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Showing posts from 2021

Ethical Complications in the Watch Industry

It's July 14, 2017 and I'm standing on a sidewalk outside of the Cipriani ballroom on 42nd Street in New York City. The rain is pouring down. Fortunately, I arrived early enough that I have a spot under a temporary awning set up by Patek Phillipe as part of their Grand Exhibition. I snap a photo of the entrance as I wait. Thierre Stern outside the 2017 Grand Exhibition in NYC Three years later, as I write this piece, I'm realizing that I captured a shot of CEO Thierry Stern taking a smoke break before the exhibition opens in ten minutes. I vaguely recognize a kid waiting in line in the group ahead of me. I can't place him, but I feel like I've seen him on YouTube or maybe heard about him on a podcast. He's a budding expert on watch collecting. Wristie of my Steinhart OVM en route to the Grand Exhibition He turns around and his eyes get big after he takes a look at my wrist. "Is that a ....?!" I stop him before he can build momentum.

Catch Them if You Can: Fiat in Watchmaking

The movie Catch Me if You Can  was released in 2002.  It is a dramatization of Frank Abagnale's early life, a counterfeiter who forged checks.  He posed as a Pan Am pilot to get away with his ruse. Frank Abagnale's earliest known run-in with authorities in June, 1965. Abagnale was eventually caught, prosecuted and imprisoned.  Eventually he worked for the FBI in order to help them catch counterfeiters.  Abagnale believes "the vast majority of fraudsters and criminals get caught, not because of good police work, but because they continue doing the same thing over and over again until someone notices.  Criminals are not as bright as people think and their greed motivates them totally."  What does counterfeit and crime have to do with the watch industry?  Counterfeiting of watches is a well-known topic (and a subject of another post coming soon).  I'm not interested in that particular subject here.  Instead, I would like to discuss why currency counterfeit is crim

Watch Media Revenue in Context

Recently I asked to join a watch enthusiast slack channel. My request was denied. I won't name names, but they told me I am "old media" and old media was not welcome. New York Times newsroom, 1942 This response came as something of a surprise to me. First, I've only been writing about the watch industry for about a year, maybe a little bit longer than that. I have received some compensation for doing so as a freelancer, but these days, almost all of my creative activity is published for free. I don't have any advertisements on my blog. For these reasons, I was surprised that I might have a reputation as old media. The episode also brought me to consider the nature of watch media. Is there really an "old" and "new" watch media? What does that mean? Among the watch community, there is an ongoing discussion of whether watch media are presenting the information needed by collectors and enthusiasts. There is a low rumble of di