Vision and, above all, passion

Marco Gabella & Alexander Friedman

What drove us first and foremost to found Watchonista was our passion for horology. 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 founders with a particularity: we are also collectors and therefore connoisseurs. 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. And to make matters worse, this attitude is not limited to watchmaking. It drives each of us, individually, to apply our compulsive behavior to other fields, like contemporary art, industrial design, book collecting, automobiles and even twentieth-century propaganda posters. 

Our passion has kept growing these past years. To our initial interest in watches came the acquaintance, at times close, of the individuals who make them. Each of our meetings with these individuals, be they the craftsmen, entrepreneurs, brand executives, or even the "little hands" (the designers, the finishers) has edified us and 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 all the talent that is helping this, at first glance, aging industry, to maintain its position in the modern world. May they appreciate our work! At any rate, it is the only true option that we can offer you in all honesty, you, the people who read us and follow us on social media with a loyalty that reinforces us in our quest and impresses us 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 in a specialized medium, so we must make sure that our approach takes this particularity into account.

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

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

One team and one passion

In order to get closer to our readers, we’ve created a network of local editorial offices with 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 parameters affecting how a watch is appreciated in the world.

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 protagonists, be they watchmakers, suppliers, collectors or, simply, consumers looking for reliable information.

As the person in charge of guarding our vision, I am the executive editor at Watchonista. As such, I intend to be proactive in giving our team the best possible conditions to create quality content.

I'm assisted by our Editorial Strategist Audrey Humbert, who joined our team to conceive and set up a participative system for editorial content. With her help, I’ll be able to work with the local editors. Audrey is an expert from the watchmaking department at Christies and was more recently active in the revival of the Ferdinand Berthoud brand. We are delighted to have her on board as she shares our values and goals.  

For many years, Joël A. Grandjean was our editor-in chief. He will now be taking over the local Swiss editorship. As a genuine pioneer of the specialized press in Switzerland, Joël is a deeply-versed observer of the world of watchmaking and the first professional in the industry to give 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 in the near future...  

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

A contributor to various watch media in the USA, Josh Shanks joined us in early 2017 as our North American Managing Editor. A technology specialist and expert in high-frequency trading, Josh is an accomplished collector who took the same path as the founders of Watchonista, namely turning his passion into a profession. We found each other quite naturally and given our expansionary thoughts, we decided to open an office in New York to extend our activities to the USA.

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

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

A tool for expression

Our new platform was conceived as a way to offer rich and diverse formats.  

The articles published will now be 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 fastest 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 as well as our 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 manufactures and models.

Nevertheless, we also chose to maintain real editorial independence. We write about topics that feel important, regardless of our relationships with brands.

To ensure complete transparency, content produced with the support of our partners, including advertorials and multimedia content, that we publish as part of our editorial articles, will always be marked "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.