Watchonista has promoted its North American managing editor Josh Shanks to editor-in-chief for the global online magazine in recognition of his years of editorial excellence, consistent growth, and the launch of multiple new lines of business.
The news comes as Watchonista also announces it has expanded its marketing team, which is charged with supporting its community of mainly US-based watch collectors and enthusiasts.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the efforts Josh has led here in the US market,” says Watchonista co-founder Alexander Friedman. “He has built a team that’s dedicated to editorial excellence and delivering unique agency services, all while cultivating relationships with companies looking to better understand the growing market of the watch industry in America.”
Many media businesses have been brought to their knees by the economic damage wrought by un-targeted lock downs during the covid quarter, so Watchonista’s investment in its team is particularly noteworthy.
“The resilience and hard work of our teams in Switzerland and the United States have helped us to navigate this unprecedented year,” Mr Friedman tells WatchPro. “Starting earlier this year, we evolved our digital offerings, increased our activity on social media, and found new ways to reach collectors. Plus, Watchonista’s proximity to watch brand and clients has helped tremendously.”
Watchonista was launched in 2009 by Mr Friedman and co-founder Marco Gabella in Switzerland as a digital platform by and for watch collectors. The site launched in the United States in 2017.
It now serves a community of hundreds of thousands of high-net-worth customers from the US and around the globe, the company says.
The media landscape has been transformed in recent years as consumers have switched from reading magazines to satisfy their watch cravings to browsing social media and sites like Watchonista (and WatchPro!).
“Five years ago, it would be unheard of to desire a watch simply because you saw it on Instagram. Now social media is leading the charge in awareness and exposure for brands and retailers. With a growing array of watch media, of which Watchonista is included, consumers are entering stores or e-commerce more educated than ever,” Mr Shanks suggests.
Kyle Snarr, whose career has seen him work on digital publications such as Vox Media and the Hearst-funded Gear Patrol, joins the Watchonista team this year with responsibility for growing revenues and audience.
“We have a clear vision of continued global growth for Watchonista in 2021,” says Mr Gabella. “We’ve been fortunate to weather the storms of 2020 thanks to a strong team of dedicated individuals. Now, with expanded leadership in place at Watchonista US, we’re confident that we can continue to position ourselves to be a complete and trusted resource for collectors, as well as for the brands and retailers hoping to reach them into 2021 and beyond.”