From day one, HODINKEE has been in the business of inspiring more and more people to be excited about watches and celebrating the community which supports it. I think we have done a pretty good job. That being said, I wanted to give you a peek behind the curtain on how the managers of HODINKEE think and what drives our decisions. To put it simply, it is this – finding effective solutions to the problems of the watch world from the perspective of us as watch lovers and buyers. OK, maybe not problems, because it’s just watches after all, but things that could be done better.
We’ve tackled the vintage watch world, the modern watch world, accessories, the printed and spoken word. We’ve rethought how communities should be able to give feedback to watchmakers directly (We have 100,000+ active commenters on the HODINKEE site, plus several million more readers and members across all channels), and we’ve even revamped watch insurance completely with HODINKEE Insurance. We do this always with our watch lovers caps on.
There has been a category that we’ve long loved but weren’t sure how best to contribute – and that’s pre-owned watches. I want to be clear in what I mean by this. It is not vintage watches, which we tend to think of as those made before 1990. It’s certainly not grey market watches, which to us has always represented the antithesis of what makes this world special. What I mean here are simply watches that are modern by definition, but not brand new.
This category has seen exponential growth in recent years, and pre-owned platforms such as Chrono24 and Watchbox for example already exist to service that category. We considered, as we are wont to do, should we go ahead and make our own version of a platform like that? With that thought in mind, we looked around the room at each other and said, “No, we don’t need to create something from scratch because there’s already someone out there doing a pretty damn good job at it.” I’m referring to our friends over at Crown & Caliber.
What makes Crown & Caliber different? First of all, it’s not just a platform for you to list a watch, nor is it even a consignment shop. No, Crown & Caliber will buy your watch from you and get you paid. That solves one huge problem we often see – how do I move a watch so that I can buy a new one without having to wait forever?!
Next, we wanted to look at the post-purchase process, and this is another area where Crown & Caliber excels. After Crown & Caliber purchases your watch, they’ll take it into their state-of-the-art facility and give it to one of their in-house Swiss-certified watchmakers to inspect and service, if needed. The watch will then be posted online for purchase. The new owner will not only have the benefit and peace of mind of a fully inspected watch with a full year’s warranty but also easy shipping and returns, just like you’ve come to expect from your HODINKEE Shop experience.
We’ve been all over the world looking at watch sellers, and no one handles pre-owned with the integrity and customer-first perspective that Crown & Caliber does. We simply love the way they do business. We love them so much in fact that as of today, we are proud to announce that HODINKEE has acquired Crown & Caliber. Yup, we are now one company, and what that means for you is that over the next several months, you’ll see our two websites begin to work with each other in ways that can better serve you, the watch buying (and watch selling!) community.
What’s amazing about this very concept is that Crown & Caliber founder Hamilton Powell and I have been friends for years. One night over dinner in Soho almost six years ago, we hatched the idea of us working together. Neither of us was really ready, but the idea never left our minds. It really is a true honor to welcome Hamilton and the entire Crown & Caliber family into our little community here at HODINKEE.
What changes today? We’re rolling out a small pre-owned selection on our site, and will grow it exponentially over time. And soon, you will be able to use your Crown & Caliber trade-in credit to make purchases in the HODINKEE Shop. We’re also going to make the process faster and better than it is now. As we’ve been saying for years, we know that selling a watch is just as important as buying one, and the level of trust that is required is no different. So we’re doing this with you in mind – to make one more part of the nebulous world of watches a little bit easier for all.
Please join me in welcoming Crown & Caliber into the HODINKEE family, and be sure to drop some suggestions below on how you’d like to see the two sites work together. There are lots of cool things to come.