My LinkedIn reminded me today that it is 10 years since we launched WatchPro as a standalone title.
Like any self-respecting watchmaker, the anniversary cannot go unmarked.
But rather than looking back, we are very much looking forward and have more projects and initiatives launching this year than in any period of WatchPro’s history.
We created WatchPro Live as a division running an expanded programme of events including WatchPro Market in August and December, and WatchPro Salon in November.
This week is the soft launch of our very own ecommerce store at shop.watchpro.com, and we have been appointed as an authorised dealer for nine watch brands:
Our aim with the store is to provide a world class experience for people looking for interesting brands from a trusted source.
WatchPro Shop has been built by Lux Ecom, a subsidiary of Watch Shop, the UK’s largest specialist ecommerce watch store. The entire customer experience is also supported by the Watch Shop team, including payments and payment options, next day delivery for the majority of watches, 24/7 expert advice and package tracking to the doorstep.
The launch of WatchPro Shop, which may be controversial to some, is a natural extension of WatchPro’s stated mission from day one, which is, “To help businesses profit from the sale and servicing of watches”.
We are helping nine interesting watchmakers by giving them a shopfront to the 250,000 people who visit WatchPro.com every month, and the partnership with Watch Shop will ensure a world class service.
It is crucial that the launch of our own shop does nothing to undermine our editorial independence and commitment to help all brands and retailers succeed.
To this end, we have added a new partnership programme for brands and retailers where we provide dedicated pages designed to direct web traffic to their sites.
These pages help people locate a brand’s nearest authorised dealers through store finders, discover which brands are stocked by retailers, and focus on the latest news about each business that has been covered on the main WatchPro.com site.
Search engine optimisation is boosted for these partner retailers and brands because we generate internal and external web links with every article we write about them.
“We are developing WatchPro not only as a brand that is trusted by the trade and consumers, but also as a platform that draws together multiple complementary products and services: our news feed and daily news alerts; expert opinion from the top writers in the UK; exclusive interviews with local retailers and global CEOs; a range of promotional and partnership opportunities; rising influence on social media; and the biggest and best events for watch lovers and trade executives in the UK,” explains WatchPro co-founder and editor Rob Corder.
There is, of course, a commercial imperative for WatchPro to expand with these new products and services. Our growth allows us to invest more in our team, which means more and better content tailored and targeted for a British audience.
“I have been a huge admirer of what Hodinkee has achieved in the United States. It faced a barrage of criticism in the early days of expanding into areas including ecommerce and insurance, which readers feared with undermine its independence. The opposite has turned out to be true. As Hodinkee has grown, it has simply been able to invest in better editorial and other services like podcasts and video. We think the UK needs its own distinct voice, interrogator and cheerleader for the watch business, and our aim is to keep developing WatchPro to deliver that,” Mr Corder concludes.