Hodinkee is refreshingly comfortable at eulogising on behalf of the Swiss watch industry one day and stamping on its toes the next, but selling Apple Watches through its online store takes the retailer’s Jekyll & Hide split personality to a new level.
Six years after Apple first launched its smartwatch, the company now sells more watches in a quarter than the entire Swiss industry in a year.
Not that the Swiss entirely despair. They see Apple Watch customers as future collectors of their historic timekeepers and anything that gets people looking at their wrists instead of their phones to tell the time again is a step in the right direction.
Hodinkee starts selling the latest Apple Watch 5 and accessories today, July 2, and sees it as entirely consistent and complementary to the other 25 brands its sells ranging from Timex and G-Shock up to Laurent Ferrier and Vacheron Constantin.
“With the addition of Apple Watch, the Hodinkee Shop continues its goal of curating the best products, from the most respected brands, that complement the way its customers live their lives,” the company says.
“We are very excited to be an authorised retailer for Apple Watch,” continues Hodinkee chief commercial officer Russell Kelly.
“It is a revolutionary product, an impressive example of design and functionality which seamlessly integrates into daily life. Not only does Apple Watch complement our product offering but it also further positions the Hodinkee Shop as an e-commerce new luxury leader.”
Few traditional watch retailers have succeeded at selling technology like the Apple Watch.
The margins are far tighter, the product becomes obsolete every six months and nobody wants to deal with supporting customers who struggle the gadgetry.
Hodinkee may find it runs into some of these issues but the allure of working with the world’s biggest watchmaker by a massive distance is irresistible — and smart.
If it manages to catch customers while they are young, Hodinkee can draw them into the more traditional watch world over time.
And that is in addition to the very real trend for wealthy executives wearing an Apple Watch to the gym and office and a classic mechanical piece for dinner or at the weekend.