedman

What drove us first and foremost to found Watchonista was our passion for watches and the art of watchmaking. The word passion is often bandied about, but we stand by it and try to foster the values it encompasses -  namely sincerity and authenticity.

Indeed, we are uncommon founders in that we are also collectors and therefore connoisseurs of watches. We are naturally driven by the kind of excitement shared by those who accumulate objects that appeal to them, so our desire often takes precedence over reason. To make matters worse, our passions aren’t limited to watchmaking. It drives each of us, individually, to apply our compulsive behavior to other fields, such as automobiles, contemporary art, industrial design, technology, book collecting, and even twentieth-century propaganda posters.

Our passion has continued to grow over these past years. Our initial interest in watches brought us the acquaintance of the people who make them. Each of our meetings with these individuals, be they craftsmen, entrepreneurs, brand executives, or even the "little hands" (the designers and finishers), has reinforced our conviction that we made the right choice.

Through Watchonista and the support of all those who keep it alive, we try to enhance and highlight the talent that is helping this centuries-old industry maintain its position in the modern world. We bring this effort to you, the people who read us and follow us on social media with a loyalty that reinforces us on our quest, and impresses us now just as it did on the day we started.

An editorial policy and a top team

Watchonista Booth at Geneva Time 2013

We understand that our status as collectors clashes a bit with our day job as editors, so we must make sure that our editorial approach takes this into account.

How can we let the subjective aspect of owning a watch, or having the insane desire to own one, coexist with an editorial approach that traditionally aims to offer facts and to avoid personal opinion? The answer is simple: We have decided to take this difference by the horns and cultivate it.

Armed with this belief, we decided to adapt our team’s structure and imagined a collaborative editorial platform.

One team and one passion

To get closer to our readers, we’ve created a network of local specialists who can express views that are far closer to the local consumers and their reality. We felt that adding a local sensitivity was essential, because there are many different variables affecting how a watch is appreciated in the wild.

Watchonista’s approach is not limited to publicizing the wonders of the watch manufacturers. We also try to build bridges between the various watchmaking hubs around the world by connecting readers, whether they are watchmakers, suppliers, collectors, or simply consumers looking for reliable information.

As the Executive Editor of Watchonista, one could say that I’m the person in charge of guarding this shared vision. As such, I intend to be proactive in giving our team the best possible conditions to create quality content.

For many years Joël A. Grandjean was our editor in chief. He will now take over as Managing Editor of Switzerland. As a genuine pioneer of specialized press in Switzerland, Joël is a deeply versed observer of the world of watchmaking, and the first professional in the industry to have given us his trust. I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that he’ll be heading a new medium that we will be launching soon.

Vincent Daveau, a long-time contributor to Watchonista, will become Managing Editor of our division in France. A high-caliber journalist in charge of watchmaking for the prestigious magazine L'Express, he is also a certified watchmaker and finisher. His understanding of watch mechanics and the know-how of the eighteenth century make him a very valuable asset to Watchonista.

Josh Shanks, our Managing Editor of United States, leads our efforts in North America. Josh is an established journalist in the world of watches, wine, and technology. He is an accomplished collector who took the same path as the founders of Watchonista. That is: turning his passion into a profession. In his past life, Josh was a technologist and expert in high-frequency trading. We found each other quite naturally and given our expansionary thoughts we decided to cover the US market. With the help of Josh, we’ve enjoyed a welcome reception in the United States by brands and collectors.

Our core team is supported by a host of journalists, contributors, experts, historians, and connoisseurs, allows us to generate engaging and relevant content daily.

This powerful journalistic division is reinforced by a video and photography section, giving us the opportunity to diversify our visual content, and to develop our editorial methods in the future.

A tool for expression

The Watchonista platform was conceived to offer rich and diverse formats.  

The articles published are written in several sections, each of which will be handled by a Watchonista specialist in the subject at hand. All associated content will be available in a dedicated tab.

In a new section called "Our Selection,” our journalists will round off the in-depth content by expressing their opinions on watches and on the news.

We are well positioned to offer you a faster response to the news, varied viewpoints, and a clear separation of objective information and our own subjective views, which is, as you have noticed, what makes us different.

Partner brands and independence

Rebellion Timepieces & Watchonista

Our core business model is based on advertising, sponsored content, and partnerships. For our partner brands, we have made dedicated space available on Wachonista.com. Over time, this strategy has produced a prolific database where you can find the official information on manufacturers and models.

We also chose to maintain real editorial independence. We write about topics that feel important, regardless of our relationships with brands. We make it clear to brands that our objectivity is not for sale.

To ensure complete transparency, content produced with the support of brands and partners – including editorial and multimedia content – will always be marked appropriately, by noting, for example, "With the support of..."

Our journalists and editors pitch their stories for the “Our selection” section independently (watches and news), thus emphasizing what they feel is pertinent.