The appeal of working with Hodinkee, which welcomes around 1.9 million visitors to its website every month, is obvious. The risks are more difficult to calculate for both Hodinkee and the watch brands that have signed it up as an authorized dealer.
Will Hodinkee lose its hard-earned reputation as an impartial arbiter of good taste for watch enthusiasts? Most likely to some degree.
Will watch brands alienate other authorised dealers that are spending millions on physical stores to which enthusiasts can come and try on watches? For certain, according to the conversations WatchPro has had with these retailers in the United States.
However, both Omega and Hodinkee have done their risk/reward calculations and concluded that the reward of working together is worth moving forward togetgher.
They announced yesterday that Hodinkee Shop is now an official online retailer for Omega. In the same week the two organisations opened a pop-up shop in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood to celebrate the deal.
The pop-up is presenting “an extensive selection of the latest Speedmasters and Seamasters”, while online, Hodinkee Shop is offering “an assortment of watches from the Speedmaster, Seamaster, De Ville, and Constellation lines. This is big news, and we’re thrilled to share it with you today,” a statement from the company says.
Details of the agreement have not been disclosed, but there do appear to be limitations on what can be sold from day one as there are just 23 models on offer and nothing newly launched in 2019.
“Hodinkee has built a fantastic relationship with watch fans around the world and their passion for the industry is always clear,” says Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega. “Omega is very pleased to be partnering with the brand and sharing our iconic timepieces in a new and exciting way,” he adds.
Russell Kelly, chief commercial officer at Hodinkee, says that Omega is another stepping stone on its journey to becoming a globally important retailer. “As we continue to develop the Hodinkee Shop into the go-to destination for the 21st century watch consumer, it is imperative to be able to offer our customers the best in what watchmaking has to offer, and by having Omega — with its storied history of innovation and design — we can do just that.”